Friday, November 1, 2013

Turkish Meat Braising (or, pot roasting, or Turkish Meat Casserole)

Prep. Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 2 hr.


  • 4 lbs beef or lamb cubes (about 1/2 sq3)
  • 1 lbs lamb fat, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt

  • In a deep pot or casserole, spread half of the lamb fat evenly.
  • Place the meat cubes on top of the first layer of fat.
  • Put the other half of the fat as the third layer on top.
  • Sprinkle the sugar.
  • Simmer at low heat on stove top until the meat is tender (about two hours).
  • Add the salt before turning of the heat.
  • Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red Lentil Soup (Easy & Quick Style)

Prep. Time: 15 min.
Servings: 4

1 cup red lentil, washed and cleaned
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)


1 Place the red lentils in a colander and rinse.
2 Sift through to remove and debris or damaged beans.
3 Place the washed and cleaned lentils into a medium pot with the stock.
4 Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
5 Loosely place a lid on the pot leaving slightly ajar as to allow some evaporation.
6 Cook for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
7 Pour 1 tablespoon flour in a dry skillet, stir stir constantly until evenly browned and reaches golden brown color.
8 Add browned flour, salt and pepper to the cooked lentil.
9 Place a handheld blender into mixture and blend briefly.
10 Add dried mint.
11 Heat through.
12 Serve.


Baklava Recipe

1 pack phyllo dough
1 cup butter 
2 cups walnuts ( finely chopped)

2 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Chop nuts in food processor. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan.  Put one half in the pan. Spread the walnuts evenly on the dough. Put the other half of the dough on the walnut layer. Cut the dough evenly into small squares.
  3. Melt the butter in a stove-top pan until it gets caramelized. 
  4. Pour the hot melted butter on the prepared dough.
  5. Bake 20-25 min. until it gets brown.
  6. Take the pan out of the oven, after it settles down for a couple of minutes, pour over the syrup (syrup should be at room temp.).
Put the ingredients in a pan and let it simmer on a medium heat for about 20 min. Then let it cool, syrup can be made ahead of time.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chicken Meatballs in Yogurt Sauce

Prep. Time: 20 min.
Cook. Time: 20
6 servings

Chicken meatballs,
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. Vegeta (all purpose seasoning)
  • 1 package Fant mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil for cooking
  • 4 gloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cups of warm water
Yogurt sauce,
  • 5 green Anaheim peppers (roasted and peeled)
  • 2 cups labneh yogurt (*)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • vegetable oil for sautéing peppers


  • Mix all ingredients except flour, garlic, paprika, warm water and vegetable oil.
  • Make little balls about 1 1/2" in diameter and lightly fry in a pan with vegetable oil until absorbs all its juice.
  • Use the oil to in the pan to sauté garlic and flour after removing all meatballs. Add paprika and meatballs. Cook thoroughly.
  • Slice roasted and peeled green peppers.
  • Lightly sauté in the pan, remove from heat, add labneh yogurt and sour cream, mix well.
Serve meatballs with yogurt sauce.  Bon appetite!

(*) Strained yogurt or labneh is yogurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt and cheese, while preserving yogurt's distinctive sour taste. (Source: Wikipedia)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Puslica Torta / Bosnian Cake

Bosnia is often used singularly to refer to the country of Bosnia & Herzegovina, a European country bordering Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Due to it's close proximity to Croatia there are several dishes which overlapped with Croatian foods. Bosnia & Herzegovina is almost entirely landlocked except for a tiny 20 km of coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Bosnian food is largely Mediterranean but with strong Turkish and Central European influences.

Prep Time: 45 min.
15 Servings

16 egg whites
0.5 kg sugar
2tbsp vinegar
250gr walnuts
0.5cup of hot milk
5 tbsp sugar
250gr of soft butter
100gr confection sugar 
3cups of heavy cream
3tbsp of confection sugar

Place parchment paper on 10x15'' aluminium jelly roll baking sheet. Butter under and over the paper. Set aside. Turn on oven and set temp. to 300F.
8 egg whites
0.5 kg sugar
Mix very well. I used stand-up mixer and mixed for 10 minutes at speed 4 or 5.
At the end mix in 2 tbsp vinegar and pour into baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour at 300F.

Nutting Filling:

Step 1.
250gr walnuts w/ 0.5c of hot milk (mix together and set aside)
Step 2.
8 egg yolks
5 tbsp sugar

Mix very over boiling water until pale and slightly thickened.
Step 3.
250gr of soft butter w/ 100gr confection sugar mix together until smooth and creamy.
Combine all three mixtures together and set it in re-fridge to thicken up for 30min or so.

Whipped Cream Filling:

3cups of heavy cream
3tbsp of confection sugar

Mix until it reaches consistence suitable for spreading (don't overbeat it).

Cut cake into half lengthwise.
Place half of nutty filling over the first cake layer.
Follow by spreading half of whipped cream filling over it.
Place second cake layer over it. Follow by nutty filling. Spread whipped cream all over the cake.
Let it rest overnight.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Secrets of Third Class

1- Add five cloves of crushed garlic, one tsp dried rosemary, one tsp dried oregano, one tsp dried thyme and couple cloves to your olive oil to give a nice fragrant. 

2- Quinea would be a less calorie replacement for bulgur when you make kisir.

3-If you would like to have a buttery taste in carrot balls you could add 1 tbsp unsalted butter while sauteing just before turning off the heat.

