Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cooking shows

In my quest to expand my Turkish vocabulary this year, I've started to watch a couple cooking shows on Kanal D, in addition to all the other programming I'm soaking up. One of these is Mutfağim (My kitchen). It's squarely aimed at women, at least that's all I've seen on the show so far, but who cares? I'm learning a lot from it!

I love Turkish food, so any cooking show about Turkish food has my interest. And I also like to cook, even if I'm not the best cook in the world.

I've already learned a few general food items, such as meyve (fruit), sebze (vegetable), ekmek (bread), peynir (cheese), piliç (chicken), etc. But actually cooking a dish takes some other vocabulary that I didn't have. This is where the cooking shows come in. I learned this helpful trick from an Italian teacher I had years ago. She would actually bring in a hotplate to the class and we'd learn how to cook a simple dish, then enjoy the results after class.

So in these shows, I learn all sorts of useful words like karıştırmak (to mix or blend), eklemek (to add in) and beklemek (to let sit). I also learn basic kitchen terms for measurements, such as bardak (a cup), kaşık (a spoonful) and demet (as in demet maydanoz- a bunch/bundle of parley).

Another little trick I learned a while back was to prepare my shopping lists in the target language with no English translation. If, while at the store, I couldn't remember what the word meant, I did without.

You can bet that it only took one trip to the store and forgetting to thoroughly learn words like un (flour), yumurta (egg), sarımsak (garlic) and maya (yeast).

It may not seem like a lot of new words, but each one of those words is useful, and something I can use daily - well, except for maybe yeast.

So, lahmacun, here I come! Once I've successfully made it, I'll post the yapılışı (the directions or preparation) for the lahmacun tarifi (lahmacun recipe).


  1. If you have an iPhone or iPad, there are a few Turkish cooking apps where you can pick the recipe and it will prepare a grocery list for you in Turkish. Trying to turn my wife onto this idea...

  2. Language cooking is a lof of fun, on HTLAL I have my cooking log dealing with this topic. I have never used recipes written in Turkish for my cooking on only a Turkish food recipe written in Germany. And I have never had the chance to watch a Turkish cooking show. Here on German TV you can watch lots of cooking shows with men and women equally represented in the them. When you watch these you will get the idea that cooking is useful for for everybody. Unfortunatley, German cooking shows are not about vegetarian food. On You Tube I am subcribed to one cooking channel in Spanish and one in French. I haven't found a suitable high quality cooking channel in Italian yet. I also like to eat Turkish food but I don't have much cooking experience with it so far. Now I know the names of all relevant vegetables in Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch and English. And I bought a Danish cooking book last year! Fasulye