Tuesday, July 29th: A Cooking Experience
Deniz börülcesi (called samphire in English but literally sea cowpea in Turkish) is a type of marsh weed readily available around Burgaz Island. One can find it growing on the sidewalks in this area actually. I witnessed a couple of Kurdish women scraping it up in to some plastic bags today, apparently to cook it later. Our batch, however, was purchased at Friday's open-air market and is fresh (and not scraped off a sidewalk). It is stiff and looks like seaweed when it is uncooked.
After cleaning it thoroughly, we immersed the stalks in a pot of cold water, and brought it to boil on the stove. We let it boil for about 15 minutes.
After draining the water, Vincent pinched each stalk between his fingers and pulled off the cooked shell off each stiff strand. What was left was like a stick and this part was thrown away.
|The cooked shell slips off easily|
|Vincent shows the stiff stalk|
|This is the most time intensive step in cooking deniz börülcesi|
The cooked shell is limp and ready for eating.
Although, of course, no Turkish dish is complete without garlic. Vincent grated 3 cloves in to the bowl with the cooked deniz börülcesi.
Lastly, we added 2 spoons of tomato paste and mixed it all thoroughly. Turkish tomato paste is pre-salted and delicious right out of the jar. With the tomato paste mixed in, the dish is then ready to eat. Served cold, it is a great side salad for a hot day.
Here's the meal we ate:
Cucumber salad with garlic and yoghurt.
Cold red lentil dolmas
White feta cheese
Roasted eggplant and garlic
Raw green peppers
If you haven't had enough, here's another recipe you can try: