Friday, 21 May 2010

CARROT AND COCONUT MUFFINS(havuc ve hindistan cevizli muffin)

Muffins are so easy and quick to make when unexpected guests arrive. Also low calorie as far as the cakes go. This is my own recipe that was created mainly to suit my taste. If you find it is not sweet enough or you would prefer to add more oil to it, it should be just fine to do that.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dry coconut
  • 1 cup grated carrot ( 1 whole medium )
  • 2 medium bananas ( mashed )
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 7 tbsp corn oil
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sugar and cinnamon mixture for sprinkling.
1) Preheat oven 200 C, 180 Fan setting. Grease the muffin tin or use paper cases.
2) Sieve the flour with baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix the coconut in.
3) Mix wet ingredients together.
4) Add WET ingredients to DRY and fold it in gently. Do not over mix.
5) Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full. Sprinkle the muffins with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 25 - 3o minutes.
6) Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Monday, 12 April 2010


This dish is always a favorite when family and friends get together for special occasions. it is very similar to paella but made with basmati rice and Turkish spicy sausage SUCUK.
It is a kind of feel good dish that so nice to make. I serve it as a main mail with salad or one of the hot dishes at a party.
  • First I pan fry the CHICKEN TIGHTS (4 or 6 depending on how many people.) Add little water and cook the chicken pieces for 10 minutes, set aside.
  • Then chop 1-2 large ONIONS and brown them in oil in a large frying pan or wok.
  • Transfer chicken tights into the wok.
  • Add 1 or 2 cups of BASMATI RICE and stir with onion for a minute or so. Add pinch of TURMERIC and CHILI PEPPER to taste.
  • Add hot WATER or STOCK ( 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice ), some SALT to taste.
  • At this point, add some VEGETABLES that you like. ( corn, peas, peppers )
  • Bring it to boil, then turn the heat to low to simmer.
  • Add SUCUK or SPICY SAUSAGE slices on top. Cover and simmer for 20- 30 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  • Add cooked PRAWNS 5 minutes before the cooking time ends.
  • Sprinkle with CHIVES or SPRING ONIONS just before serving.
NOT: Chicken tights are best for this dish as they are not so dry.
Use any spicy sausage instead of sucuk.

Friday, 19 March 2010


Last week, when it was my baking day, i thought of making ciabatta bread with different flavours in them. I usually bake at least 3-4 to freeze for future use. So I made one loaf with mashed potatoes in, the other with chopped walnuts ( my favorite ), the third Butch was with black olives and the forth one with grated cheese. I used the no knead method that I love and found it so easy to do. Just make four batches of the master recipe of ciabatta bread then mix handful of walnuts, olives, cheese and boiled grated potato in each batch.

  • 3 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of lukwarm water
  • chopped walnuts, cooked and grated potatoes,
  • chopped black olives, grated cheese.
1) Mix flour, yeast, salt with the water, mix to make a sticky dough. Add the walnuts.Cover with cling film or foil and set aside for 16-18 hours. ( Make 3 more batches of the dough using measurements above to use for olives, potato and cheese ciabatta bread.)
2) After 18 hours punch down the dough with a spatula to take the air out.
3) Lay a cling film on the work top. Sprinkle flour on the cling film, scrape the dough on the cling film and make it long, flat dough with your hand.
4) Grease baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal generously.
5) Flip the dough over in the baking tray. Sprinkle some flour on top. Cover with floured tea towel and let it rest for 2 hours.
6) Preheat the oven to 220 c, 200Fan setting. Cook 2 ciabatta together on the same shelf for 35-45 minutes. Cool on wire rack before cutting for serving.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Today I have been experimenting and making meringue nests using splende, low calorie sweetener. I used the normal recipe for pavlova and used 1 cup of splende instead of caster sugar. Although it is not the same texture as normal nests,( these were a lot lighter in texture) I am pleased with the result and it is delicious mixed with low fat yogurt and fruit puree or light jam mixed with water and poured over the top. I find the meringues little bit too sweet so I sprinkle them with cinnamon which was a nice change from plain version. These meringue nests will be very low in calories when you consider 2 calories per teaspoon splender compared to 20 calories in a teaspoon of normal sugar.

