Kapuska

Submitted by:
Olivia Landry, Berlin, Canada
Film and Culture

Image Source: Author

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground lamb
1 medium cabbage, coarsely chopped
3 medium onions, diced
1 garlic head, chopped
3 tablespoon butter (or you can also use olive oil)
1 tablespoon pepper paste (tomato paste works, too)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 cups of water
Generous amount of salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a pot on medium heat and then add ground lamb.

2. Once the meat loses its moisture, stir in onions and garlic, and cook until soft, but not browned (ca. 7-10 minuntes)

3. Add pepper paste, cumin, red pepper flakes, and paprika (the spicier the better). Stir for a couple of minutes.

4. Add salt and pepper (we use quite a bit salt, but that's up to you). Cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 50 minutes to an hour until the meat is tender.

6. Meanwhile chop the cabbage coarsely, wash, and rinse.

7. When meat is cooked, stir in cabbage. Add 1/2 cup of hot water or more if necessary. It shouldn't be a watery dish but not too dry either. Let simmer for half an hour.

8. Add more salt and pepper as needed.

9. The dish can be eaten on its own or accompanied with rice or bread. We also added some sour yogurt on the side.

Background

This is a traditional Turkish dish, although the name "kapuska" is actually derived from Russian, meaning cabbage. My partner is from Turkey and we like to cook Turkish meals together. The problem is that in the US (where we live) it is often difficult to find many ingredients. Some years ago, we learnt about a food blogspot called "Almost Turkish." Here you can find all kinds of fantastic traditional Turkish recipes adjusted for the North American context. We were elated to find this! (I highly recommend checking out!) I am sharing the recipe for Kapuska, which we found on the blog but adjusted slightly to our taste. This was the last Turkish dish my partner and I prepared together before I left for Berlin. We were so excited about how well it turned out that we even took a picture.

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