|I bought this years ago as a decoration never thinking I would one day
be using it regularly in my own kitchen!
These days my mortar and pestle are my best friends. Isn’t that funny? I find I am more and more interested in spices and those fabulous little shops that somehow were not on my radar until recently: the aktar.
|literally, Ginger Aktar! – this is my local treasure trove|
|these are all different types of flaked red pepper on display
outside the Spice Market, Istanbul,
acı=hot and spicy
|here is a sinkful of fresh from the market!|
|you have to separate the roots from the leaves and then wash, wash, wash!|
You can also use ground cumin/kimyon instead of the seeds but as I am in love with my mortar and pestle as I mentioned, I preferred the seeds.
|pounded cumin seeds/kimyon tohumu|
- 8oz/225g spinach/ıspanak, washed and cooked NB do not add any extra water while cooking as the water clinging to the leaves will be enough
- 1 small red onion/kırmızı soğan, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp sugar/şeker
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/kimyon tohumu, crushed, OR ground cumin/toz kimyon
- 1 tbsp olive oil/zeytinyağı
- 1 tsp currants/kuşüzümü, chopped if liked
- 1 tbsp pine nuts/çam fıstığı
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes/pul biber
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp thick creamy yogurt/süzme or Tikveşli is ideal in Turkey
- squeeze of lemon juice/limon
- 2 cloves garlic/sarmısak, crushed with salt
- Mix the yogurt with the garlic and lemon juice. Add a little salt to taste and put aside.
- Chop the cooked spinach. In a small shallow pan, soften the onion with the sugar and cumin seeds in the oil. Stir in the currants, pine nuts and red pepper flakes.
|here are the currants, pine nuts and flaked red pepper|
- Cook for 2 minutes and then add the spinach. Mix well, season to taste, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the spinach to a serving dish. Spoon the yogurt over it and serve hot with pide or bread.
|delicious warm Anatolian spinach with currants, pine nuts and garlic lemon yogurt
I really recommend this dish: it’s easy to make not to mention cheap, and above all, very tasty!
|here you can see more rustic mortars and pestles in our village kitchen in Assos|
|and just to finish with, here is part of the historic skyline taken from the ferry approaching
Eminönü with the Spice Market in the middle