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup Splenda low calorie sweetener( 10 tbsp )
  • 1 level tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 10 walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
1) Grease and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven at 150C.
2) Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. If you turn the bowl upside down and it is not sliding down then it is ready to add the sugar.
3) Add the sugar spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition.
4) When all the sweetener is in, whisk in the cornflour and the vinegar.
5) Fold in the chopped walnuts.
6) Spoon meringue on the the baking tray and turn the heat to 140C. Bake the meringues for 35-40 minutes and leave them in the oven to cool after you turn the oven off. I baked these on 125 C fan setting for 40 minutes.
7) Sprinkle with cinnamon when they all cooled and store in a jar.

NOTE: I used the egg yolks as HAIR MASK. Just mix 3 egg yolks with 3 tsp or more of olive oil( depending on your hair type) and apply to your hair. It is great as a conditioner. Wash it off thoroughly after 20-30 minutes.

Monday, 1 March 2010


  • 450 g Edam or Gouda cheese, grated
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of chili pepper
  • French bread cubes for serving.
1) Place wine, garlic, parsley and lemon juice in the fondue pot or a small saucepan, stir and add the grated cheese.
2) Place the pot or saucepan on the hob at a LOW heat and cook until the cheese melts, stirring occasionally.
3) Mix cornflour with sherry to make a smooth paste in a small bowl. Add paprika and chili pepper.
4) Stir in the cornflour mixture into the pot with the cheese.Stir and take off the heat when it begins to bubble.
5) Serve immediately with cubes of french bread.

NOT: Slow cooking gives the best result in fondue making. If it is on high heat the fondue will be spoiled.
Some other cheeses which are good for melting and making fondue are: Emmental, Gruyere, Parmesan, Cheddar, blue cheeses and Camembert.

Friday, 26 February 2010


I like making this pizza because everyone can have what topping they want on their slice, either vegetarian, meat or fish. Today i used prawns, mushrooms and peppers and spicy sausage for this pizza.
First make a dough with 200 g flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp olive oil and 150 ml warm water. Mix yeast, sugar, olive oil with water and let it stand for 10 minutes or so.
Sift the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a hollow in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.Mix and knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Cover the dough and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour or 1 and half hours.
Roll out the dough and prick with a fork. Spread thinly with tomato puree and sprinkle with grated cheese. Then top each triangle with the topping you desire. Sprinkle extra bit of cheese on top and bake in hot oven 240 C for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, 12 February 2010


Hi all, if you are a snacker like me, rice cakes are great to keep you going till the meal time. They are only 29 cals per cake and quite filling. I found tahini paste and drizzle of maple syrup or honey on top makes it a tasty snack.
For 122 calories : you have 2 rice cakes with 2 tsp of tahini paste and 1 tsp of honey on top.
Although rice cakes are High GI but served with the sesame paste ( tahini ) makes it low GI and the honey satisfying for those with sweet tooth.
Seseame seeds sprinkling is optional.

Sunday, 31 January 2010


If you made your dough for making filo pastry ( yufka ) and you felt you couldn't do it, why not use the dough and make flat bread. ( Also known as bazlama and bezdirme )
Roll each dough with the rolling pin about 25 cm in diameter and cook both sides on a preheated non stick frying pan on a medium heat. Turn the bread over 2-4 times to cook both sides equally.
Then serve them warm with butter on them or serve them plain with curries.
After cooking, wrap them in covered in a tea towel to keep them warm. They are best eaten the same day or will keep for a day or two buttered, wrapped, then reheated in the pan before serving.


I grew up on home made yufka ( filo pastry ) always made at home dried then stack together in big bundles to use as needed. Filo pastry is made using long thin ( 80 cm long , as shown above) rolling pin called OKLAVA. They will be available in continental food stores. Yufkas made using oklava then cooked on large pans called SAC. Just before dinner water sprinkled over the dry yufka, covered then after 5 minutes, it is folded it and ready to serve as bread. Since I don't have SAC to cook my yufka, I dried them for about an hour on the table then cut into portions and froze them for later use. If you are going to make boreks you can use it after 30 minutes of making the pastry. For baklava the yufka is even thinner and corn flour is used when rolling the pastry. If you are freezing the yufka, sprinkle cornflour between the layers before freezing to prevent sticking together. Ingredients below makes 5 yufkas.
  • 1 cup of strong bread flour
  • 1 cup of ordinary plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Plain flour for dusting, during rolling the filo.
1) Mix salt with flour and make a soft dough adding the water slowly. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes then divide into 5 equal pieces. Cover the dough with damp tea towel and start working on each dough.
2) First roll the dough with the rolling pin about 20-25 cm in diameter. Then using oklava roll out the dough by pressing down on the centre of the dough with oklava and pushing it towards the outer edge then pulling it back toward you. Sprinkle the both size of the dough with plain flour during this process.
3) You should achieve 50-60 cm in diameter, round filo with this size of the dough which is 80 gr each ( about size an a large egg ). If you never tried making filo pastry using oklava before, it can be daunting and you will get better with practice. The pastry is usually as thin as a A4 paper and even thinner for baklava filo.
4) Once you rolled all 5 dough into filos, let them dry out for an hour or so then it is ready to use, whatever you want to make with them, boreks, filled filo parcels, spring rolls... etc.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


