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.