Monday, June 9, 2014

Do you remember when I first discovered this strange yellow fruit in Istanbul?

If not, please check back to this old post: Bu Ne? Loquat Var. Back then, I had no idea what to do with these delicious, tangy, but sweet fruits.

During our last trip to Istanbul earlier this spring, I “smuggled” a package of fresh loquat from the bakkal back to Poland. (Oh, to the lengths I will go to have Turkish food back at home!) We had just eaten at Çiya Restaurant where loquat kebabs were featured on the menu, and I wanted to make them at home. In spring, loquat kebabs also are popular in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep as written about on Istanbul Food.
Turns out, loquat kebabs are fairly easy to make at home. Like most Turkish cooking though, there’s a lot of prep work involved. The loquats need to be halved and stuffed with a minced-meat mixture similar to making köfte. I decided to use this köfte recipe by Ozlem’s Turkish Table, but only used ground beef since lamb is very difficult (and expensive) to find in Warsaw.

To prepare, slice each loquat in half, remove the seeds, place on a skewer and stuff with a meatball in the middle, alternating with slices of red pepper. I placed three loquats and three meatballs on each skewer. Then I drizzled each skewer with a bit of Turkish olive oil and nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses).
Since we don’t have an outdoor grill, I placed my loquat kebabs on a baking tray in the oven and baked at 200 C for about 20 minutes.
The loquats caramelize nicely in the oven are absolutely delicious with the kebabs. 
To round out our Turkish meal at home, I made my fresh Tabbouleh salad recipe as well as bulgur with a dab of tomato paste and my Herbed Yogurt Dip, which we generously topped our kebabs with. Luckily, I can stop at a local Lebanese shop to find some decent flat bread (lavaş). Hopefully, you’ll have the same success wherever you live and can make your own Turkish loquat kebabs at home too. 

Afiyet olsun!
A complete spread of Turkish food, including the loquat kebabs, at home in Warsaw.
Tabbouleh Salad is so fresh and one of my favorites!

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Julia said...

We call the loquats 'yeni dünya' in Fethiye. Not sure if that's countrywide as Fethiye seems to adopt its own name for lots of fruit and veg. ;) They've just gone out of season here but this recipe looks fab. Might try it with some different fruits. :)

Joy said...

@Julia, evet, I've seen them labeled as yeni dünyası too! And I bet plums or apricots would be just as tasty as kebabs!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Such a delicious spread Joy, eline saglik:) Well done keeping Turkish cooking in Poland! cok sevgiler, Ozlem xx

BacktoBodrum said...

We've moved on to the same recipe, but with apricots, now that loquats are out of season.

Joy said...

Çok teşekkürler! And thanks to you for sharing your yummy Turkish recipes!

Joy said...

@Annie, I'll have to try with acricots just as soon as they arrive here in Poland! Still berry and cherry season right now. ;-)