Saturday, November 24, 2012

A New Addition to Our Saturday Turkish Breakfast

I love weekend breakfasts.  Eggs, paninis, salads and sauces - they are all so delicious and the combination often keeps me full until dinner.  Last week I learned to make a Turkish potato dish at the Turkish Cooking Class to add to the spread - Potato Cake or Patatesli Kek (although I should note that H. does not agree that it should be called "Kek" because it is salty and not sweet, he thinks it should be called Patatesli Börek.  Maybe he is right and Patatesli Kek is the Turklish name - with the cake part being influenced by our English/American confused idea of what cake is.  Anyways, I say…let us eat kek.)

Right out of the oven!
Potato Cake consists of root vegetables like potato, onion and carrot encased in a salty batter.  It bakes for about 45 minutes and the result is a crispy, salty delicious dish that is reminiscent of a potato casserole but without the cheese.

First thing first, get together your ingredients:

1 cup yogurt (we used homemade - recipe to come soon)
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1.5 - 2 cups flour
Heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 onion 
2-3 carrots
2-3 potatoes

Mix the yogurt, eggs and oil with a spoon or whisk.  Next add the flour little by little while stirring continuously.  Then, this is where baking instinct comes into play, add flour until the batter is sticky but still falls from the spoon.  Add the baking powder and stir.

This is the batter before adding the baking powder (just to clarify - batter in the bowl and baking powder on the spoon).

Next, chop all the vegetables into little pieces….bu gibi (like this).  In fact, we decided after a couple bites that they could have been chopped smaller and perhaps the result would have been even better.

Mix the vegetables into the batter and stir to cover all the pieces.  Add a little bit of salt, and pepper if you like, and mix it up.

Next, add the entire mixture to an oiled pan.  I chose to make it in a circular pan so that it would resemble a cake and thus I would come one step closer to proving to H. that it is indeed patatesli kek, but a square pan would do as well (and with retrospect, the square pan might have helped the mixture to cook faster and more evenly - our circular pan was a little too narrow and deep).

Bake for about 45 minutes at 350F or until brown on top.  I added some sesame seeds to the top after it had baked half way to add a little to the presentation. 

Thoughts after eating: I like this recipe - I think it could be modified in many different ways depending on what vegetables are on hand.  Also, this makes a nice lower-fat version of potato casserole as compared to the crazy high-fat versions with lots of cheese, butter, and sour cream that are common American fare.  That being said - I do love cheesy casserole!


  1. H is right. The majority of Turkish people call it Patatesli Börek. If you go to a home or restaurant this is what you will ask for.
    I admire you for your effort in learning to cook Turkish food.
    I have been married to a Kashmiri for 45 years and i am known as an excellent cook in Kashmiri cuisine. I started learning at 19 and have never stopoped since :-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by - I will be sure to tell H the good news that he was right. ;-) I guess something was lost in translation with the cake part... I love making Turkish food, most of the recipes use simple ingredients, but the result is amazing (and healthy!) Kashmiri food sounds delicious as well - I'll check out some of your recipes on your blog. H. and I made a pact that he would learn to make some East Asian cuisine and I would try to learn as much as possible of cuisine from the Indian subcontinent - but the diversity is immense!! Do you have any favorites you can recommend for beginners?


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