Sütlü Biber: green peppers in milk & cheese

green pepper recipes sütlü biber

Light, light, light! Admittedly, this is not a typical photo for a food blog, but we have moved and there is finally...light! After two years in a narrow side street on the second floor, we've moved to a high-rise building. This was our first move in Turkey and it took a lot of effort, but it was necessary for many reasons. However, the reasons were less to do with the apartment and more to do with the surroundings. We now live in a better area with more light.


This time we are showing you a somewhat more unusual recipe; Sütlü Biber (peppers with milk). We've come across this recipe online a few times and it just sounded delicious. However, this is a recipe that can be put in the same category as the original Circassian gilnis. Because paprika in milk is not that Turkish. Storytime.


It is important to us on our blog to provide more information about culture, cuisine and history. So we like to tell you about the stories behind dishes such as Imam Bayildi or Ezogelin soup. Today's pointed bell pepper recipe is more about the different cultural influences in Turkey.


After all, the Ottoman Empire extended beyond today's Turkish borders, including the Balkans. Towards the end of the Ottoman era, many groups had to emigrate from the Balkans to what is now Turkey. These groups are called "Muhacir" or "Macir".

sütlü biber turkish recipe

The term "muhacir" actually comes from Arabic, meaning emigrant, and is used specifically to describe those who emigrated from Mecca to Medina in the early years of Islam. In Turkey, however, the muhacir or macir is someone whose ancestors came from Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and other Balkan countries until the 1930s. And as we all know, with people comes culture.


However, you are most likely to find the Balkan food culture in Turkey in the provinces that are geographically close. First and foremost, this includes Trakya and the Marmara region.


In conclusion, there are some typical recipes from Balkan cuisine that have made it into Turkish cuisine. These include this pointed bell pepper recipe with milk. This is because the Balkans generally like to cook a lot with dairy products, such as milk, cream, kaymak, butter and sour cream. However, this pointed bell pepper recipe has undergone a few changes in Turkish cuisine. While the original version cooks grilled peppers in kaymak (a cream product) and/or sour cream, Sütlü Biber is prepared here in a kind of béchamel sauce.


A different kind of pointed pepper recipe

There are crazy many ointed bell pepper recipes in Turkish cuisine. But this one is different. For Sütlü Biber, the green pointed peppers are stir-fried in a pan (you can also use grilled peppers) and then cooked in a de facto béchamel sauce. The peppers are added to butter, in which you roast flour. Add a little milk at the end and the Sütlü Biber are almost ready. In the original recipe, a typical white cheese is added to the peppers in milk, whereas in Turkish recipes, kashkava cheese (similar to grated Gouda) is melted. We used typical white cheese and found the result delicious. You can also drizzle some paprika butter over the Sütlü Biber. 


Our pointed bell pepper recipe is originally intended to be served simply as a side dish and enjoyed as a salad or mezze with various main courses. However, we found the Sütlü Biber ideal for breakfast. 


And in terms of taste? Personally, we found the pointed bell pepper recipe very tasty. If you are a fan of peppers and milk or béchamel sauce, you will like it. Whether we would include the Sütlü Biber in our standard dishes, however, remains to be seen. But, if you like trying new recipes, you can try this simple recipe with history. Afiyet olsun!


Sütlü Biber: green peppers in milk & cheese

Ingredients for 2 portions

  • 4 green pointed peppers
  • 250 ml/1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • some white cheese 
  • salt 
  • a pinch of paprika powder


Step 1: Wash the peppers and cut them into large pieces. 

Step 2: Fry the peppers with the oil in a pan. They should be brown to black in places, while the kitchen should smell of grilled peppers.

Step 3: Add the butter and sauté the flour in it. 

Step 4: When the smell of flour has dissipated, deglaze everything with the milk. Stir and allow the sauce to thicken briefly. Add the salt and paprika powder, sprinkle the pointed peppers with the cheese and serve the Sütlü Biber straight away.


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