Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More


Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Let’s have a go at Turkish Cuisine; Sultan’s Delight, Zucchini Fritters, Kunefe (Kadayifi); Easier than You Think!

“Thank you for the wonderful Turkish cooking class; I learned so much about the Turkish cuisine, and couldn’t believe how easy it is to cook delicious, healthy food”; this has been one of the comments at my recent Turkish cooking class. It is always a pleasure to see participants’ enjoying the class and realize how easy to make Turkish dishes, using fresh ingredients.

It is a pleasure and lots of fun sharing Turkish cuisine, recipes, traditions at the cookery classes

Well, I have a new Turkish cookery class coming up on Saturday, 20th October, and I wanted to share what we will be up to.  The classes are friendly, informal with step by step demonstration of the recipes, and packed with useful information on where to source ingredients,  substitution ( when needed) and on Turkish cuisine and culture. If you are in the area and would like to join us, please contact me. If not, I hope the recipes may still inspire you to have a go to treat yourself, family and friends; they are delicious and easier than you think! Here is our menu for the class:

Zucchini (Courgette) Fritters flavored with Feta and Dill – Mucver. This appetizer is a wonderful way to flavor the zucchini; dill and feta really goes well with the zucchini. An important tip here is to squeeze out any excess water of the grated zucchini with a paper/tea towel. This will prevent the fritters to get soggy.  You can enjoy mucver  warm or you can make it in advance, and serve as a cold meze. It is truly delicious with garlic infused yoghurt by the side.

Zucchini fritters are utterly delicious; garlicky yoghurt would complement them well.

Sultan’s Delight –  Ragout With Pureed Eggplant And Béchamel Sauce – Hunkar Begendi

Hunkar Begendi; delicious ragout on a bed of smoked eggplant puree; for a vegetarian option, you can serve the puree with grilled vegetables.

This Ottoman classic is served with smoky tasting eggplant with cheese in a béchamel sauce. When Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, visited Topkapi Palace – Istanbul as a guest of the Sultan, she admired the puree so much that she sent her chef to Topkapi Palace to learn the technique. Once you’ve mastered the eggplant puree, it goes well with any grilled meat or vegetables.

Smoking the eggplants is an important step to make the Hunkar Begendi, Sultan's Delight.

Important tip; if you cook the eggplants on stove top or burner, you get a wonderful smoky flavor for the eggplants. As an alternative, you can also bake the eggplants in the oven – make sure to prick the eggplants before baking.

Hunkar Begendi is one of the landmarks of our cuisine and very popular at home. It is great for entertaining; looks very inviting and the marriage of the eggplant & béchamel sauce with the ragout is divine. For a vegetarian option, why not serving the puree with Fried Aubergine (Eggplant), Courgette (Zucchini) and Peppers with Tomato Sauce; Saksuka ? 

Kunefe – Kadayifi

Syrup soaked delicate pastry strands with cheese; kunefe is an ultimate treat.

This dessert is one of the signature dishes of my hometown, Antakya (please click here for more delicious recipes and photos from Antakya). I can still remember getting the freshly baked Tel Kadayif (pastry strands) from the local bakery, watching the delicate strands forming from the huge sieve. And I can still visualize my grandmother cooking Kunefe in her stone oven in her garden, and, we, her grandchildren excitedly waiting for any leftovers of the butter soaked pastry strands….glorious days .

Tel kadayif is a dough, pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, which looks like vermicelli. In Antakya, there are specialty shops like this, making the fresh pastry strands for kunefe.

Tel kadayif is a dough, pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, which looks like vermicelli and when soaked in butter and baked, resembles golden shredded wheat. It is the basis for many desserts but this is the most impressive. The hot cheese should ooze out giving an interesting contrast to the syrup soaked, crunchy casing. Any unsalted cheese which melts easily can be used – mozzarella works well too. It can be baked in one big pan or smaller ones as individual portions.

Kunefe recipe will be in the blog shortly.

We will finish the class with the aromatic Turkish coffee, Turkish way. Always a wonderful experience.

Turkish coffee; delicious way to end a Turkish meal.

Have you ever made any of these dishes? Could I tempt you to have a go?:) I would be more than happy to help you along the way and answer your questions, just let me know. I bet yours will be more delicious than mine:)

My late grandmother's 450 year old stone house in Antakya; the house has been a very happy place to cook and enjoy delicious food, and an inspiration for us to keep the recipes, traditions alive.

Happy Cooking, Afiyet Olsun!




, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses to Let’s have a go at Turkish Cuisine; Sultan’s Delight, Zucchini Fritters, Kunefe (Kadayifi); Easier than You Think!

  1. CuisinedeProvence September 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Just this afternoon I bbq’d some eggplants to prepare your wonderful eggplant puree with the smoky flavor! I love this taste and am sure your students will too!

    • Ozlem September 17, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Always ever grateful your support Barbara, many thanks! I bet you have some wonderful aubergines in Provence, wished I was there to share with you:)

  2. Peri September 17, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    How I wish I was in one of classes, Ozlem, only one pond away:) I can personally vouch for the absolutely delicious zucchini fritters and the decadent melt in your mouth kunefe! Yummy…

    • Ozlem September 17, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      how I wish to be here too! I am hopeful for a meet up in 2013 in TX, if not earlier at this side; ) kunefe and mucver on me when we meet up!

  3. Alida September 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    What a wonderful post!! I can’t take my eyes off your delicious meals. In particular I love those zucchini fritters. Bookmarking. Take care X

    • Ozlem September 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      Ciao Alida, zucchini fritters are one of my favorite too, many thanks!

  4. Peter September 18, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Ozlem, you have three of my favourite dishes…Hunkar, zucchini fritters and Kunenefe.

    • Ozlem September 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      Kalimeras Peter, how I wished we were close by and we could cook and enjoy these together! Just glad that you had excellent samples at the Antiochia in Istanbul:)

  5. Phil in the Kitchen September 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    This is a lovely selection of recipes. Wish I could be there. One of these days….

    • Ozlem September 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Very kind of you Phil; I hope you can still have a go at the recipes, I am always here if you have any questions 🙂

  6. Tasha September 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Wow, wonderful blog! I just came across it and can’t wait to read more! Just great!

    • Ozlem September 26, 2012 at 8:36 am #

      Many thanks Tasha!

Leave a Reply