Liver and Onions, Turkish Style

June 4, 2014

Turkish Style Liver and Onions

This is a nifty wee dish to bash out on the  BBQ. What? No it’s not raining, you’re imagining things. Okay it is, but this is Britain; stick a brolly over it. The flavours here aren’t for the faint-hearted anyway; there’s liver, which some people are against, and a large amount of onions. Oh and an extremely spicy dressing. I have warned you about the last bit.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I recently went to Istanbul. The Turkish absolutely love their liver, and I’ve been hankering after some of those deftly cooked cubes, hot off the grill, charred without and softly offaly within. This is similar to many preparations we ate in that glorious city and it’s very easy to make as the liver is grilled simply and the spices dusted on afterwards. The onions are dressed in fierce Turkish chilli paste and pomegranate molasses, the latter giving a sort of curious perfumed back note against the HARDCORE FIRE of the biber. Addictive stuff.

Liver and Onions, Turkish Style

For the onions

2 onions, cut into half moons
2 tablespoons Turkish chilli paste
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon black urfa Turkish chilli flakes
2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Soak your onions in iced water for 30 minutes. Mix together the dressing ingredients. Dry the onions on kitchen paper and mix with the dressing. Leave for 1 hour before serving. They’re even better the next day.

For the liver

Lamb’s liver (this works with any amount as you’re just dusting it with spices)
Ground chilli
Ground coriander
Flaky salt

Give the liver a rub with a little oil and whack it on a BBQ for a couple of minutes each side, or until charred on the outside and still a little pink within. Once cooked, transfer to a warm plate and dust lightly with ground coriander, chilli and plenty of flaky salt. Serve immediately with the onions.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Sage June 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I dig this recipe so much. You had me at Turkish and liver and the lovely pic of the onions. They just look exactly like they probably are: Zippy, fiery, oniony .
    Get so tired of winey, cognac-y, soggy onion-y liver preps. Will be trying within 72 hours. Will report back

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen June 4, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Fabulous! Do let me know. Damn, those onions are hot.

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    Reply steves June 5, 2014 at 1:41 am

    This looks superb. I do like some charred, rare liver. And of course chilli. There’s at least five chilli-based condiments in the fridge right now, and lots more of the dried variety.

    None of them are Turkish however, and I never even knew pomegranate molasses was a thing. Although now I do, and it must be tried!

    Where do I get this stuff?

    If the answer is somewhere in Peckham/Camberwell, that’s fine – I live way over the other side of south London, but can make a detour if there’s new & interesting chilli things to be had;)

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen June 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Pomegranate molasses you have to try – it’s widely available and even in larger supermarket branches. Whereabouts are you? It might be easier to get these things closer to home. The Turkish chilli flakes you can buy in Khan’s in Peckham but the paste I’m not sure. You could buy online? Persepolis in Peckham probably have it actually.

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    Reply zuko June 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    @Steves – TFX in Wallington does pomegranate molasses if that’s more your neck of the woods

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    Reply Eliza Bennet June 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

    These look yummy. Never tried grilling liver and I think I’ll give it a go.

    Here is how we do it here, the liver is sliced in thin leaves (or similar) then coated in flour and deep fried. Served with onions dressed only with Sumak and salt & pepper. Sumak is the staple spice of liver dishes. But not with other offal (kidneys, brains, heart etc.) only liver.

    I hope you also got to try kokorech (lamb’s intestines). As far as these parts of meat goes, this is my favorite by far.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen June 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      No lamb’s intestines! Will have to look out for those next time.

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    Reply William June 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Onions look oniony.

  • Avatar
    Reply William June 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm


    • Avatar
      Reply Helen June 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm



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    Reply benny June 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Wow liver and onions with attitude. Love liver, love onions, love Turkish cuisine. This is one for the black book!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen June 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Ticking those boxes!

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