Last winter, I travelled to Europe to visit both of my sons.
As this is my first time on the continent, they brought me for sightseeing across the states.
One afternoon, after a long walk on the street of Salzburg, Austria, we decided to rest and performed Zuhur prayer at a Turkish mosque.
Visit a Turkish canteen
The mosque compound bustling with people going in and out.
To my surprise, they also conduct a business activity.
According to my son, they build a canteen as a way to generate income in order to finance the operational fees of the mosque, which is not there in my country.
Thus, I decided to support the community and have lunch in the canteen with my family members.
The layout of the canteen is similar to a cafe in Malaysia. Meal for lunch was displayed in a glass cabinet with a simple menu.
Menu in the canteen
The meals for that day were beef soup, bread and rice.
As I enter the canteen, the aroma of the food fills the entire room.
We ordered the soup with slices of bread and rice with fried beef to supplement our lunch.
I watched closely how the chef slices the bread in an uneven manner. He is generous by giving many pieces of bread.
The bread slices were then placed on a handmade willow basket and served to us.
As for the soup, I never tasted a Turkish soup before. The waiter who attends us mentioned the name, Turkish Beyran soup.
It was a beautiful red coloured soup seasoned with paprika. The soup has a thick consistency, containing beef, celery and lentils.
The taste is unique with a little spicy and sour taste of tomato.
I can feel my body warmth as the soup feeding my empty stomach.
We completed our meal with Turkish hot tea.
The price of the whole meal and tea for four people are €24.
The Turkish çorba
The word çorba means soup in Turkey.
The soup in Turkish culture is an appetizer to the main course.
During the Ottoman time, the soups were prepared by people of lower income to have a nutritious and tasty meal every evening with occasionally in the morning.
Therefore, a variety of soups with different ingredients and presentations are being made.
There are hot soups that are prepared only during the winter season such as Tarhana soup.
The Tarhana soup is made by adding vegetables, herbs, and spices to yoghurt.
While Cold Aryanasi Soup is a Turkish soup made from bulgur and chickpeas. This soup is suitable for the summer season.
Tripe soup which contains garlic and lemon as the main ingredients is prepared only during Eid Al-Adha.
The Beyran Soup
The Beyran çorbası is one of the Turkish soup originated from Gaziantep, Turkey.
It is a breakfast meal in the winter season.
The original main ingredient of the soup is lamb, cooked for long hours until it becomes soft and tender.
The soup is usually served with bread and sweet garlic pickles.
As for seasoning, they used cumin seed.
My version of Beyran soup
In Malaysia, I tried to remake it.
The recipe that I made, modified according to the availability of ingredients and memory of the taste, colour as well as texture of the soup.
I later did research about the recipe of the soup, gathered and adjusted them according to my version.
For the broth, instead of using lamb, I used beef. To cook beef, I usually add sliced ginger to enhance the taste.
In one of the recipes that I found, they use pepper paste for the soup thus give the soup red colours.
However, in my recipe, I used dried chillies as it has similar taste.
The soup that I made, we eat with rice for lunch.
What I learned
I add a collection of recipes through travelling to local restaurants as well seeing the colour, appreciating the taste and texture of the food.
As a usual practice, I use cornflour as an ingredient to thicken the soup for Steam Fish or soup for sizzling noodles.
But, with this recipe, I use lentils as thickening ingredients for the soup.
Lentils cooked in dhal is known as dhal nuts or kacang dal.
Over my observation, there is a lot of method to cook soup and thickening the gravy that we can adapt to our style of cooking and thus create different recipe.