Sunday, 29 June 2008


This is a light yet filling dish so I served it for lunch . Can be served as a STARTER. Serves 2
  • 4 slices of smoked salmon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 150 g low fat cottage cheese
  • 50 g brie cheese, diced finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill and parsley
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • 150 g cooked tread noodle
  • 1 shallot or spring onion, chopped finely
  • 2 medium mushroom, diced finely
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • salt and black pepper
  • Some olive oil for frying


Squeeze the lemon juice and pour over the salmon slices. Set aside. Combine the cottage cheese, brie, garlic, herbs and chilli powder in a small bowl, mix well. Set aside. Mix chopped onion, mushrooms and whisked egg with the noodles. Season with salt and pepper and mix it well to combine. Heat some olive oil in a large non stick frying pan. Place 4 portions of the noodle mixture and flatten them with a spatula. Fry the noodle patties on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes each side or until they are browned and crispy. Then drain them on absorbent paper.
Divide the patties on two serving plates, top with the cottage and herb mixture. Finally top with the salmon slices. ENJOY...


  • 100 g rice
  • Half a tsp salt
  • 750 ml water or stock
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 6 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2 tsp dried mint or handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • 200 ml water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 tsp paprika or chilli powder

Wash the rice, add salt and water or stock. Bring it to boil then simmer with the lid on for about 25-30 minutes until the rice is soft and cooked. Set aside.
Whisk the egg in a bowl, add flour, yogurt, mint, water and seasoning. Add this yogurt and egg mixture into the cooked rice. Return the pan of soup to the stove and cook the soup on low heat stirring frequently to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. You may add more water if the soup is too thick. While the soup simmering, heat a small frying pan with 1 tbsp oil or butter, add the paprika and drizzle over the soup just before serving. Serves 4.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

MUSSELS IN GARLIC&LEMON (Limon ve sarimsakli Midye)

This dish is very good as a starter but I served it with spicy rice as it is a tradition in Turkey to serve mussels with rice. Serves 2

  • 10 or 15 cooked mussels
  • Some home made or ready made garlic butter
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 slice of stale bread crumbs
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Mix garlic butter with parsley, lemon juice, bread crumbs, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Divide the mixture and top each mussel pressing firmly. Preheat the grill. Grill the mussels on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until all the mussels nice and crispy. Serve it immediately.


  • 400 g steak mince
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Plain flour to coat the koftes
  • Some oil for frying the koftes
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Enough water to cover the koftes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • More parsley for serving
First chop the shallot or small onion and the garlic finely. Add to the mince together with cumin powder, salt and pepper. Mix it well by hand or pulse it in a food processor until all mixed together. Then take the pieces of the mixture about a teaspoon at a time and roll each into a small round. Coat each kofte with flour then brown them in the oil in a large frying pan. When the koftes browned transfer them to a plate.
Prepare the sauce in the same frying pan with remaining juices. Add more oil if necessary to fry the onions first, then add the tomato paste some water, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Now add the koftes into the simmering sauce add more water to cover the koftes. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with some more parsley just before serving. Serve with rice and salad. Serves 4.

CHICKEN KEBAP WITH MARINADE (Yogurt ve tahin soslu tavuk sis)

Hi all, overnight marinade makes the kebabs very tender and soft. But If you don't have time marinate for 1-2 hours or just brush the marinade mixture over the meat while grilling. Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in to cubes
  • 4 Ttbsp natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp mix spice
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried mix herbs
  • 1 tsp salt

Wash the chicken pieces , dry on kitchen paper and cut in to cubes. Prepare the marinade by chopping the onion, garlic and mixing in to a smooth paste with the rest of the ingredients. Marinate meat minimum 2 hours. Then grill or cook on griddle until it is cooked through and crispy. Serve with bulgur pilav and cacik.

