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Regional Signature Dishes; Mains, Sides and Desserts

A special visit to Istanbul and Turkish Festive Meal Ideas

Merhaba dear All,

Showing my mother, Gulcin, the final proofs of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from my Homeland

I had a flying but a very special visit back home, to Istanbul last week; mainly to spend some quality time with my parents and family, every minute of it was precious. The trip coincided with finalising my cookery book coming up, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. I had a chance to show the final print outs to my parents, it was a special and emotional moment for us all.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book; Contents Page

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, final proofs!

This special book has been a legacy of my parents, who instilled in us the love of good food, passion for sharing with others and love for our Turkish cuisine. It was a special and proud moment to show them the fruits of our labor; I am over the moon that they loved the book!:) The book pays special tribute to my southern Turkish roots, with my family history, family photos and recipes and really is beautifully made with gorgeous photography by Sian Irvine Food Photography– you will love the vividness of the colors, market photos, beautifully shot photos of each recipes and showcasing thousands of years of culinary heritage of Turkish cuisine. A warm, lovingly made book, also a love letter to my homeland, I can not wait to share with you all.

A still life image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, by Sian Irvine

My book is on pre-order now and it could make a lovely gift to a food lover. You can pre-order  here with 10% off pre-order discount only for this period; please enter the promo code Pre-Order Special before the check out at this link, to apply for 10% discount. Pre-orders will be shipped worldwide (including Turkey) in March, prior the general release of the book in April 2018. It’s a lovingly made, special book and I truly hope you enjoy it and it brings happy memories of my beautiful homeland, Turkey.

Festive Turkish Meal Ideas:

One of the feedback you readers kindly gave for my book has been to include Menu Suggestions in the book. And I kept my promise and included a variety of menus in the book, to help with meal planning; such as Traditional Menu, Vegetarian Menu, Gluten-Free Menu, Mezze based menu, Southern Turkish themed menu, Kebab based menu etc. Inspired by this, I thought to share some  Turkish meal ideas with recipes and their beautiful images from my upcoming book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland,  so you can enjoy with family and friends over the festive season, I hope it inspires to you all.

Ezo Gelin Corba; Spicy lentil and bulgur soup; image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

We Turks always start our meal with soup, corba, traditionally and I can’t think of a better soup than Ezo Gelin Corbasi, Spicy bulgur and lentil soup to warm us all. So easy to make and dried mint and red pepper flakes flavor this soup so beautifully; you can make a big batch and freeze left overs, one of our firm favourites.

Assortment of boreks, savory pastries with filo, from my book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Boreks, savory pastries with fillings are a huge favorite in our home – children love them as well as adults. How about an assortment of boreks for the festive season, like in this image from my cookery book? Traybake Spinach and cheese filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek, Traybake filo pastry with ground/minced meat, Kiymali Borek or filo triangles with cheese and spinach or parsley, Muska boregi, would all be great crowd pleasers.

Potato and bulgur patties with pomegranate molasses, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

I will definitely be making these scrumptious Potato and Bulgur Patties, served with pomegranate molasses, during the festive season. They are so easy to make and absolutely delicious; pungent cumin and red pepper flakes flavor these patties beautifully – you can serve as a side to your mains; they are absolutely lovely when dipped in to pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi – a delicious southern Turkish specialty.

Stuffed aubergines/eggplants – Karniyarik; a delicious main from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Aubegine/eggplant is king of vegetables at home and Karniyarik, stuffed aubergine/eggplant with minced meat and vegetables always makes an appearance in our festive tables. You can also make Split aubergines/eggplants with vegetables filling, Imam Bayildi, if you prefer the vegetarian option – love them both.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

There can be quite rich food and indulgence during the festive period and I opt for fruity desserts most of the time. This baked dried apricots with walnuts fits the bill perfectly; healthy, light, easy to make and great for entertaining – also gluten-free.

Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi is a special drink for us – it really is a more than a drink with all its rituals and it is the perfect end to a special meal. Here’s how to make the perfect Turkish coffee.

I truly hope these would give you some ideas to enjoy with family and friends over the festive season. My very best wishes to you all for the festive season and the New Year. It’s been such a pleasure to share delicious Turkish cuisine with you all and more to come in 2018!

Afiyet Olsun,


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Ozlem’s Turkish Table on Radio – Aubergine, lentils in olive oil

Merhaba dear all,

Ozlem’s Turkish Table; Recipes from My Homeland – available for pre-order now

My sincere thanks first of all for your most kind interest and comments for my upcoming Turkish cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Publishing a book is a labor of love and your warm feedback has been so greatly appreciated.

I wanted to inform you that you can now pre-order my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland at this link, not only with Paypal (direct or debit/credit card via Paypal) but also directly with your Debit or Credit Card , as well as Paying Offline, with a Bank transfer, to the account specified at this link.  If paying Offline, please kindly include the Ref: GBPShop-your last name. I hope the Offline payment option would be useful especially to all who can’t use Paypal or credit cards, as in Turkey.  Also Please kindly enter the promo code Pre-Order Special when it says “Enter a promo code” on the left side of your shopping cart to get your 10% discount.

