A while ago, I posted the recipe for Ohrid Čomlek. I loved the dish and asked Turkish readers of this blog if they would send me the original recipe, as the one I made is only Macedonian adaptation of the Turkish one. And I got it A foodie friend, Ebba from Kirimizi Muftak send me her recipe as well as a special cookware – çömlek. Can’t make proper Çömlek Kebab without çömlek Oh, how happy I was!
Originally, Çömlek Kebab is not cooked in the houses. It is cooked at the special bakeries that have very big (like a small room) stone ovens. These stone ovens are heated with wood. Çömlek is put in that oven at a place that is far from the flame. Because it should be cooked very slowly. So, people prepare the çömlek kebab in the house and then take it to the ovens. These ovens are called ”bazaar bakeries” in Turkey. But, these are very rare nowadays…
About the cookware itself… There are lots of çömleks. But lots of them are not healthy. The properly made one should have some sort of glaze inside. The one that I got came from Cappadocia region, famous for it’s pottery masters. There is only one problem with çömlek – you cook with it, then you break it and throw it into the trash! Sooo, lot’s of çömleks if you plan to cook it regularly ;)
The night before… Cut 1 kg lamb in small chunks and oil the lamb with a small amount of vegetable oil. Put in into the refrigerator. (We dont use too much oil because the lamb is already a fatty meat.)
The next day… There is a glazed portion in çömlek. Oil this portion with a small amount of vegetable oil. Peel 250 g shallots and blend with the lamb. Shallots can’t be found in Serbia, so I used onions.
Add some dry thyme, salt and black pepper (but not so much).
Start to put this blend into çömlek. You should press lamb to the bottom of çömlek slightly! Put çömlek aside.
Prepare dough with some flour and water in a bowl. Knead it for a few minutes until the dough is as soft as an earlobe. This is the expression Turkish people use for the dough
Put the dough on lamb. You should leave some space like 2 cm lenght at the top of the çömlek because the dough will rise. Poke some holes in the dough with a toothpick so the stem can get out.
Brush with a small amount of vegetable oil.
Now the package time! Cover the top and the bottom of çömlek with aluminum foil. You can cover the handles if you wish too.
Preheat the oven to 225 – 250°C (440 – 480°F) with the oven rack on the lower shelf. Place the çömlek into the oven. Cook for 2 – 2,5 hours (the time is for the 1 kg lamb).
At the end of the baking time remove çömlek out of oven. Be very careful as it will be very hot. Wait for a few minutes to cool. And then remove the dough. Be very careful for stem!
Now, break çömlek. And it’s ready to serve. It should be brought to the table and served with a spoon, so that the guests can see the special dish. Usually, it is served with Pide bread and Turkish Shepherd Salad.
Turkish Ramadan Pide
For the dough:
7 gr instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
350 ml warm milk
450 g flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
For the glaze:
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp milk
Mix yeast, sugar and 50 ml warm milk in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl sift flour and salt and add yeast mixture and the remaining 300 ml warm milk. Knead into a smooth dough. Spread 1 tsp of olive oil inside another bowl. Place the dough in it and spread another teaspoon of olive oil with your hands all over the dough. Cover with a damp towel and let proof for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours at room temperature until it doubles in size.
Place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Press all over it with your hands to get rid of air bubbles. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Knead and give a ball shape to each, cover with a damp towel and let rise for about 15 minutes. Line large oven pan with a baking paper and place dough balls on it. Flatten each using your hands.
Lightly beat the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Brush some over the breads. Sprinkle sesame seeds all over and cover with a damp towel. Leave for another 35-40 minutes to rise at a warm place.
Preheat oven to 230°C (450°F) and put some water in an oven-safe bowl. Place it onto the bottom of the oven. Place pan on the middle rack. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes until the color becomes light golden. Serve warm.
Turkish Shepherd Salad (Coban Salatasi)
This salad is a mix of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and cubanelle peppers. Is is seasoned with olive oil, fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper and topped with crumbled feta cheese.
Once again, many thanks to Ebba for the recipe and çömlek! ♥
Note: I am sending the Pide recipe to Susan for this week’s YeastSpotting.