Wednesday, April 27, 2011



We are now April and we see the green almonds in the local markets. So green, so juicy and so bitter sweet! Some people eat it raw just like that and in Anatolia some make a soup like dish with yoghurt and with the green almonds. In my family, I’ve never seen this dish cooked before, so I browsed the internet for recipes.

Yes, this recipe is based on yoghurt and we will cook the yoghurt! In Turkey, yoghurt is consumed a lot! We eat it with almost anything: at the side of a vegetable dish; or cacık (tzatziki) with different ingredients (cucumber or carrots, to name a few), or yoghurt based meze’s, or we even make soup of yoghurt! Cold yoghurt soup in summer and warm yoghurt soup in winter!  For that, we use strained yoghurt. That’s the yoghurt that they drain by the help of cloth bags hung. By this, the yoghurt gets sourer in taste and it becomes quite thick in texture. We make drink of it too (called “ayran”). When somebody fainted, or had low blood pressure all of a sudden, you see people running to grab the yoghurt drink. In factories, the blue collars are served yoghurt drink every day.

For a few weeks, we also see the fava beans on the stalls. My husband does not like it very much if I sauté the beans with some onion and mix it with fresh dill (quite simple and common recipe for fava beans here). A few weeks ago, when my friend and I were strolling on the big Bağdat Avenue; we got quite hungry and tried this authentic Anatolian cuisine. There, we both tried yoghurt soup with fava beans and lambs meat. So, that’s yet another variation of yoghurt soup we have in Anatolia. Good to know! 

As my recipe includes both green almonds and fava beans, you can imagine I got a bit inspired. I had no clue if these flavors would be nice together. But, I could honestly say, it was a successful one!

As my husband doesn’t like fava beans, I could not be generous in the amount that I’ve used. If you prefer, you can add more fava beans and less green almonds. Or you can choose between green almonds or fava beans depending on what you like. The method remains the same as the rest of the ingredients. I don’t remember that I have seen fava beans in the big supermarkets in Belgium, but surely in the Turkish markets. I don’t remember having seen any green almonds. Ummm…

Ingredients: (Serves 4 to 6 people)

100 grams of green almonds, cut into halves 

green almonds cut into halves

50 grams of fava beans, cut into small blocks

fava beans

150 grams of lamb meat, cut in cubes

meat cut into cubes

Half a glass of chickpeas, boiled
2 glasses of cold water
3-4 fresh onions, cut into 1.5 cm pieces
250 grams of strained yoghurt
1 egg
1 table spoon flour
3 glasses of hot water
False saffron

  1. Heat a pot and throw the lamb meat in it. Roast the meat till they release their water and soak it again. 
  2. When the meat is cooking, you can work with the yoghurt. Add the cold water to the yoghurt and mix till creamy and soft. Then add the flour and break the egg in it. It is very important that this mixture is evenly mixed so I prefer to mix it by the help of the blender. 
  3. After the meat soaks its water, add 2 glasses of warm water to the pot, and continue cooking until the meat is soft (a few minutes should be enough). Add the green almonds and the fava beans and add the rest of the hot water. Cook until the vegetables get soft. Then add the chickpeas and cook for a couple of more minutes. 
  4. Time to cook the yoghurt. This is a process in which you have to be very careful otherwise the yoghurt will lose its even texture. We will pour the yoghurt mixture in a pan and heat the pan in low heat. We will continuously stir the yoghurt mixture until it boils and this always following the same direction. Otherwise you will lose the creamy texture. When the mixture boils, you can turn off the fire (see picture below)
  5. Another step that we will have to be careful about is that when we add the yoghurt mixture to the vegetable and meat that we cooked. It is all about to have a nice texture with the yoghurt! But, before you start with this, add the spring onions to the meat (see picture below)
  6. Before you pour the yoghurt mixture into the pot with the meat and the vegetables, add a spoon of the broth to the yoghurt mixture and mix it well. You can do this a couple of times. And then you pour the yoghurt mixture into the pot with the meat and the vegetables. Don’t forget to stir fast when you do that!
  7. Now, you can add the salt to your liking.
  8. The last step is about the decoration: for that we heat a saucepan and melt the butter in it. Then add the false saffron and fry it a bit. This you can pour it on the dish.

Tell me if you liked this dish! I hope you did!!!



step 4

step 5

happy ending!!!

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