NOTE: Do not forget to turn on the volume to hear the music of a Turkish band, Bandista.
This is another popular wedding dish in Turkey, but this time its region is different. It is called yüksük çorbası (thimble for yüksük, soup for çorba) as its shape is like a small thimble. This is a traditional wedding dish of Southern region of Turkey, especially of Çukurova area. It is mostly made in villages there. Everyone knows that yüksük çorbası will be served whenever there is a wedding in these villages as it is the main dish of the ceremony. Weddings are generally held in large squares of the village where all guests gather. And during the wedding, this traditional soup keeps boiling in big cauldrons on wood fire. Making this soup is not easy, so not only the families of bride and groom, but also their neighbors gather before the wedding day and make it altogether. As you can see in the video, the step which requires the most time is the filling the squares step. That’s why this step is done by all the women there while the final cooking/boiling step is done by one or two talented old ladies.
As it’s a wedding ceremony, the number of guests is more than two hundred. Both people of that village and the people living in villages nearby are invited to this ceremony, and this number increases. The number of guests increases a lot more if the host of the ceremony is well known around the area. The higher the number of people joining the ceremony, the more reputable the host is.
Yuksuk corbasi is served to these guests on a tray by young men of the village. A handkerchief is tied on their arms to show that these young people are voluntary waiters of the ceremony. If people have something to ask for something, they call one of these voluntary young people.
Meanwhile, there are two men playing drum and horn (image source is here) and if people want, they dance. Generally the first people who start the dance are the groom and his friends. While they are dancing, generally the groom’s family members throw banknotes towards the dancing people. This is like a show of reputation and power. A little boy who is appointed by the drummer picks these banknotes and gives them to the drummer. They share the money at the end of the ceremony.
After having a bowl of yuksuk corbasi, the guests congratulate bride and groom or their parents and leave.
Besides its fame on wedding ceremonies, this dish is also made in cities in daily life as the city people have no chance of joining wedding ceremonies at villages. It is very similar to manti (another traditional Turkish dish which is famous in Central Anatolia), but their cooking styles are different.
- 4 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups water, increase if needed
- 2 tsp salt
Knead the dough well by mixing all the necessary ingredients. While kneading,, wet your hands occasionally and you can add more water if it doesn’t reach the right consistency. Knead it until it doesn’t stick to your hands. Divide this dough into big equal pieces. The dough we knead makes 4 equal balls and a small ball. Sprinkle some flour on them and cover them.
Its filling mixture
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 1lb ground beef
- Half bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 dessert spoon salt
- 1 dessert spoon paprika powder
- 1 dessert spoon ground blak pepper
- 1 dessert spoon pepper paste
Mix all these ingredients for the filling mixture.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter. the one you take on it and sprinkle flour on it, too. Then press on this dough and flatten it. Then roll it out in a circular way. (See the video above). While rolling, sprinkle little flour on it occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. When it gets as thin as we want, sprinkle flour on it and fold it as you see n the video. And cut this first into stripes, then into squares. Take one square, put little filling mixture into it and combine its four corners to give it a thimble shape. If you like, you can combine its two corners to give it a triangular shape. Put the ones you finish on a large tray, do not overfill the tray, otherwise they all stick to each other.
Its final cooking
- 2 cups meat broth
- 2 cups chickpeas, boiled
- 1 lemon
Put water (about 4 cups) in a pot. Add meat broth and chickpeas, bring it to boil. when it boils pour lemon juice and add salt. Then put the dumplings in the boling water little by little. After about 10 minutes, they’ll start to float, which means it’s done. Take it from heat and pour 1 cup of cold water into the pot. This will help the dumplings not to stick to each other.
We generally put about 3 cups of dumplings to make this dish and we leave the rest to put into freezer to cook later. If you want to do the same, just cook the rest of the dumplings in oven until they are light brown. Let them cool and then put them in freezer in freezer bags.
Now we can prepare its sauce.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 dessert spoon pepper paste
- 1 dessert spoon dried mint
- Paprika powder and ground black pepper for your taste
- 2 tomatoes, grated
Note: If you don’t have pepper paste for the sauce, you can substitute it with red pepper flakes or paprika powder.
Heat the oil, put the pepper paste in it and mix. Add grated tomato and spices. It’s ready after 3 minutes. Pour the sauce into the soup and stir. It is ready to serve.
You can also prepare a bowl of yogurt sauce to serve with it.
- 1 cup yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
Mix these together until smooth and serve in a seperate bowl. If you want, you can also drizzle some yogurt sauce on this soup and enjoy it more. Personally, I love both versions, so I have half of my soup plain and then I put some yogurt sauce on it and double my joy for the other half. I don’t exclude none of the versions in this way.