Today I made kurma for the first time using dried coconut. It was different and quite delicious. This recipe is ideal for those not so keen on hot curries and prefer it mild.
Over the years I learnt and tried so many curry recipes, also learned to use whole spices and grind my own at home which makes a big difference in taste, I found. If I am using ready packed ground spices, I always dry fry them for a minute or two, just to freshen them up before adding the spices to the pan.
Today I started by preparing the COCONUT MILK for the curry. For this, I used 1 cup of desiccated coconut and 2 cups of hot water, mix and let it sit for 30 minutes then liquidise in a blender, then strain the coconut milk. Set aside.
Next prepare the CURRY PASTE.
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • salt
  • 2-4 tbsp water
Place all above ingredients in a blender together with water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.

Next, CHICKEN THIGHS or chicken breasts. Wash and cut the extra fat from the pieces. I used 7 chicken thighs or you can use 4 - 6 chicken breasts.
Now, chop up 2 medium onions in a large frying pan with 2-4 tbs oil and fry until browned. Add the spice paste and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 5-7 minutes. Add 1 can of chopped tomatoes and the coconut milk and more water to the pan if necessary to cover the chicken pieces. Bring it to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Mix it occasionally so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add some more water if needed.
Add chopped coriander just before serving.

Monday, 11 January 2010


I love no-knead method because it is so simple and fun way of making bread. Today I made 2 loaves, one plain, the other with my favorite ingredients: black olives and sun dried tomatoes.
I have been watching bread making YouTube videos and also learnt a lot from my dear friend Joe in US.
I got my inspiration from the Italian bread made with olives and Parmesan cheese but I adapted and used sun dried tomatoes instead of Parmesan and I added grape molasses which gave a special taste to it.

  • 10 1/2 oz white bread flour
  • 5 oz wholemeal bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt(if the olives and tomatoes are salty, use less salt)
  • 450 ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling.

  • Mix instant yeast and salt with flour. Pour warm water in a jug. Add oil and molasses and mix. Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix to make a sticky dough. Cover the dough with cling film and let it sit for 12-18 hours.
  • Make the second batch of the dough as above
  • Add 1 tbsp chopped black olives and 1 tbs chopped sun dried tomatoes into the dough before setting the dough aside for 12-18 hours.
  • Pour the dough on a well floured surface. Fold the ends of the dough to make a ball with floured hands.
  • Spray a proving basket with oil spray and sprinkle linearly with sesame seeds. Transfer the dough ball in the basket, cover and let it rest for 1 1/2 hours. Do the same with the other batch of dough.
  • When only half hour left, place 2 casserole dishes, Pyrex or cast iron dishes with lid in to the oven at 230 C to preheat the oven and to heat the dishes.
  • After 1 1/2 hour of resting period and the dough is double in size, get the dishes out, transfer the dough into the hot dish. Brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the top on and back into the oven to cook for 30 minutes. Do the same with the other dough and place it in the oven to cook 2 loaves together.
  • Take the lids off after 30 minutes and cook the bread for further 15-20 minutes until the tops of the both bread nice and golden in colour.
  • Take out and cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours before cutting it. ENJOY ...

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Bugun sizlere Ingilizlerin cok meshur ve yapini cok kolay olan kurabiye yaptim. Ingilterede hangi kahve, pastane ve restoranta giderseniz SCONE muhakkak menude bulunur ve genelikle recel ve crema ile servis yapilir. Sade olarak diyet kurabiyesi olarak oldukca populer bir alternatifdir. Tatli ve tuzlu iki cesit yapilir. Tuzlu scone rendelenmis peynir ilavesi ile yapilir. Bugun ben hurma ve ceviz kullandim fakat kuru cinsten uzum, zerdali ve incirlede yapabilirsiniz. Dikkat edilecek en onemli nokta: unu yuksekten elemek ve hamuru cok az karistirip elle hafif hafif toparlamak. Hamur fazla karistirilirsa scone sert olur ve ozelligini kaybeder. Asagidaki olculerden 8-10 kurabiye cikiyor.

