Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3 Cultural Experiences You Cant Miss In Turkey

Every year, many tourists decide to explore the cultural delights of Turkey. Walks are a fantastic way to see all that the country has to offer, taking you through ancient ruins and bustling towns and along spectacular coastlines. Wherever your walk takes you, there are a few cultural experiences that you simply cannot help but encounter during your time in the country.

Here are three of the best, which will provide you with experiences youll be recounting to your friends back home for weeks to come.

Turkish Baths (Hamams)

Turkish baths, or hamams as they are known locally, are found all over Turkey. Walks are a great way to see the country, but they can leave you tired and in need of some rejuvenation. So what better way to get over your stiff joints than by a trip to a Turkish bath?

In the hamam you can relax in the warm, steamy rooms and you can even experience a number of different massages. These can include a foam massage, an exfoliating massage and a luxurious oil massage. Hamams are part of the daily routine for many locals, and you may well find you get quite fond of them as well.

Dont miss out on visiting a hamam when on a walking holiday in Turkey. Walks may be the best way to see the country, but its just as important to treat yourself to a bit of luxury every once in a while.

Turkish Kebabs

Turkey is, for some, the home of kebabs and not the kind of kebabs that you are likely to find in some late-night joint in a town centre in England. Turkish kebabs are of the highest quality, and will provide you with a culinary treat to remember long after your trip to Turkey. Walks that lead through any town or city are certain to take you past a restaurant or bar serving kebabs. And even if you dont spot them, just follow your nose; the wonderful spicy aroma wafting out into the street will lead you straight to them.

Kebabs are different all over the country, with most regions having their own specific style. Whether a Si_ (shish) kebab, Adana kebab or the well-known (but entirely different) Doner kebab, you are going to give your taste buds a treat when you try any kebab in Turkey.

Turkish Coffee House

In Turkey, walks will allow you to experience both the countryside and the bustling cities alike. But wherever you decide to go, you will never find yourself far from a coffee house selling strong Turkish coffee.

Coffee is an important part of daily life for Turkish people. It still plays a role in many rituals involving prayer and marriage, although not as much as it once did. It is made from a fine powder and the resulting drink is much stronger than you may be used to. Cardamom is sometimes added, and the distinctive taste is something you wont forget in a hurry.

When you head to Turkey, walks of any type will lead you past one of these coffee houses sooner or later. And if you feel yourself getting tired during your walk, there is no better remedy than a shot of hot strong Turkish coffee to restore your energy levels.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kebab Shop Owners Face a Challenge

Kebab shop owners across Britain face a challenge when it comes to
creating a menu that works.Often times a menu is thrown together by
copying other local hot food takeaway menus, throwing some ideas down
on some paper and hoping the printing company will perform some sort
of miracle with the result for 100 odd pounds.The last kebab shop
entrepreneur I spoke to side he was only going to do four things on
his menu. He meant four categories i.e. Kebabs, pizzas, curries and
fried fish.This translated into approximately 200 items.How is it
possible to maintain a high standard of quality, build up a repeat
business and run a low cost kitchen with so many items?Only by buying
frozen food, thawing it out and selling it cheap.Ironically many shop
owners are from an Eastern background and will not settle for less
than fresh bread, crisp salads and daysee(authentic) cooking when they
themselves eat at home.Is it possible to run a successful kebab shop
or hot food takeaway with a limited menu?Carefully prepared, fresh and
tasty food will always sell.Badly prepared, frozen and fried food may
destroy a new business, especially in todays economic climate.The key
really is in the menu and respecting the clientele.Think carefully
about the customers needs, use some imagination and preparation in
REAL recipes and offer high quality fare.The challenge is not from
external forces for kebab shop owners, it is from within.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lamb Shish Kabob Armenian-Style

This recipe for lamb kufta comes from the Armenian community and shows
off the distinct and flavorful lamb meat in an easy-to-serve shish
kabob. Lamb is a nutritious meat, high in iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Lambs in the United States free range on grass prairies making lamb
the ultimate in eco-friendly meat as well.Lamb Shish Kebob, serves
8Ingredients 3 pounds of lamb 1 large onion 1/4 cup finely minced
fresh parsley 1/2 cup light olive oil 1 cup red wine 3 cloves of
freshly minced garlic 10-12 large mushrooms 1 large onion (for
skewers) 1 large bell peppermarinate overnightTrim and cube a leg of
lamb into 2 cubes. Save the bones for broth making.Mix together a
marinade of the onion, parsley, olive oil, red wine, and
garlic.Combine the meat and marinade in a glass container. Stir well
to coat the lamb.Cover and refrigerate overnight.SkewersClean 10-12
large mushrooms.Cut 1 large onion and 1 large bell pepper into 10-12
pieces each.Drain the lamb.Set out the onion and pepper, mushrooms,
and meat on a large platter or cutting board. This is your work
surface for putting together the shish kebabs. Alternate the lamb on
the skewer with a pepper, onion, or mushroom so that a vegetable is
between each piece of lamb. Begin and end your skewer with the meat --
it will stay on the skewer better.Grill the shish kebob on your
barbecue or broil in your oven until done. Grill them for 6-7 minutes,
turning several times. Broil them for 3-4 minutes on each side.Salt
immediately.Serve with a side grain such as quinoa and a green salad.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Food From The Middle East

