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Creamy Beef & Gnocchi Stew With Yogurt – Turkish Fusion

This dish is a Turkish fusion recipe that was developed with ingenuity and for, well, convenience. It is strikingly similar to a popular dish in Southeastern Turkey called “yuvarlama.”  

Yuvarlama is named after the little dumpling balls painstakingly rolled by the cook. It is an arduous process that I will one day explain on this blog (perhaps during our next visit to Turkey when my mother-in-law can walk through it step-by-step). They are cooked in a stew with beef, chickpeas, and a yogurt base that is added as the last step. 

When my mother-in-law visits us here in the U.S., she makes a giant batch of them and puts them into our freezer for me to use quickly. However, before she did this we found a way to recreate the stew with a shortcut – using gnocchi instead of yuvarlama. 

While it is different, it is delicious and quite satiating.

Many Westerners view yogurt as a sweet treat rather than associating it with a savory entree. But as you venture into Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean & even Indian cuisine, you’ll start to view yogurt in a new light.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 lbs of beef (any cut will do)
  • 2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 package of mini-gnocchi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 3 cups of yogurt (if using homemade yogurt, add 2 tbsp corn starch, arrowroot powder or flour)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5-6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mint

Start by cutting your beef into small pieces. Heat a medium-large sized pan on high-heat. When hot, add 2-3 tbsp oil followed by beef. Cook until browned and then add in the water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Let cook for 20 minutes. 

Next, you can add in the chickpeas and gnocchi and cook for another 5 minutes. When the gnocchi is finished cooking, it will rise to the top. Remove from heat and set to the side. There should be barely any space between ingredients sitting on the bottom and the top of the water. If there is, remove some water into a separate cup. You can always add it back in later, but you don’t want your base to be too watered down. 

In a separate medium-sized pot, add in the yogurt (and starch or flour) and 2 egg yolks. Turn heat to medium-high and stir often. Heat the yogurt until warm, but not bubbling. (About 7-10 minutes). Next add to your stew and stir.

For the final touch, heat the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in a small pan. When hot, add in mint and let sizzle for about 15 seconds. Slowly add the contents into your stew as the final, but important, garnish.

Creamy Beef & Gnocchi Stew With Yogurt

Dinner Mediterranean, Turkish Fusion
By Janice Yucel Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of beef (any cut will do)
  • 2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 package of mini-gnocchi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 3 cups of yogurt (if using homemade yogurt, add 2 tbsp corn starch, arrowroot powder or flour)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5-6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mint

Instructions

1

Start by cutting your beef into small pieces. Heat a medium-large sized pan on high-heat. When hot, add 2-3 tbsp oil followed by beef. Cook until browned and then add in the water.

2

Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Let cook for 20 minutes.

3

Next, you can add in the chickpeas and gnocchi and cook for another 5 minutes. When the gnocchi is finished cooking, it will rise to the top. Remove from heat and set to the side.

4

There should be barely any space between ingredients sitting on the bottom and the top of the water. If there is, remove some water into a separate cup. You can always add it back in later, but you don’t want your base to be too watered down.

5

In a separate medium-sized pot, add in the yogurt (and starch or flour) and 2 egg yolks. Turn heat to medium-high and stir often. Heat the yogurt until warm, but not bubbling. (About 7-10 minutes). Next add to your stew and stir.

6

For the final touch, heat the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in a small pan. When hot, add in mint and let sizzle for about 15 seconds. Slowly add the contents into your stew as the final, but important, garnish.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Dila
    October 13, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Yuvarlama was my favorite growing. My father is from Antep. I will try it this way as yes there is no way I have time and energy to grind rice, mix w meat, make those tiny balls:) Thank you!

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