Chef's Choice

Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine – Carrots and Lentils (Zeytinyagli Havuç)

Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine

Carrots and Lentils (Zeytinyagli Havuç)

turkish-flagTurkish cuisine is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, köftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (Türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as Baklava, Söbiyet, Kadayıf, and Künefe.


  • 130 g green lentils
  • carrots500 g medium sized carrots, lengthwise halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 30 ml tomato paste
  • 1 fresh red chili, finely chopped
  • 500 ml water
  • Turkish Süzme yogurt


Heat 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan (or wok) over medium heat. Add the onion slices and fry them until slightly browned. Mix in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the carrots, tomato paste and chili. Heat the whole lot through, continously stirring. Remove sauce pan/wok from the heat and set aside.

turkish-recipes-carrots-and-lentilsCombine water and lentils in another cooking pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer the lentils for about 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase heat. Stir in the carrot mixture and cook until liquid has almost evaporated, stirring from time to time that nothing gets scorched.

Season the dish with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, cover with kitchen towel and let it cool down to lukewarm.

Serve carrots and lentils in soup plates or bowls with a spoonful of Süzme yogurt on top.