Yahnili Makarna, my favourite meal!

This evening I cooked 'Yahnili makarna/magarina' a lovely Turkish Cypriot meal for me and my husband which happens to be both of our favourites. It's the bestest EVER!! The 'Yahni' is the sauce and the 'makarna' is the pasta, it's healthy and relatively easy to make.

I have to let you all in on the recipe as it's just amazing! Here's my way of making it.

  • Cubed chicken pieces (I used 2 breast pieces)
  • Cubed onions (I used 2)
  • 1 Cubed tomato
  • Tomato paste
  • Tinned plum tomato
  • Olive oil
  • 1 and a half fresh Lemons
  • Pasta
  • Halloumi
  • Dried mint
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water

Here we go!

  • 1) Fry the onions until golden.
  • 2) Add your chicken and fry them until cooked.
  • 3) Add your cubed tomato and tomato paste.
  • 4) Fry for a few minutes

  • 5) Add your tinned plum tomato (I squash mine as I'm adding it).
  • 6) Add salt to season and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • 7) Add cold water until the whole pot is almost covered.
  • 8) Squeeze 1 and a half lemons or what you desire.

After the yahni has come to boiling point you should turn the heat down and leave to simmer for about 1 hour, keep stirring and tasting it as you go along. Add more salt, lemon juice or water until the perfect flavour is achieved. It should taste beautiful, all the juices of the tomato, chicken and lemon should be combined with the salt to deliver a beautiful flavoursome kick.

Next prepare the halloumi cheese..

You should start to cook your pasta about 15 minutes before you wish to serve.


Please note that you will need a plate that is deep enough to hold the juice.

  • A) Sprinkle the halloumi mixture onto a plate.
  • B) Add the pasta and sprinkle some more of the halloumi mixture.
  • C) Add the 'Yahni' with plenty of juice.
  • D) Sprinkle a last dose of the halloumi mixture.

Enjoy! Afiyet Olsun, Bon Appetit!

Let me know if you give it a go!


Εvi said…
Oh no, it's almost 1 o'clock after midnight and I'm literally drooling!!! What have you done to me, Muhsine- now I'll go and quell my hunger with the supper's leftovers...

As I'm Greek, I happen to know some yahni recipes- but this one probably tops them all! I love the simplicity of the ingredients and yet, the combination must be divine... I haven't tried tomato sauce combined with lemon juice, or haloumi with dried mint and pepper. I'm definitely, definitely doing this recipe next week! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Muhsine Emin said…
@cbsg awww sorry :) yes well greek and turkish cooking is almost identical so i'm sure you will appreciate the flavours, let me know how you like it next week. xx
Flora & Jane said…
I love pasta dishes and this is so simple to make but sounds so yummy - will definitely be testing this one out :)

ArtDonatella said…
Hmmm, that looks yummy!
Sarah said…
This looks amazing. I showed the recipe to my boyfriend and he said "Yep...I'm all for it!". lol

What is the drink on the table with it? It sort of looks like mango lassi!
Anonymous said…
I just asked on one of your blog post's if you were cypriot now i know lol! Like i said before i am aswell (: I've not actually tried this type of magarina' but my favourite type is firin Magarinasi gahh how i haven't had Turkish food for ages. Fancy some lahmacun actually haha!

What part of Cyprus are you from? My mum's from Lefkosa i think well my Nene's got a house there!

Sheniz (: xx
EllysMakeupbag said…
Thanks for sharing. Greek and turkish food are just amazing haha. I m drooling now !
Anonymous said…
looks lovely! i have had turkish food only once in my lifetime (in germany). i just live in a small town in the US so it's nowhere to be found. definitely wanna try this! p.s. i just started reading your blog recently. love it! <3
Ebru said…
Looks yum and like something my constantly hungry hubby would inhale in seconds! :D I will definitely give this recipe a try! Thank youuuu! Happy weekend! :)
lipglossagenda said…
This looks yummy lol
Bohemian Life said…
Oh yeah, this meal looks great and so tasty :)
Mehtap said…
...cok lezzetli görünüyor! Yemek tarifi icin tesekkürler ♥
Unknown said…
Hi babe.
I am trying to improve my cooking skills and I am definitely going to try this. I really want to eat more healthily since I m stuck on a fast food phase!
Thanks so much for sharing.
P.S: I would love if you could share some home-made smoothie recipes too!
NLJC said…
Omg where did you get your bread bin from that is so cute :)
glamour rouge said…
Yummy! Im going to give this a go during the week!
Thanks x
hannah said…
WOW! Sounds quite healthy too :) X
Muhsine Emin said…
Glad you all like the recipe, let me know how you like it when you try it  xx

@Shen No it’s my husband who is Turkish Cypriot, I’m just Turkish from Bursa. Glad you like the recipe xx

@NLJC Thanks, it’s from ‘Next’ home section.
this looks absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing Muhsine, will deffo be giving this a go next week :)

Love Aysh xoxo
soccergirl said…
benim babam kibrisli ve annem turk ve babam bunu her zaman yapiyor bize. ama americada helim yok ondan icin kibrisa gidince kutu kutu kelim aliyoruz
Gracey Williams said…
that looks so delicious, oh my god...I might have to give it a try this weekend, even though I always fail at cooking.

Stacey said…
This looks lovely, thank you for sharing the recipe! x
Asiya said…
I've tried a similar recipe from Libya, but without the addition of the Halloumi cheese, which actually sounds lovely. I definitely will try this.

I've never tried Halloumi cheese before, but since I love any cheese, I can't wait to try this one, especially with the mint and black pepper.
Patricia said…
that looks delicious and very mediterranean, must try it!
love when you post recipes, more please! x
Where's the garlic! I'm offended (lol)... I love me garlic


that looks yummy!! I'm ganna have to whip that up for myself real soon!! thanks for the recipe share! ;)
Ani said…
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Marisa said…
It looks so yummy! I love pasta <3
Unknown said…
I am seriously drooling right now.

This looks crazy delicous!! I have to make this someday soon :)
Unknown said…
I just made it for lunch today and it was so good. I've never made anything like that before and I was a little unsure as I'm not a fan of using mint in cooking but I loved it. I will definitely be making this again.

Thanks for sharing and I hope there are more recipes to come :)
LaLady said…
I have cooked this meal today, it was good and like differently.
SnowflakeBlue said…
Geez, now I'm hungry T-T
Fitness Addict said…
OMG... First of all... I would like to congratulate you on your baby!!! I just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe and omg this is my favorite meal now... and if you would like to change it a bit... you can substitute the halloumi cheese for feta... that's what I did and it's just delicious!!!

Please keep posting more recipes! :)
Nysa said…
i did it :-) and it was very good. the halloumi-mixture gives it the kick!!! thanks for the recipe!!! more of it, pleas!!!


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