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Turkish Spicy Spread or İzot (Biber Reçeli)

Turkish Spicy Spread or İzot (Biber Reçeli) There is something about chilli peppers; once you start, you can’t stop. I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept but you may not be familiar with this; there is also something about Southeast Turkish cuisine; again, once you start, you can’t stop.

This is exactly what happened to us at lunch time. Although, we had other plans for lunch, I decided to try and make this mezze recipe I have recently discovered. So I made it. It turned out to be deliciously addictive; at some stage, we ran out of bread and moved on to crackers. Thank God, the recipe doesn’t yield a large amount otherwise we would be fat –I mean fatter –and the whole neighbourhood would be stinky-smelly because of all that garlic. Felt sorry for our friends who would be meeting us for dinner that night as we had the potential to stink up the whole restaurant.

If you’d like join us in this smelly business, here’s the recipe:

½ cup walnut kernels
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp hot chilli paste
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste (plain)
1 tsp dried spearmint
1 tsp Turkish kofta spice mixture (köfte baharı)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt

• Place the walnuts and garlic in a mortar and pound until it forms a slightly rough paste.
• Mix together the hot chilli paste, tomato paste, mint, cinnamon, kofta spice mixture and salt in a bowl. Add the garlicky walnuts and stir well.
• Spread on crackers or bread and serve.

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