Squid with Olives in Red Wine

Sarhoş kalamar

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

It is rare to find wine or spirits used in classic Turkish cooking, but the wine in this dish gives it a gutsy flavour. It conjures up the essential taste of the Mediterranean and is known around the coast from Kuşadası to Marmaris as sarhoş kalamar, drunken squid.


  • 2 lb/900 g large fresh squid
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons black olives, stoned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ pint/300 ml red wine
  • large bunch of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Rinse the squid, sever the head, trim the tentacles by cutting off the particularly long strands and gooey parts, pull out the bone, rinse again, and slice the tube into thick rings. Put aside.
  • Brown the onions and garlic in the oil. Stir in the squid head and rings, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the olives, cinnamon and sugar, and pour in the wine. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for about 40 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The squid should be tender.
  • Toss in the parsley, season to taste, and serve hot with lots of bread to soak up the sauce.