Monday, November 5, 2018


Hummous is a delicious favorite dip all around the eastern Mediterranean, it is basicly made with chickpeas and tahini. The trick is about using how much tahini, here you will find my recipe that I first learned from my son's great grandmother who was from Adana where you worship food and is the home town of delicious kebabs. Than created my own with variations on her basics, happy to share here.

Basic Ingredients ;
300 gr chickpeas (dried)
3 cloves of garlic
juices of 3 lemons
3 Table spoons of tahini
2 Teaspoons of powder cumin
1 cup drinking water
Salt to taste
Drops of fine olive oil for serving

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Cook them in a pressure cooker the next day until they are very soft, than take off the skins of the chickpeas. In most of the countries if you like it easier you can buy canned chickpeas that are already without the skin.
Crush the garlic, and put all ingredients in a food processor leaving water aside. Depanding on how the texture of the humus is you can add water to make it smooth. If you are using canned chickpeas you will not need to add water. Add drops of olive oil for serving

Beetroot Hummous ;
same ingredients as above add
3 medium sized beets

Bake the beetroots in the oven wrapped with baking paper at 180 degrees Celcicus for 45 minutes.
Peel the skin do as above add the beets into the mixture omit adding water.

Red pepper Hummous ;
same ingredients as the basic hummous
300 gr red peppers

Bake the red peppers in the oven on a baking sheet at 180 degrees Celcicus for 20 minutes, take out the skin and the seeds. Add the peppers into the mixture omit adding water.

Before serving drop a few drops of fine olive oil to the dish.
Afiyet Olsun !

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cheesy Desert ( Lor Tatlısı)

Cheese Cakes became very popular in Turkey in the recent years. It is imported with the international brands coming into the market. But this desert is a classic widely made on the Coastal areas and it is made with the cheese you would use for cheese cake, if you like to try something different here it goes.

Ingredients ;
For the dough
750 gr Fresh Cheese ( In Turkey we use "tatlı lor" a cheese that you use for cheese cake would be fine it could be ricotta or cottage cheese which ever you prefer)
2 eggs
3 Table Spoons olive oil
1 Tea Spoon vanilla
1 Table spoon baking powder
1 cup flour

For the syrup
5 cups of water
4 cups of sugar
juice of one lemon
2 Lavender flowers ( if you can not find fresh flowers you can use extract )

As with all deserts that we use syrup we will have start with syrup first. Put water and sugar in a pot on top of the stove, stir until the sugar desolves, add the lavender flowers. When it comes to the boiling point than add the juice of lemon and cook for 2 minutes more. Let it cool on the side.

For the dough start with beating the eggs with oil, than add the flour than knead the cheese in.
Line a baking tray with baking paper make patties like in the picture, make a slit on the top and bake them for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown at 180 Degrees C . When you take them out of the oven immediately pour over the cooled down syrup on top of them and wait for at least 2 hours before serving. They would be best if you serve them the next day.

I usually serve them with clotted cream and bitter orange jam, but you can use any topping, like chocolate or strawberry jam too.

Bon Apetite !

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Turkish Home Cooking in Bodrum: Making your own Yoghurt

Turkish Home Cooking in Bodrum: Making your own Yoghurt: Did you know that "Yoghurt" is a Turkish word ? Historians say that yoghurt was first made by Turkish Nomads in Central Asia a...

Making your own Yoghurt

Did you know that "Yoghurt" is a Turkish word ? Historians say that yoghurt was first made by Turkish Nomads in Central Asia around 800 BC. Ever since it is in our diet and is the most liked and used sauce over food, or eaten as it is or drink as Ayran(salty yoghurt drink).  When the western world found out about yoghurt, they started eating yoghurt mostly with sugary stuff to make it sweet. In Turkish diet yoghurt is savory in most cases, we do have some desert made with yoghurt but not as much. In this post I am sharing on how you can make your own yoghurt at home. It is very healthy for your body and making your own yoghurt is even better, my grandmother died at 100 years old and she would eat yoghurt everyday in her life :)

To make your own yoghurt first you need to find good daily milk, preferably raw and a good quality yoghurt to use as a starter. It is always much better to use a clay pot, but if you don't have it pyrex pots are also working. You will need a big towel to cover up the pot.

Ingredients ;
1 Liter of Milk
2 tea spoons of Yoghurt

Directions ;

Bring the milk to boiling point on a high heat stove, when it starts boiling than reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes ( if you want a thicker yoghurt you can go up to 45 minutes ) Than pour the milk into clay pot or pots. While it is cooling take your yoghurt out from the fridge bring it to room temperature. When the boiled milk comes down to about 40 degree's Celcius that is the time you will put the yoghurt in, the practical and old fashioned way to understand if the the milk is at right temperature is to clean up your hands and put your 5th finger in milk and see if it is not burning your hand but still warmer than your body temperature. When the milk is at right temperature, mix a small amount of milk with the yoghurt in a small glass make sure it is smooth, than mix it with the milk in the pot or pots with a spoon. The tip here is to keep the clay pots to stay, you should not move the pots after the yoghurt is mixed in the pot. Than cover the pots with a towel or something that would keep the heat in there and let it stay an overnight. In the morning take your pots into the fridge and let it cool for several hours than you can use your yoghurt as you like. Once you have made your yoghurt always keep a small amount to keep your yeast for yoghurt alive.