Chop some cucumber and fresh mint. Crush one clove of garlic. Add them to natural yogurt. Season with salt and paprika just before serving.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

CHEESE SPRING ROLLS ( Sigara boregi )

  • 3 Sheets of jus-rol filo pastry
  • 100 g cheese, half feta, half Edam, grated
  • 1 spring onion ( optional ) chopped finely
  • Handful of fresh herb of mint, parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper
  • Oil for frying.
Separate filo sheets. Cut each sheet in half diagonally to obtain a squire shape. Then fold them across to a triangle shape. ( This will make 6 triangles )
Grate the Edam cheese, mix with chopped herbs and the spring onion. Add crumbled feta cheese, mix it altogether in a bowl. Season with black pepper.
Divide the cheese mixture between 6 triangles, placing it on the filo. ( long side ). Fold in each side then roll it up tightly towards the last point, forming a log shape. Dip the ends in water to stick down the rolls.
Shallow fry them in a frying pan in a medium hot oil , until the pastry is golden brown on all sides. Drain them on kitchen paper and serve while it is warm. MAKES 6.

TAHINI CHICKEN SALAD ( Tahinli Tavuk salatasi )

  • 100 g cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 pepper, diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp sesame tahini paste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp desiccated coconut
  • pinch of chilli pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper.
Prepare all the salad ingredients, add to diced chicken. Add sesame seeds, coconut, mint and chilli pepper. Mix lemon juice with the tahini and pour over the chicken salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with pitta bread. Serves 4 as a starter - Serves 2 as a light lunch.

COURGETTE FRITTERS ( Kabak mucveri )

  • 2 courgettes, grated coarsely
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 egg
  • stale breadcrumbs ( from  2 medium sliced bread )
  • Handful of  fresh mixed herbs of mint, parsley, thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 2-3 tbsp oil for frying.
First grate the courgettes add salt and let it stand 10- 15 minutes. Then squeeze out all the excess liquid from the courgettes. Add sliced onions, breadcrumbs, herbs, pepper and combine everything with the beaten egg. Take a tablespoonful of the mixture and make it into round flat patties. Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry them on medium heat until both sides are browned and cooked through. Transfer fritters on absorbent kitchen paper then serve it immediately. Makes 8-10

NOTE : Please also see zucchini fritters with cheese which was posted on 21st of Jan- 09.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


This is a sauce freshly made with fresh mixed herbs combined with olive oil, garlic and yogurt and is lovely with added tangyness from the lime juice.

  • 2 trout
  • 50 g mixed fresh herbs of dill, parsley,mint and thyme,chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
  • 3 tbsp natural yogurt
  • pinch of salt and chilli powder
  • Extra 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds for sprinkling.
Grill or barbecue the fish until the skin turns crisply brown for about 3-5 minutes each side. Transfer on to a serving plate.
Make the sauce either in a blender or in a large pestle and mortar, until it is nice and smooth. Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle some sunflower seeds just before serving. Serves 2
NOTE: If you are using the pestle and mortar, first pound the herbs, garlic, sunflower seeds to a paste. Slowly add the oil, salt, chilli powder and lime juice. Mix in the yogurt just before serving with the sprinkle of extra sunflower seeds.

POTATOES WITH EGG AND MUSHROOMS ( mantarli, yumurtali patates)

  • 350-400 g new potatoes, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion or 50 g leeks, chopped
  • 50 g peppers, diced
  • 50 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Salt, pepper.
First stir fry the onions on high heat for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, pepper and cook on medium heat with the lid on until the potatoes are cooked and golden for about 1o minutes stirring and mixing occasionally. Add mushrooms , cook for 5 more minutes. Add eggs, salt and pepper and cook for couple of minutes more until the eggs are to your taste. Serves 2-3.


This can be eaten for brunch or afternoon tea. Add your own vegetables and herbs to suit your taste.

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 260 ml mixture of milk and water
  • salt, pepper
Make the batter, set aside.
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 small aubergine,chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 100 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 50 g parsley, chopped
  • salt,pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp black olives.

First make the batter by sifting the flour into a bowl. Add the eggs and incorporate with milk, water, salt ,pepper and flour. Whisk it well with a hand held whisk or electric blender. Set aside.
Mix all the chopped vegetables in a non stick pan with olive oil and lightly brown on a high heat for 3- 5 minutes. Then add the olives, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the vegetables mixture into a greased baking tray, heat in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until the tray is hot and ready for the batter. Then add the batter over the vegetables and cook on 220C, 425F, gas mark 7 for 30 minutes or until it rises and becomes crisp. Cook on the highest shelf. Serves 6-8.
Use half of ingredients to serve 4.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

BULGUR PILAV WITH AUBERGINES ( patlicanli bulgur pilavi )

