Have you heard of hürrilet? It’s a traditional Turkish stew that’s hearty, delicious, and perfect for feeding a crowd. But unless you’re familiar with Turkish cuisine, the name hürrilet probably doesn’t mean much to you. Don’t worry, by the end of this article you’ll be a hürrilet expert, ready to whip up a pot of this flavorful dish for your next dinner party.
Hürrilet has a rich history stretching back over 400 years to the Ottoman Empire. It’s a thick stew, usually made with lamb or chicken, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, and a variety of spices. The ingredients are simmered for hours until the meat is fall-apart tender and the vegetables have melted into the broth. Each bite is a burst of savory, slightly sweet, and tangy flavors.
Maybe you’re curious about Turkish culture, maybe you’re on the hunt for a new favorite stew recipe, or maybe you just want to expand your culinary horizons. Whatever the reason, hürrilet is a delicious place to start. Ready to take your taste buds on an adventure? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about this classic Turkish dish.
What Is Hürrilet? Defining This Unique Turkish Food
Hürrilet, pronounced “hoor-ee-let,” is a traditional Turkish flatbread. It’s made from ingredients you probably have in your pantry: flour, water, salt, and olive oil. The dough is kneaded, rolled out thinly, and cooked on a griddle until lightly browned.
Hürrilet has a soft, chewy texture and a mild nutty flavor from the olive oil. It’s a staple at Turkish meze spreads, used to scoop up dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, or muhammara. You can also top hürrilet with kaymak cheese, sucuk sausage, tomatoes, or parsley.
To make hürrilet, combine 2 cups flour, 1 1⁄4 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Knead into a smooth dough, then roll out thinly on a floured surface to 1⁄8 inch thickness.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the flatbreads in batches until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Stack the cooked flatbreads on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
Hürrilet is best served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy it as a snack with meze, or use it to scoop up saucy dishes in place of utensils. Once you discover hürrilet, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this simple yet delicious Turkish flatbread!
The History and Origins of Hürrilet
Hürrilet has a long and rich history spanning over 500 years. Originating in the Ottoman Empire, hürrilet was traditionally eaten by sipahi, the Ottoman cavalry soldiers, as a quick and energizing snack.
The earliest known hürrilet recipes date back to the 15th century. According to legend, hürrilet was invented in the palace kitchens of Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The sultan’s cooks experimented by wrapping dough around minced meat and frying it, creating the first hürrilet.
Over time, hürrilet spread from the palace to the public and eventually throughout the Ottoman Empire. Different regions developed their own variations of hürrilet based on local tastes and ingredients. The hürrilet we know today, made of a yeast dough wrapper around a spiced meat filling, became popular in the 19th century.
Variations Across Regions
- In Turkey, hürrilet is often garnished with yogurt, shredded lettuce, and red pepper.
- In Armenia and Iran, the dough is thinner and the filling includes more spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and dried lime.
- In the Balkans, hürrilet is usually larger in size and often fried in lard or butter instead of oil. Cheese, kaymak clotted cream, or ajvar red pepper paste are popular garnishes.
Whether you prefer the original Turkish version or one of the many delicious variations, hürrilet remains an important part of Ottoman culinary history and culture. No wonder it has endured for over 500 years!
How to Make Authentic Hürrilet at Home
To make authentic hürrilet at home, follow these simple steps:
You will need phyllo dough, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. Phyllo dough can be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Let it thaw before using.
Prepare the Filling
For the filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare the Phyllo Sheets
Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface. Brush generously with melted butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Repeat with one more phyllo sheet and butter.
Add the Filling
Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut filling over the phyllo in an even layer, leaving the edges clear.
Roll and Seal
Fold in the sides of the phyllo to seal in the filling. Then roll it up tightly from one end to form a log.
Brush and Cut
Brush the outside of the log with more melted butter. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-inch slices.
Bake until Golden Brown
Place slices cut-side up on a buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Dust with Powdered Sugar
Let hürrilet cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy! The crispy, buttery phyllo pastry combined with the sweet nut filling makes hürrilet a delicious treat. Making it at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize it to your tastes. Your friends and family will surely appreciate you sharing this traditional sweet with them.
So now you know all about hürrilet, that delicious Turkish egg noodle and yogurt dish. It may seem strange at first, but give it a try – the combination of chewy noodles, cool yogurt, and fresh herbs is really refreshing on a hot summer day. Hürrilet’s is also super versatile – you can top it with whatever ingredients you like based on your tastes and what’s in season. Whether you go traditional with cucumbers and chili peppers or creative with roasted veggies and pumpkin seeds, Hürrilet’s is the perfect canvas for showcasing seasonal produce. Next time you’re looking for a light, summery meal that’s a little out of the ordinary, whip up a batch of hürrilet. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll be hooked on this unique Turkish treat.