4- Baking sigara boregi (Turkish egg rolls) in the oven would be a good option if you would like to avoid from deep frying.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Coconut Covered Carrot Balls (Havuc Toplari - Cezerye)

Cezerye is a semi-gelatinous Turkish confectionery made from sauteed carrots, packed with nuts or pistachios and sprinkled with shredded coconut. The name is derived from the word "cezer", which means "carrot" in Arabic. This veggie dessert is from the region of Mersin / Turkey and traditionally it is shaped in rectangle sheets about 1/2" thick and cut into small pieces.

Prep. Time: 20 min.
Cook. Time: 5 min.
6 servings

  • 3 big carrots (shredded)
  • 20 Ulker crackers (Turkish Graham crackers) (crumbled)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup walnut, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut

  • Lightly saute shredded carrots with oil and sugar in a pan until absorbs all its juice.
  • Add crackers, walnut and mix well, let it aside about 10 minutes.
  • Make little balls about 1 1/2" in diameter.
  • Dredge carrot balls in coconut, place in refrigerator until gets cold and serve.

Veggie Cracked Wheat / Bulgur Salad (Kisir) / Turkish Tabouli

Kısır is the Turkish and different version of a well-known Arabic dish called tabbouleh. Although there are many differences between these two dishes, the main one is that the Turkish tabbouleh has tomato and pepper paste that gives it a nice tangy flavor and pretty color.  In Turkey the recipe for kısır varies from region to region. In Adana they use more water than anywhere else or in Antakya (Hatay) they don't use water at all; they knead bulgur with tomato and pepper paste until it gets soft. However it's made, kısır is made everywhere in Turkey and is loved dearly. It is served sometimes with the afternoon tea, sometimes as an appetizer, and sometimes as a great summer dish you can enjoy when it's boiling hot outside.

Prep Time: 15 min.
4 Servings

  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (there are plain, mild and spicy versions; I used plain)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 6 green onions, white part and some of the green part sliced thin
  • 4 cucumbers, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped lettuce
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • crushed red pepper to taste (omit if using spicy red pepper paste)
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of cumin.

  • In a large mixing bowl, pour the water over the cracked wheat and cover, let stand about 20 minutes or until wheat is tender and water is absorbed. 
  • Add all ingredients as follows; tomato and pepper paste, chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs and toss with the mix. Combine with the oil, lemon juice, spices and salt. 
  • Mix well. 
  • Chill. 
  • Serve and enjoy.

Turkish Egg Rolls Filled with Feta Cheese (SIGARA BOREGI)

cigar-shaped pastry of paper-thin dough (yufka) stuffed with cheese. - See more at:
Sigara boregi is a traditional pastry of paper dough (yufka) stuffed with Turkish feta cheese and your choice of leafy greens. 'Yufka; can be replaced with the phyllo dough which is more easily found in the shops around the world than its Turkish counterpart. Instead of 1 yufka sheet you will need about 3 sheets of phyllo.
cigar-shaped pastry of paper-thin dough (yufka) stuffed with cheese. - See more at:
cigar-shaped pastry of paper-thin dough (yufka) stuffed with cheese. - See more at:
This fried pastry is perfect with coffee, but can be eaten as an appetizer or side dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 package of yufka, (8 oz)
  • 1 lb. feta cheese (grated)
  • 4 tablespoons mint (optional) or 4 tablespoons parsley (optional) or 4 tablespoons dill, finely chopped (optional)  (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg - which i forgot to add at the class :(
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • water for sealing egg rolls
Prepare filling:
  • In a mixing bowl combine cheeses, parsley, egg, salt and spices. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare dough:
  • If dealing with yufka then cut the sheet into 12 segments; if working with phyllo – place the three sheets on top of each, half them vertically with a knife and then cut each of the 2 rectangles diagonally so you get 4 equal triangles (or 12, given you have 3 layers). Place each triangle on top of each other and cover with a clean damp cloth to prevent phyllo from drying and loosing its elasticity. 
  • Place 1 tbsp cheese mixture at the larger edge of dough and roll. 
  • Moist the tip of the triangle with water for sealing.
  • Deep fry them until they turn into light brown or golden.  
 Oven Bake:
  • Put the egg rolls on the baking tray covered with baking paper. Before you send your sigara böreği to the oven, brush them first with egg and then very generously with vegetable oil.
  • Bake: Bake at 220 C (430F) for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve sigara böreği hot or warm.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tied Turban Dessert / Sarigi Burma Tatlisi

  • 1 package of phyllo dough
  • 3 cups lightly toasted pistachio nuts or walnut
  • 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter 
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Prep. Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 45 min.
15-20 servings


  • At first prepare the syrup. Pour the water and sugar into a pot and boil this mixture over medium heat until it reaches the right syrup consistency. Add lemon juice, turn the heat to low and boil the mixture for about 5-6 minutes more. Then, remove the pot from the stove.
  •  Sprinkle thinly crushed walnuts or pistachios over them roll the dough from one edge to the other.
  • Use a thin rolling pin to roll the dough from one edge to the other side. Then make the ends around the pin closer to each other and remove the pin.
  • Place the tied turban pastries into a greased baking tray. Pour the melted butter all over the pastries.
  • Place the tray into the oven which is preheated to 375 F. Bake the pastries until they turn into red.
  • 1 minute later than removing the pastries from the oven pour cold syrup all over.
  • You may serve the dessert 2 hours later.