  • 200 g bulgur wheat, coarse
  • 2- 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 aubergine, diced
  • 1 small pepper, chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes,diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500 ml stock or hot water
  • Handful of chopped parsley and dill
  • Salt


First wash the bulgur, drain and set aside. Fry the onion in olive oil until it is brown. Now add the aubergine, pepper, tomatoes, garlic. Cook for 5 minutes stirring. Add bulgur, cinnamon, black pepper, tomato puree. Stir and pour hot water. Add herbs, salt and bring it to boil. Replace the lid and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked. it is very tasty either hot or cold. Serve with meat, vegetables and with salads when cold. Serves 4-6


This pilav dish is creamy in texture like in risotto.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

TURKISH SHISH KOFTE ( sis koftesi )

  • 400 g steak mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 slice of bread
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Onions, peppers and tomatoes, chopped into cubes for grilling.

Put mince and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend it until it is all mixed together. Make them into walnut size meat balls and arrange it on a skewer with onions, peppers and tomatoes. Brush them with olive oil and grill or barbecue turning them occasionally until browned nicely.

Serve the koftes on bed of rice or nice with pitta bread. Serves 4.

SALMON WITH CREME FRAICHE ( kremali salmon )


  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 1 tub of creme fraiche ( about 200g )
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp sumak (optional )
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Little salt.

Grill the salmon steaks until nice and crispy and cooked to your taste. While the salmon cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix creme fraice, yogurt and rest of the ingredients in a bowl and serve it with salmon. Serves 2.

TOMATO SOUP ( Domates corbasi )

  • 1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100 leeks, chopped
  • 100 peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small chilli ( optional )
  • Handful of parsley and dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
First wash the tomatoes and chop them roughly. Fry the leeks in the oil until they go brown, then add the tomatoes together with the rest of the ingredients and bring the soup to boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 20- 30 minutes until it is cooked. Let it cool. Now pour the soup into a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with parsley, season with salt and pepper just before serving.

Serve with crusty bread or pitta bread. Serves 4-6


You can sieve the soup before liquidising it, if you don't like tomato skins.
This soup can be served hot and cold.
The ingredients are easily halved to serve 2.


Karniyarik is a very popular summer dish in Turkey. We all love aubergines and there are 101 ways of using aubergines for wonderful Turkish recipes. This serves 2.
  • 2 Aubergine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g steak mince
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50 g peppers, chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 150 ml hot water for BAKING.
  • 2 Aubergine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g peppers
  • 200 g tomatoes
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • Parsley, salt and black pepper.
Open the aubergine by cutting down the middle. Then shallow fry the aubergines, turning frequently OR put them into the microwave on high for 5 minutes to soften them without the oil. Set them aside.
Prepare the filling by stir frying mince with onions first until it is going brown. Then add tomatoes, garlic peppers and mix it well. Turn the heat down and simmer for 7-10 minutes. The juice from the tomatoes should be enough but if it starts to stick, add little water to make it into a nice sauce. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper at the last minute and turn the heat off.
Spoon the filling into the aubergines. Decorate the top with sliced tomatoes. Place them into the baking tray together with 150 ml hot water. Bake them in the preheated oven 375F, 190C, 170 c fan, gas mark5 for 30-35 minutes.
For vegetarian alternative follow the same steps.


Hi, this is the spicy version of Turkish humus, but if you are not keen on chillies, use cumin powder instead.

  • 100 g cooked chickpeas
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 200 ml runny tahini ( sesame seeds paste )
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons, about 100 ml
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika or chilli powder
First put chickpeas, garlic, and chilli powder in a blender or food processor and pulse it several times. Then add tahini, lemon jucice, olive oil and salt. Let it turn until the mixture becomes creamy. Transfer humus on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds , set aside.
Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a small frying pan, add the paprika and pour over humus. Decorate with olives or pickles and parsley leaves just before serving.