'Middle eastern cuisine' is a broad term that encompasses many
different cooking styles from a number of different countries.
Moroccan, Syrian, Greek, Arabian - the various cuisines of the middle
east share a great deal - and have many differences.The food of the
Middle East is a celebration of life. No matter which country, the
staples are the fresh fruits and vegetables that grow in the hills.
The spices and flavorings of Middle Eastern food are those that awaken
the senses, sparkling against the thicker, richer tastes of the main
ingredients. Mints, lemon, garlic, rosemary - all have a fresh,
astringent quality that cleanses the palate and refreshes the taste
buds. Throughout the region, the cuisine varies - but these things
remain the same: fresh ingredients, astringent and piquant spices,
olive oil, and little meat.lebanesethe tiny country - about the size
of Connecticut - is nestled into the shores of the Mediterranean Sea,
at the very crook of the fertile Crescent. Its contributions to the
cuisine of the entire Middle Eastern region of the world are
unmistakable. The flavors that spice the foods of all the surrounding
lands can be found here in abundance - olive oil, lemon, garlic and
mint. Lebanese cuisine features such staples as kibbeh (ground lamb
with bulghur wheat) and tabouleh (parsley, mint and bulghur wheat
salad). The food is simply prepared, with the flavors blending
together into a complex medley of earthy, fruity tastes and
scents.syrianif Syria had contributed nothing else to the world
cuisine but pita bread and hummus, it would still be worthy of note.
There's far more to the cuisine of this small Middle Eastern country,
though. Baba ganoush (pureed eggplant), stuffed olives and figs,
peppers in olive oil - Syrian food celebrates the fruits of the earth
and blends them to bring out the textures and flavors in surprising
ways. Shish kebab and rice pilaf are two of the more well-known
dishes, and while most people think of Greece when they hear baklava,
the Syrian claim that it is based on their own dessert of
batwala.arabianthe Bedouin of the desert once based their diets on
dates and yoghurt with the occasional camel or goat to provide meat.
Over the centuries, the nomadic tribes incorporated spices, meats and
vegetables from other cultures into their cuisine. Today's Arabian
cuisine is a mingling of influences from India, Lebanon and further
west. Lamb is the meat most often used in cooking, and it is prepared
in a number of ways including shish kebab, spit-roasted, or stewed.
The cuisine relies heavily on mint, turmeric, saffron, garlic and
sesame. Rice and kasha are the most commonly consumed grains, and the
spicing is fresh and astringent - meant to awaken and refresh the
palate rather than burn it out.Throughout the Mediterranean Middle
East, the cultures and people have intermingled and carried with them
their foods and traditions of eating. In no other place in the world
can there be found a blending of cultures that has mingled so much -
yet maintained such distinct, national flavors. Healthful, fresh,
delicious and life-enhancing, it's little wonder that the cuisine of
the Middle East is among the most popular with diners the world over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicken Malai Kebab - Indian Dish

IngredientsThe ingredients for Chicken Malai Kebab are:1. Boneless
chicken cubes --800gms2. Cheddar cheese, grated--60gms/ ¼ cup3.
Coriander leaves, chopped--20gms/4 tsp4. Cornflour -15gms/1table
spoon5. Cream-120ml/ ½ cup6. Egg-17. Garlic paste-35 gms/7 table
spoon8. Ginger paste---45 gms/3 table spoon9. Green chillies, Chopped
fine-8 (add chillies as you require)10. Mace ( javitri ) powder--2.5
gms/ 1/2 table spoon11. Nutmeg ( jaiphal ) powder12. 2.5gms/ ½ table
spoon Oil for basting13. Salt to taste.14. White pepper powder--5 gms/
1 table spoon.Methods:The Steps to cook chicken malai kebab are1.
First Mix the ginger and the garlic pastes, white pepper powder and
salt, then Rub the mixture on to the chicken pieces. Set it aside for
15 minutes.2. Then Beat together the egg, cheese, green chillies,
coriander, cream, mace, nutmeg and cornflour and rub chicken pieces
with the mixture. Keep it aside for three hours.3. String together
chicken pieces on a skewer an inch apart. Roast on a charcoal grill
for five minutes or in a preheated oven at 275 *F for seven minutes.4.
Remove, Hang skewers for five - seven minutes to let excess moisture
drip off. Brush with oil and roast again for three minutes.5. Ready to
serve with any main course.Time: Preparation: Three and half hours
approxCooking: Fifteen minutesTo Serve: Serve as a cocktail snack or
as an accompaniment with the main course.Serve these smooth, creamy
chicken malai kebabs with mildly flavored cheddar cheese, immediately.
This Indian dish can be accompanied with any main course, as it has
spicy and smooth creamy chicken pieces.