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Chicken and Okra

All of the English-language recipes below
are figurative translations of
Peri's own Turkish-language ones...
Main course -- Chicken and Okra
Click for enlargement.
Thanks for the photo to
'Timeless Tastes'
Semahat Arsel
April 1996

Chicken and Okra
(Tavuklu Bamya)
Serves 8-10

General Ingredients:
(Peri uses some Turkish measurement terms below, but you can find plenty of definitions-help on our Turkish Foods page -- for converting to US or British measurements.)

  • 1 kg of okra
  • 500 gr. boned chicken legs
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion
  • 100 gr. butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 water glasses (cups) hot water
  • l 1/2 water glasses (cups) hot meat stock

    For the tomato sauce:

  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 2 soup spoons (tablespoons) butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Carefully slice off the conical ends of the okra with a very sharp knife -- without penetrating into the hollow centers.

    Put each piece of prepared okra into a bowl and rub first with salt and then with vinegar. Leave in the vinegar for half an hour, then rinse well and drain.

    Mince the onions and as you peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds. Finely chop the tomatoes.

    Cut the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces after removing the skin.

    Sauté the onions in melted butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chicken pieces to the onions and stir at that heat for 5 minutes.

    Add tomato, salt, and tomato paste -- and after covering with a saucepan lid, cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the 4 cups of hot water, and at medium heat, let the cooking continue for 25 minutes.

    As the cooking continues, place the okra pieces in a shallow saucepan in regular layers -- starting from the edge of the pan, working inwards, with a circular space in the pan center.

    When the chicken is ready, pour it into the circular space in the saucepan. Add hot meat stock and lemon juice -- and cover the pan with with waxed paper. Replace the saucepan lid, and cook for 45 minutes on low heat.

    While that cooking proceeds, prepare the sauce. Peel the tomatoes and chop them finely after removing the seeds. Add the butter, salt and sugar, and cook on low heat until the tomatoes soften.

    Remove the cooked chicken and okra from the heat and drain the cooking broth off, into a bowl -- carefully though, lest you ruin the decorative arrangement of the layered okra. Turn the saucepan upside down onto a serving dish to slide the okra and chicken off. Pour on some of the remaining broth -- and, just before serving, top the entire dish liberally with the hot tomato sauce.

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    Bulgur Meze/Appetizer

    Meze or Appetizer -- Bulgur Salad
    Click for enlargement.
    Thanks for the photo to
    'Timeless Tastes'

    Bulgur Meze/Appetizer
    Serves 8-10

    General Ingredients:

  • 350 g köftelik (fine ground) bulgur
  • l 1/2 soup (table) spoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt -- and 1 of black pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup high quality (virgin extra) olive oil
  • 1 water glass (cup) hot water
  • 1/2 bunch finely chopped parsley
  • 1 soup (table) spoon red pepper puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon 'pul' (hot pepper) flakes
  • 1/2 bunch finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 bunch finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • small head of crisp lettuce


    Go through the bulgur removing hard, imperfect peices. Put the choice bulgur into a large mixing bowl, pour in the hot water, mix together and cover the mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes.

    Add the red pepper, salt, black pepper, tomato puree, and chili flakes -- and knead the mixture well. Pour in the lemon juice, followed by the olive oil, as you continue kneading.

    Peel the tomatoes and (removing the seeds as you go) dice them. Stir the tomatoes, chopped parsley, spring onions, and mint into the bulgur. Arrange individual servings by placing a heap of the now ready kısır (the size of a large ice cream scoop) on crisp lettuce leaves on serving plates. (If the lettuce is crisp enough, the kısır may be eaten directly from the lettuce leaves -- like cheese is eaten from crackers.)

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    Shepherd's Salad

    Çoban Salatası<br>(Sheperd's Salad)
    Click for enlargement.
    Thanks for the photo to
    'Timeless Tastes'

    Shepherd's Salad
    (Çoban Salatası)
    Serves 4-6

    General Ingredients:

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 small to medium-size cucumbers
  • 3 green chili peppers (mild to hot, to taste)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 4-5 sprigs of parsley
  • 8 to 10 pitted (or unpitted) black olives

    For the salad dressing:

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 soup (table) spoon vinegar
  • 1/2 water glass (cup) olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste


    While peeling and dicing the tomatoes, remove the seeds.

    Finely chop the chili peppers and spring onions. Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half and chop roughly (see picture).

    Finely chop the parsley and mix all these ingredients in a salad bowl.

    Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Decoratively place the black olives on the salad surface -- and serve.

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