If you think the texture is too thick for you, add more olive oil .
To use drained can chickpeas is fine for humus.
You can add some natural yogurt or creme fraiche if the humus too thick for dipping.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

CHICKEN WITH THYME AND LEMON ( Limonlu, kekikli tavuk)

This light and quick recipe with sharp lemon sauce ideal for summer evenings and parties. Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g leeks, chopped
  • 150 g red or green peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6-7 mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 ml vegetable stock or hot water
  • juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • Good handful of thyme and parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • More thyme to serve

Wash chicken pieces under cold water, dry and cut in to strips. Heat the oil in the pan, stir fry the chicken with the leeks for 5 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms and fry until it starts to brown. Then add garlic, tomatoes, water, lemon rind and juice, herbs and bring it to boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer with the lid on for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and add more chopped thyme just before serving. Serve with rice or crusty bread.

LEEKS WITH CARROTS ( Havuclu pirasa)

  • 300 g leeks, about 3 medium size
  • 100 g carrots, 2 medium
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mix spice
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Handful of parsley, chopped
  • 300 ml water or vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper


First wash and chop leeks, carrots and the potato into small cubes. Heat the oil in the pan and add the leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Tip in the carrots, potatoes and garlic. Add tomato puree, sugar, spice, soy and lemon juice. Pour stock or water and bring it to boil. Add parsley, salt and simmer gently for 10- 15 minutes until the vegetables cooked but still crunchy. Serve it with more parsley and lemon wedges. Serves 2.


  • 400 g steak mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 slice of stale bread
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chili pepper ( optional )
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp mix spice
  • 1 or 2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 pitta bread
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed ( optional )
  • Half a tub about 250 g natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of paprika

First put the onion, garlic and bread pieces in a food processor and pulse it a few times. Then add mince, chilli, oil, spices, salt and pepper and mix it well to bind it all together. Shape them lengthwise on to the skewers and grill or cook them on the griddle until all browned and ready to serve. Brush the kebabs with oil during cooking. In the meantime heat the pitta bread in the toaster or in a non stick pan to warm it. Cut the bread and place it on a serving plate. Mix crushed garlic with yogurt and pour over the pitta bread. Then arrange the kebabs over the yogurt. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan, add paprika and drizzle over the kebab just before serving. Serves 4.


This is great as a vegetarian meal or served as a side dish. It is a very popular summer dish in Turkey when fresh tomatoes are plentiful. Some people even serve it for breakfast when cooked without the onions. Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot or small red onion, chopped
  • 300-350 g beef tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small pepper, - 50 g, chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper ( optional )
  • 150 ml water
  • Salt and coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
First cook the onion in oil until it is just going brown. Add tomatoes, pepper, chili, parsley, water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 minutes. Add the eggs and mix gently, cook for further 2 minutes. Add more parsley and black pepper just before serving.


If the tomatoes have not much colour, add 1 tsp of tomato paste just before adding water.
This dish is also nice if you add some black olives to it just before serving.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


DANDELION: This nutritious herb can be boiled or added to salads. it has more beta-carotene than carrots and more calcium and iron than spinach. You can use the flowers as garnish for the salad.

  • 200 g mix salad of dandelion and rocked
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes
  • 75 g peppers, diced
  • 150 g goats cheese, crumbled
  • 100 g black olives
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Some lemon juice,
  • mixture of fresh parsley, dill and mint, chopped finely
  • salt and black pepper
Wash and prepare the salad, add tomatoes, onion, olives, peppers and mix well. Add oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Then cheese and the eggs just before serving. Decorate with olives and egg slices and serve with crusty bread. Serves 4-6

COOK'S NOTE: If you are not keen on dandelion, salad of your choice will be just fine.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

MIX SEAFOOD PASTA ( Deniz urunlu makarna )

This pasta dish is so quick to make and ideal for weeknights for a feel good meal. Serves 2

  • 250-300 g pasta
  • 200 g cooked mixed sea food ( mussels, squid rings, prawns, seafood sticks )
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (optional )
  • 150 g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 75 g fresh or frozen peppers
  • 1 or 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 150 ml hot water
  • A handful of fresh dill and parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Some more chopped dill for serving.

First boile the pasta in plenty of salted water until it is 'al dante' for about 7- 10 minutes. Drain, set aside and keep the pasta warm. Make the sauce by frying the onions in the oil first. Then add rest of the vegetables, stir and cook for 2 minutes or so. Add tomato paste, water, herbs, salt and pepper and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Add more water if needed. Add the seafood at the last minute and serve immediately with the pasta. Season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle of fresh dill. Enjoy...