Pre-orders will have the first priority of distribution worldwide in early March, prior the release of the book in April 2018.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table – Brooklands Radio Interview:

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on Brooklands Radio!

I had the pleasure to go on air at the Brooklands Radio in Surrey with dear Jill Bennet – being a music lover and an amateur radio DJ in my younger years in Istanbul, it was very exciting to be in the studio again!- We had a lovely chat on wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine and on my upcoming Turkish cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. My book is a special tribute to especially to my southern Turkish roots and my home town Antakya – Hatay, who recently became a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy, a title that Hatay so rightly deserves. It was wonderful to chat about this magical land and its scrumptious cuisine.  Here’s the podcast of our interview, if you would like to listen to it.

What I have been cooking lately..

Aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, from my upcoming cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland

Mercimekli Mualla, aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, which is also at my upcoming cookery book, has been a huge hit at my cookery book introduction and pre-order event last week. A delicious specialty from Antakya, this lovely dish ticks many boxes being vegan and gluten-free too. Dried mint and olive oil flavour the green lentils and aubergine/eggplant beautifully. Here’s my recipe link for Mercimekli Mualla, I hope you enjoy it.

My best wishes for the Holiday Season and Afiyet Olsun,


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Ozlem’s Turkish Table; pumpkin recipes, book fair, cookery class

Merhaba dear All,

Beautiful still life from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book coming up, by Sian Irvine Photography

Exciting times ahead, as we are almost there to start the pre-order for my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, as of early November, please stay tuned! With a special tribute to my southern Turkish roots and family stories, this book has been lovingly written and prepared with beautiful images by Sian Irvine Photography, I really can’t wait to share with you all.

Here are a few special events coming up as well as delicious autumn/fall flavours, showcasing pumpkin and squash, I hope you enjoy it:

Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland is at Riverhouse Barn Book Fair, October 28th

One of the still life shots with my family photos, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, coming up. Image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

I am delighted to be participating the Riverhouse Barn Book Fair in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England on Saturday, October 28th at 12 noon with GB Publishing. Together with other authors, I will be introducing my upcoming cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland and introducing southern Turkish cuisine, my roots, Antakya- Antioch, with Turkish delights for everyone! Hope you can join us for a wonderful literary themed weekend.

A Turkish Festive Table cookery class with Ozlem Warren, Divertimenti Cookery School – London, Hands On Masterclass – Saturday, December 2nd

Radish salad with tahini sauce, image credit: Sian Irvine photography

Antakya’s traybake kebab, tepsi kebabi, will be a part of our cookery class on Dec. 2nd at Divertimenti cookery school. Image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Please join us on Saturday, December 2nd, from 11 am to 2.30 pm for a festive class, as I will be sharing Southern Turkish specialties from my upcoming cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. With a tribute to my roots, you will prepare authentic Southern Turkish flavours as you cook alongside with us. Recipes include ‘Tahini Bread Rolls with Sesame Seeds’, ‘Muhammara’ (Walnut and red pepper paste dip), ‘Leafy Greens with Peppers, Pine nuts and Aleppo Pepper Flakes’, ‘Radish Salad with Tahini Sauce’, ‘Tepsi Kebabi’ (Traybake kebab with roasted vegetables), ‘Kunefe – Kadayifi’ (Pastry strands with melted cheese in light syrup) and Turkish coffee.

Price : £115

Participation is limited, please kindly book through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link

Leafy greens with pine nuts, pepper and onions, a delicious course at our Dec. 2nd cookery class, at Divertimenti

What I have been cooking lately…

Candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts, southern Turkish Style – Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi

Candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts; Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi

We all have pumpkins in our minds at this time of the year; I love its natural sweetness and comforting, luscious flavor. This scrumptious candied pumpkin dessert is popular in Turkey and it is so very easy to make. Pumpkin is baked here in its very own juice with sugar and the result is an exquisite dessert with the full flavor of pumpkin, also fancy enough to share with family and friends.

This lovely light dessert, Kabak Tatlisi, is wonderful served with crushed walnuts. In Turkey, it is also served with our thick clotted cream, kaymak. If you can’t get kaymak, clotted cream also complements this dessert well. Here’s the link to my candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts, Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi.

Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas, in yoghurt and mint sauce

Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas in yoghurt and dried mint sauce

Stews with yoghurt has a special place in southern Turkish cuisine. I recently re-created Gaziantep’s Stew with bulgur meatballs, in yoghurt and mint sauce – Yogurtlu, bulgurlu kofte -. The traditional recipe also has lamb in it, in my version I omitted the extra meat and added the seasonal squash to  the dish.  The chickpeas worked really well in the stew too; not only very healthy, but brought a different texture and wonderful flavor. The dish turned out to be a very satisfying  and substantial meal yet surprisingly light. Here’s my recipe for the Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas, in yoghurt and mint sauce, I hope you enjoy it.

Happy autumn/fall and Afiyet Olsun,


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