  • 2 buyuk su bardagi tepeleme un ( 375 g )
  • 3 tatli kasigi kabartma tozu
  • bir fiske tuz
  • 80 gram tereyagi
  • 70 gram seker
  • 50 gram ceviz
  • 50 gram hurma veya uzum
  • 1 limon veya portakal kabugu rendesi
  • 1 yumurta
  • 3 yemek kasigi yogurt
  • 4-5 yemek kasigi sut
Firini 200 derecede onceden isitin. Buyuk firin tepsinizi hafif yaglayin.
  • Once unu eleyin, karbonat tuz ve seker ilave edip karistirin.
  • Tereyagini kucuk karelere kesip, una ilave ederek, ekmek ufagi gibi oluncaya kadar parmak uclariyla ufalayin.
  • Ceviz, hurma ve limon rendesini ilave edin. Kasikla karistirin.
  • Onceden cirpilmis yumurtayi, yogurt ve sutu unlu karisima ilave edip elle hafif karistirip hamuru bir araya getirin.
  • Unlanmis bir zemine aktarin ve hamuru 3 cm kalinliginda acin. 6 cm kuki kalibi ile kesip yaglanmis tepsiye yerlestirin. Sconlarin uzerine firca ile sut surup firina verin.
  • 200 C de 10-12 dakika pisirdikten sonra firindan alip ilidiktan sonra servis yapin. Yada ortadan kesip once tereyagi sonra recel, yada once recel sonrada cirpilmis krema surup servis yapin. Afiyet olsun.


I made these meringues and this time tried them with normal table sugar rather than caster sugar. My dear friend Ozlem in Turkey mention that her meringues were not turning out right using normal sugar, so this is for you Ozlem, hope you like them.

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 level tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate drops or grated chocolate
Preheat the oven to 150 C. Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the egg whites until fluffy and foamy in a bowl. Make sure the utensils and the bowl is completely grease free.
  • Add cream of tartar and vanilla. Beat until soft peaks.
  • Sprinkle sugar little at a time, beat until the mixture is shiny and stiff peaks are formed.
  • Fold in chocolate and the chopped nuts.
  • Place a 1 heaped tsp on baking tray leaving 1-2 cm space between the meringues.
  • Bake for 20- 30 minutes. Leave in the oven to cool completely. Makes 40- 42

Friday, 8 January 2010


1) DRINK TEA : Tea is full of antioxidants and therefore anti ageing. Black tea is just as good as green tea as far as the health benefits go. Black tea is simply green tea leaves that have been dried and heated to change the colour and the taste. Both black and green tea are stronger in almost equal amount of antioxidants.
If you drink tea with your meals, it helps neutralize cancer causing compounds.
2) EAT SOYA BEAN FOODS: The soybean contains many antioxidants to deter certain type of cancers. Eat them at least 2-3 times a week.
3) EAT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES: These contain the greatest amount of antioxidants. Eat as many fruit and veg you can at least 5 servings a day. Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh.
4) EAT FISH: Oily fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, tuna and mackerel are the best source of omega 3 and they have the most anti aging fatty acids. Try to eat at least 2-3 times a week. Tinned fish is good as an alternative to fresh fish.
5) EAT GARLIC: Garlic is the most ancient antioxidant. A clove a day raw or cooked is a sufficient amount of anti aging dose. It helps to prevent cancer, heart and brain diseases.
6) LIMIT SWEETS: Eating excessive amount of sugar and fructose raises insulin levels damaging arteries, as well as causing weight gain and other diseases.
7) CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL: Drinking moderately no more than one or two glasses per day is the sensible amount. Red wine contains various antioxidants from the grapes.
8) HAVE LESS MEAT: To avoid harmful free radicals, restrict meat and and choose better ways of cooking them. Steam, boil and roast rather them rather than fry and barbecue the meat if possible.
9) RESTRICT BAD FATS: Avoid animal fats, dairy fats, margarine, vegetables fats and processed foods.
10) RESTRICT CALORIES: Eat only enough calories for optimum nutrition to enjoy the foods we like.

Sunday, 3 January 2010