I remember that delicious dish / appetizer I ate on the island from a long time ago when they used to sell them on the streets of Pangaltı. I don’t know if I can find any if I visited there today. I used to love it and when I saw it at the restaurant there on the island, I immediately told Deniz to taste it.
Even though people from Istanbul don’t know it that well, “Topik” is one of the most important dishes of the Armenian kitchen. Through a seven weeks period which is called “lent”, no meat and milk products are consumed and only olive oil meals are served. Topik is one of those fasting meals, which is I think a great choice for vegetarians, too. I learned the recipe of this appetizer personally from the mother of a friend who is from Büyükada. Topik, which is one of the best examples of Istanbul’s multicultural kitchen, is quite difficult to prepare, but definitely worth it…
2,5 kg onion
500 gr sesame oil
50 gr each of peanuts and grapes fit for stuffing
½ kg chickpeas
3- 4 potatoes
Salt – Pepper
2 table spoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of pimento
Cut the onions in circles and boil.
The boiled onions should be enough cooked so that they fall apart. Then put them on a mesh strainer and let them dry till the morning. Add the sesame oil, spices, peanuts and the grapes which have been cleaned and soaked in water and prepare the filling. Soak the chickpeas one night before and boil them in the morning. After pealing its skin and straining it, mash them. Mash the boiled potatoes. Mix the chickpeas and potatoes and add some salt and pepper. Layout the mix in a rectangular form between two layers of nylon and stuff it with the filling. Close it like a package from four corners. Wrap them each in nylon and let them rest in the fridge. It is served with cinnamon over it.
In the past this appetizer was used being prepared with clean cheeseclothes, by closing their mouth. But this method seemed somewhat easier to me.