If you like yoghurt to be thick like the Greek Yoghurt, than sieve your yoghurt in a cheese cloth, but never throw away the liquid you can always use it in soups, it is very healthy and tasty.
Bon apetite !

Monday, October 9, 2017

Bodrum Style Fig and Pommogranate Pavlova

Not a Turkish recipe this time :)
When I was asked by the "Russian Cultural Day's" organizers to do a cooking show at the organisations. I thought this was a challange. I am neither Russian, nor a chef who knows Russian Cuisine but I am very nostalgic about the great Russian Restaurant in Istanbul "Rejans". It was a very interesting place in Beyoğlu ( Pera), run by a Russian said to be noble family. At first my grandfather used to take me there, than it was my favorite place for many years until day closed down. I hear now it is reopened but I am scared loose my found memories to try. I remember some favorites in the menü,  Chicken Kievsky and Duck a'la orange as main course, the cucumber pickles were priceless and a desert I can not forget was Pavlova. It took me years and many unsuccesful attempts to cook these special dishes. Since I am going to do the show on a stage with no kitchen utencills to make the kievsky and the duck.  I decided on a Pavlova, Bodrum Style. So this is the recipe I will be doing on October 14th at 4pm at the Bodrum Denizciler Kahvesi area ;

Bodrum Style Fig and Pommogranate Pavlova 

For the Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 tsp apple vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • For the Topping
  • 250 gr Cream
  • 100 gr Thick Yoghurt (süzme or greek)
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs Mandalin Jam or Honey or Mapple Syrup
  • 6 Figgs and some pommogranates to decorate
  • Directions ;
  • Whip the egg whites with a hand blender until they are stiff, than start adding sugar in small amounts at each addition (1tbs each time) when all the sugar is added add vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Line oven tray with baking paper and draw a circle (28cm) in the middle. Place the meringue in the circle and make a crater in the middle. Than cook it in preheated oven at 130 C for one hour. Do not take the meringue from the oven until it has cooled down. 
  • For the topping whip cream with sugar until it is stiff than and the yoghurt. Place this mixture on the crater of the meringue and top it with fresh figs and pommogranate, on top of drizzle the mandalin Jam.
  • Bon Apetit !  Afiyet Olsun !

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cook Colorful feel better

This is a food blog and I love sharing my recipes with the world. This time I need to say a few words about how we all feel at these strange and frustrating times. Most of us are in a state of unconsciousness, like you have taken stress pills or like the aftermath of an operation where you feel dizzy and can not really understand what is going around you, we want to wake up and go on with our lives but that does not happen. Since june last year nothing has been normal in this country. Many young men have been killed at fights with ISIS or PKK at our south eastern border, it almost became normal to listen to the news to hear more soldiers dying everyday, than the terrorist attacks in our major cities many more young people dying, and finally the unsuccessful coup that has terrorised our minds. So many conspiracy theories flying around we are trying to fish the reasonable ones to keep our sanity. What more, in Bodrum where we are you can not recognize any unease people are still on the beaches as if nothing is happening in the country, makes you sometimes think this all is imagination. Above all no more cruise lines visiting our harbours, no tourists taking any tours or cooking courses and having no income to hope for surviving and a better future for our children brings us to the borders of depression.

Could not put myself together to write another recipe since March but here I am and think cooking and cooking colorful make us all feel much better so here it goes, a classic Turkish Recipe called Imam Bayildi with a twist ;

Ingredients ;
1 red , 1 yellow, 1 green bell pepper all sliced thinly
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 onion sliced thinly
1 dried persimmon ( you can use any dry fruit like appricots, prunes etc)
10 small eggplants
7 - 8 wallnuts
1 spoon redwine vinigar
1/2 cup olive oil to fry the eggplants
1 bowl of water with 1 lemon sliced in it and 1 table spoon salt take away the bitterness of the eggplants.

Directions ;
Take the skin of the eggplants in stripes, and make a slit as shown on the picture below, make sure you do not cut all the way you will need to make small boats to fill in the stuffing. Place all the eggplants in the bowl with lemon and salt let is stay until you prepare the stuffing.

For the stuffing put 2 spoon fulls of olive oil in the pan stir fry all the vegetables, add persimmon and walnuts and add vinigar remove from heat.
Dry the eggplants with a kitchen towel and fry them with the rest of the olive oil. Once they are fried open up their bellies as on the above picture.  Place the eggplants in a pyrex pan than fill in the stuffing we made earlier.

 Add 1/2 cup of water and bake for 25 minutes at 180 C
Serve together with other Turkish Mezze.
Bon Apetit !