Bezirgani is one of the lesser known but very delicious appetizers of Antakya cuisine. After the dried peppers and dried tomatoes are softened, it is easily prepared by mixing with ingredients such as pepper paste, onion, garlic, walnuts that go well together and complement each other.
Although its taste is somewhat reminiscent of acuka recipe, the sourness of the pomegranate syrup and and basil flavor create a very unique flavor. If you have the opportunity to use basil fresh, the aroma it gives will be more intense and pleasant. But you may not always have fresh basil at home. In this case, you can also use a teaspoon of dried basil instead.
You can use Bezirgani as an appetizer or you can use it as an auxiliary sauce alongside meat dishes such as marinated chicken breast skewers or lamb recipes. Of course, you can just toast a slice of bread and spread it on it without going through all that trouble. If you crumble a little white cheese on it, it will be a good lunch. Let's not skip saying something as cheese is mentioned. Bezirgani is a delicious appetizer as well as a wonderful (Turkish) breakfast. You can have a simple but enjoyable breakfast with the trio of Bezirgani, cheese and tea.
After preparing the bezirgani, you can store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight jar. This means that it is possible to prepare it a day in advance for your guest tables. There will be no change in taste. However, it is not very suitable for freezing, as some of the ingredients will change form and taste when stored frozen.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 10 sun dried bell peppers,
- 10 slices of sun dried tomatoes,
- 1/2 onion,
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 cup of ground walnuts,
- 1 tablespoon of chili paste,
- 4 tablespoons of pomegranate syrup,
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil,
- A handful of chopped parsley,
- A handful of fresh basil, chopped,
- Cumin with the tip of a teaspoon.
- Take the peppers in a sauce pan, add enough water to cover them and simmer on medium heat until they soften and remove from heat,
- Add the dried tomatoes and wait until the tomatoes soften,
- Strain the water, chop the peppers and tomatoes into small pieces, and take them in a deep bowl,
- Chop the onion and garlic as small as possible and add into the bowl,
- Add walnuts, tomato paste, pomegranate syrup, olive oil, parsley, basil, cumin and salt, mix and mash with a spoon and transfer to the serving plate.