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Built on the shores of the River Porsuk and once home to many civilizations, Eskişehir is the land of Nasreddin Hodja and Turkish poet-cum-mystic Yunus Emre.
Eskişehir is a city that is quite rich in terms of warm underground waters, which are able to treat many ailments. Being dominated by an inland climate, Eskişehir has had its cuisine form in accordance with its climate conditions, together with increased variety brought by Balkan, Crimean, and Caucasian immigrants who brought their own gastronomic cultures.
The nougat and met halvah of Eskişehir province is its most favorite and famous dessert. To list its other foremost dishes, we could start with its mushroom pastry, raw savory pastry, poppy seed bread, savory mincemeat pastry, lentil ravioli, okra soup, savory pastry with chicken and rice, Circassian cheese porridge, cracked wheat soup, poppy seed pastry and crepe, dumpling and wheat cream soups with milk, savory pastry with browned meat, sugar pudding, rolled baklava, and a Crimean Tatar dish based on fried dough. The best water one can drink in Eskişehir is its famed Kalabak water.
I now leave you alone with Eskişehir delicacies you can easily make at home.
POPPY SEED BREAD
1 cup yogurt, 1 sachetinstant yeast, 1 dessertspoon granulated sugar, 2 eggs, ½ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup water, salt to taste.
For Filling: ½ cup vegetable oil,
4 tablespoons crushed poppy seeds. In a bowl, mix the two ingredients well.
First, mix the ingredients for the bread well. Add as much flour as it can take and knead well. Tear off pieces of the desired size from this dough. Grease your hands and the counter with some vegetable oil. Roll out the dough by hand and add poppy seeds using a spoon. Spread the seeds all over, knead dough into a round shape, and place in a round baking tray. Smear vegetable oil or egg yolk on top and wait for dough to rise in a lukewarm oven for around 20 minutes. Later, bake at 175 Celsius for 40-50 minutes and serve hot or when cool.
750 g diced lamb liver (no need to remove the membrane), 2 finely sliced tomatoes, 1 dessertspoon grape molasses (optionally), 3 finely sliced medium-hot green peppers (sub. Anaheim), 1 finely sliced onion,
3 tablespoons rice, 2½ tablespoons butter or vegetable oil, 1 cup hot water, 1 dessertspoon thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
For Garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or dill.
Melt oil in a pan and sauté onions. Add liver and mix gently while browning. Add tomato, green pepper, salt, black pepper, and thyme, and continue cooking. Add and mix in rice, and pour in a cup of hot water and stir. Add more salt and pepper if needed and simmer on low heat until rice softens. Sprinkle parsley or dill on top when serving.
IMITATION NOUGAT HALVAH
1.5 cups roast hazelnuts (lightly crushed or whole), juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon starch, 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar.
In a pot, pour lemon juice over sugar. Dissolve sugar on medium heat, add nuts, and mix rapidly. When the mixture thickens, pour on top of a greased slap of marble, making sure that it doesn’t spread too much. With a greased rolling pin, roll it out to the size you desire. Cut when at medium temperature or shape as desired when it reaches a temperature that won’t burn your hands, place in a serving dish, and serve.
1 strand small dried okra (boiled, drained, and string removed),
1 tablespoon butter orvegetable oil, 1 finely sliced yellow onion, 1 chicken leg, 6 cups water, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
For top: 1 tablespoon butter,
1 dessertspoon red pepper flakes.
First, boil the chicken leg well in 6 cups water. Sautee onion in butter in a separate pan. Add tomato paste and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Add shredded chicken and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and add okra. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Boil some more and remove from heat. Before serving, sauté red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon butter and drizzle over bowls of soup.