The roast turkey in the picture above is what I made for this year’s Thanksgiving table. Stuffed with a delicious walnuts filling. I am sharing this recipe now, post-Thanksgiving because I strongly believe that things delicious could and should be made for any festive occasion. This turkey, for example, is a perfect fit for a Christmas or New Year’s eve celebration table, if you did not make turkey a part of your Thanksgiving feast.
I stuffed my turkey with a walnut filling. The filling is called levengi (alternative spelling: lavangi). It is a traditional Azerbaijani filling that hails from the Southeast of the country. The formula is simple: ground walnuts + grated and dry-squeezed onion pulp + sour paste (paste obtained from cooking down grated pulp of sour plums or cornelian cherries). Such a simple combination yet the flavor palette it yields is amazing. Rich, moist, tangy, sweet, exotic. Poultry, game, or fish, and even eggplant stuffed with the levengi filling is also called levengi. So this roast turkey would be called turkey levengi.
Most of the time, in place of sour paste I use pomegranate syrup in the stuffing. Honestly, I like the levengi with pomegranate syrup more than with sour paste. The syrup adds both a nice tang and a subtle, very subtle sweetness to the filling. Delicious! I’ll show you how to make this filling – super easy!
I hope you try this recipe and make turkey levengi a part of your holiday table. From my kitchen to yours, shared with love. Happy Holidays once again!
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My friend Victoria (remember her?) knows I am always on the lookout for great recipes to share with you. Not that I don’t have enough recipes in the house (this reminds me I have to organize them nicely – currently they live in a state of total mess) but I want unusual recipes and these kinds do not come by very often. So, one day Victoria called and said she had received a very unusual (key word!) recipe from her niece in Ukraine and that she thought it could be just right to feed my insatiable hunger for recipes. I grew impatient and wanted to get my hands on the recipe as soon as possible. Victoria added that it was a pie but not your regular pie, that it was one of a kind pie, and that she had already made it once, and that it was absolutely mind-blowing and palate-blowing, and that she had never seen anything like that before, and that it tasted like nothing else out there, and that the recipe was not known to many, and that if I wanted we could make it together.
“What? Really? Wait, we are coming.” The kids and I piled into the car right away and off we drove to Victoria’s house which, luckily, is only 5 minutes from us. The “cooks” got down to business as soon as we arrived. While kids we going crazy in the background, Victoria and I baked 2 thin cheesy layers that we cut in half and filled with generous amounts of ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken – in fact, the original recipe calls for chicken) then off we sent the assembled pie into the oven.
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