Arabasi Recipe - Traditional Turkish Dish with Chicken and Spices


Arabasi Recipe - Traditional Turkish Dish with Chicken and Spices
Region / culture: Turkey | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4



Arabasi is a traditional Turkish dish that offers a unique blend of flavors and textures, combining a hearty chicken broth with tangy lemon juice and a variety of spices. This dish is known for its comforting warmth and has been a staple in Turkish cuisine for generations. The recipe involves creating a thick flour-based mixture that is cut into cubes and served with a richly flavored chicken broth. It's a perfect meal for colder months, providing both nourishment and warmth.


The origins of Arabasi can be traced back to the Central Anatolian region of Turkey. It was traditionally prepared by Turkish nomads as a hearty meal to sustain them through their travels and harsh winters. Over time, the recipe spread across the country, with each region adding its own twist to the classic dish. Today, Arabasi is enjoyed in homes and restaurants throughout Turkey, each version reflecting the unique culinary traditions of its area.


How to prepare

  1. Sift the flour into a large saucepan.
  2. Add the salt and 1.67 cups of water, and blend well.
  3. Set the mixture aside.
  4. Put 2.5 cups of water in a saucepan.
  5. Bring it to a boil.
  6. Stir the boiling water into the flour-water mixture, stirring constantly.
  7. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan with a diameter of 25 cm (1 inch), and let it cool.
  8. Cut the cooled mixture into cubes measuring 2 cm (0.75 inch) each.
  9. Set the cubes aside.
  10. Melt the margarine in a saucepan.
  11. Stir in the flour, and blend well.
  12. Brown the mixture lightly for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add 1.67 cups of water and tomato paste, and mix well.
  14. Simmer the mixture gently for 5 minutes.
  15. Add the chicken broth and diced chicken, and stir.
  16. Season the mixture with salt and spices.
  17. Stir in the lemon juice.
  18. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it gently for 5 minutes.
  19. Serve the dish hot with the cold batter.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken broth and meat with vegetable broth and your choice of cooked vegetables. Adding different spices, such as cumin or coriander, can also give the dish a new flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure a smooth and even consistency for the flour mixture, sift the flour before adding water. Constant stirring while combining the boiling water with the flour-water mixture is crucial to prevent lumps. For a richer flavor, you can substitute margarine with butter and use homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought. Adding the lemon juice at the end of cooking helps to preserve its vibrant flavor and acidity.

Serving Suggestions

Arabasi is best served hot, with the flour mixture cubes added to the broth just before serving to maintain their texture. Garnish with fresh parsley or a sprinkle of paprika for added color and flavor.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Arabasi is the careful cooking of the flour mixture to achieve the right consistency before cutting it into cubes. Slow simmering of the broth allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Ingredient Substitutions

If margarine is not available, butter can be used as a rich alternative. For a gluten-free version, a suitable gluten-free flour blend can replace all-purpose flour.

Make Ahead Tips

The flour mixture cubes can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. The broth can also be made in advance and reheated, with the cubes added just before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Arabasi in a deep bowl, with the flour mixture cubes placed in the center and the broth poured around them. A lemon wedge on the side allows guests to adjust the acidity to their liking.

Pairing Recommendations

Arabasi pairs well with a simple green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich and hearty dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in separate containers for the broth and flour mixture cubes in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat the broth over low heat and add the cubes just before serving to maintain their texture.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Arabasi contains approximately 350 calories, making it a moderately energy-dense meal that can fit into a balanced diet.


A serving of Arabasi is relatively high in carbohydrates, primarily due to the all-purpose flour used in the recipe. Each serving contains approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates, providing energy and making it a filling meal.


The fat content in Arabasi comes from the margarine and the cooked meat used in the recipe. Each serving contains about 15 grams of fat, which contributes to the dish's richness and satisfying mouthfeel.


Arabasi is a good source of protein, thanks to the inclusion of cooked meat. Each serving provides approximately 20 grams of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish offers a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A from the tomato paste, vitamin C from the lemon juice, and various B vitamins from the meat. It also contains minerals like iron and potassium, contributing to overall health and well-being.


The primary allergens in Arabasi are gluten (from the all-purpose flour) and potential allergens in the margarine, depending on the brand used. Individuals with gluten intolerance or specific food allergies should take caution.


Overall, Arabasi is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a hearty meal that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Arabasi is a traditional Turkish dish that combines the richness of a flavorful chicken broth with the unique texture of flour mixture cubes. It's a nutritious and comforting meal that offers a delightful taste of Turkey's culinary heritage. With its versatile recipe, Arabasi can be adapted to suit various dietary needs and preferences, making it a beloved dish for many.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Arabasi. It was a warm summer day, and I was wandering through the bustling streets of Istanbul, taking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. As I passed by a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the delicious aroma of spices and herbs wafted out onto the street, drawing me in like a moth to a flame.

I entered the tiny eatery and found myself surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. The chef, a stout man with a twinkle in his eye, was busy at work, stirring pots and pans with a skill and finesse that was truly mesmerizing. Intrigued, I decided to linger and watch him work his culinary magic.

As I observed the chef preparing dish after dish with effortless grace, I couldn't help but be drawn to one in particular – a steaming pot of Arabasi. The rich, savory aroma that emanated from the pot was unlike anything I had ever smelled before, and I knew I had to learn the secret behind this tantalizing dish.

I approached the chef tentatively and asked him about the recipe for Arabasi. His eyes sparkled with amusement as he looked at me, and without saying a word, he gestured for me to come closer. With a mischievous grin, he began to reveal the ingredients and steps required to make this exquisite dish.

The chef explained that Arabasi was a traditional Turkish stew made with tender lamb, fragrant spices, and a medley of fresh vegetables. The key to its irresistible flavor, he said, was the slow cooking process, which allowed the ingredients to meld together and create a tantalizing flavor profile that was both complex and comforting.

I watched intently as the chef demonstrated each step of the recipe, from browning the meat to simmering the stew for hours on end. The care and precision with which he cooked were truly inspiring, and I knew that I had stumbled upon a culinary treasure that would become a staple in my own kitchen.

After hours of careful observation and note-taking, I bid farewell to the chef and left the restaurant with a newfound sense of purpose. I was determined to recreate the magic of Arabasi in my own home, using the knowledge and skills I had acquired from the talented chef.

Back in my kitchen, I set to work preparing the ingredients for Arabasi. I marinated the lamb in a fragrant blend of spices and herbs, allowing the meat to soak up the flavors and tenderize before cooking. As the stew simmered on the stove, filling my home with its intoxicating aroma, I couldn't help but feel a sense of satisfaction and pride in my newfound culinary prowess.

Hours later, as I sat down to enjoy a steaming bowl of Arabasi with my family, I knew that I had truly stumbled upon a gem of a recipe. The rich, savory flavors of the stew danced on my taste buds, transporting me back to that tiny restaurant in Istanbul where I had first discovered the magic of Arabasi.

Since that fateful day, Arabasi has become a beloved favorite in my family, a dish that we turn to time and time again for comfort and sustenance. And as I pass on the recipe to future generations, I am reminded of the serendipitous moment when I stumbled upon this culinary treasure and the talented chef who shared his secrets with me. The memory of that day will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.


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