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