I have a Turkish colleague and a few weeks ago, she was relishing some cornbread that her mother had made for her and couldn’t stop raving about it. As is my reaction in these situations, I set out to make some for myself.
Upon surveying the internet for some recipes, I came across one at Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook which looked simple enough and so I decided to give it a go. Of course, I added a few of my own touches like fresh chives and chilli flakes to flavour the bread and really loved the end result. It was soft yet had a crunch to it, and tasted good warm and cold. Slather some butter on it or eat it with a dip or chutney. It’s absolutely delicious and what’s even better is that it is a one-pot dish and preparation time is less than 15 minutes !
I did go back to my Turkish friend and give her some of my cornbread to try. She liked the taste of it but said it was quite different to her mum’s. She said her mum’s version was made of only cornmeal, corn oil and salt as corn grew abundantly in the region of Turkey where she came from. However, she did also say that in regions where wheat was available, people did add standard flour to the cornbread and so my recipe was also genuinely Turkish. Woo hoo!
1 cup of corn meal (also called coarse polenta)
1 cup of standard flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar (I used coffee sugar)
1 tsp of chilli flakes
3 tbps of chopped chives
Grated rind of 1 lemon (I used lime)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
Recipe in pictures:
1. Preheat your oven to 200ºC (I have an electric oven).
2. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Make a well or empty space in the middle of the large bowl by pushing the dry ingredient mixture against the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the well in the middle of dry ingredients.
5. Using a fork or a wooden spoon, whisk the wet ingredients in the centre to make a uniform, slightly yellow liquid. Then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet liquid from the centre outwards. The end result should be a yellow thick liquid about the consistency of custard or slightly thinner than that.
6. Pour the batter into a well-oiled loaf tin and bake for upto 45 mins or until a skewer, when pierced through the middle of the loaf, comes out clean. It took 30 minutes in my oven so it is worth checking on the bread every 10 minutes.
8. I tried mine with butter, with slices of juicy, sweet tomato, with some potato curry and tomato slices. Absolutely divine! What will you have yours with ?
1. In a version I made this morning, I added 1.5 cups of corn meal and 1/2 cup of flour. Still turned out very nicely.
2. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, then use gluten-free standard flour and baking powder. Alternatively, you could use 100% cornmeal and gluten-free baking powder.