Turkish Keskek Blend

Traditionally cooked in huge cauldrons for weddings and other large celebrations in some of the colder regions of Turkey, keskek is a simple stew of lamb, chickpeas and wheat, slow cooked until the wheat breaks down and the lamb is tender. It’s the perfect meal to warm you up in winter, and works equally well when the lamb is substituted for root vegetables to make a wholesome vegetarian version of the dish.


  • 500g diced lamb or diced root veg for a veg version
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 10g bunch of parsley (optional) - roughly chopped
  • Natural yogurt to serve (full fat is best)
  • 30g butter or 30ml olive oil
  • 120g coarse bulgur wheat 
  • 400g tin of chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • TURKISH KESKEK BLEND (1 portion / 2 tbsp) please note if you're making a bigger batch, you'll need to scale up the fresh ingredients in proportion but the spices only by 2/3 or it will be too spicy!
  • Fry the onion in the butter and 1 tbsp oil for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and beginning to brown
  • Stir in the lamb and cook for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges
  • Add the bulgur wheat, TURKISH KESKEK BLEND, 800ml water and 1 tsp salt then cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking and adding a splash of water if necessary)
  • 5 minutes before the stew is ready stir in the chickpeas to warm through
  • Stir the juice of ½ of the lemon into the keskek then serve topped with the parsley and yogurt, with the remaining ½ lemon cut into wedges on the side

TURKISH KESKEK BLEND: Saffron, chilli, red bell pepper, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, turmeric, sumac, mint, parsley, coriander 

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