I have just returned from an amazing trip to Amman, Jordan; I was in Amman last week to teach a 5 day Turkish cookery course at JA University, a wonderful experience from the start to the end, very kindly organised by Panthera Jordan with a much appreciated support by the Turkish Embassy in Amman, Jordan. There has been so many highlights from our course, here I wanted to share a few with you.
During our 5 day course, we covered 22 recipes; from Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek and pastries to salads, vegetables cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyaglis to mezzes, to kebabs to desserts and drinks. It was great to hear the participants very much enjoyed the freshness of our dishes, based on seasonality, ease of making and lightness in flavor as well as being wholesome. They expressed they loved the vegetarian courses we made as much as the meat based dishes. I aimed to try to show them what is cooked and enjoyed in Turkish homes as well as some classic Turkish dishes; from Mucver – Zucchini fritter with feta and dill to Ispanakli borek to Patlicanli Mualla, Eggplants, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil to Revani to Caramalised dried apricots with walnuts – Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi and more so they get a broader perspective of wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine, beyond our much loved kebabs.
Teaching at the Jordan Applied University, JAU was very special; seeing the students’ as well as other participants – houseviwes, keen foodies, chefs from restaurants and hotels, as well as JAU students -enthusiasm and interest for the Turkish cusine, as the young chefs of the future. It really was a pleasure to have a chance to teach the delicious, wholesome, refreshing Turkish flavors to them and hearing they were inspired to enthusiastically make them straight after the class, showing me the photos of their creations.
Making the Turkish pide bread was a special highlight from the class; bread is a major staple in Jordan too and it was interesting to compare notes of our flat bread and theirs. Fresh from the oven, it was much enjoyed.
Our lighter baklava with walnuts, fragrant with lemon juice in syrup also hit the spot well. Baklava at home, in Turkey is much lighter than its versions abroad and glad to see it is received very well.
I was delighted to see that the salads and vegetarian courses were very popular during our course. Zeytinyaglis, Vegetables Cooked in Olive Oil is a wholesome, delicious category in Turkish cuisine and a favorite with us. We made Antakya’s aubergines/eggplants cooked with lentils, onions and peppers in olive oil, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla during our Turkish Cookery course. Marriage of lentils with eggplants and vegetables are heavenly in this dish and dried mint gives a delicious, refreshing finish – a personal favorite, became hugely popular at the class.
Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping, Kiymali Pide was another highlight from our course. My version includes a lot of onions and peppers, a lovely juicy topping, if you’d like to have a go too.
Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings is the ultimate street food in Turkey and it was wonderful to recreate this much loved snack during our course in Amman and we all enjoyed the results!
Memorable food scene from Amman, Jordan:
Jordanians are a very hospitable nation, everyone has been so kind, generous with hospitality high on the agenda. My huge special thanks to especially dear Suhair Kilani and the Panthera Jordan team for their amazing hospitality. Thanks to them, I got to experience the Jordanian food scene at its best.
The traditional Jordanian meal we had at the Rajeen Restaurant in Amman was very special, the atmosphere was unforgettable. I really enjoyed the food and the variety of the mezzes. Their hummus is much creamier than ours and we found the secret – they add strained yoghurt to their hummus, a delicious addition. I loved the Fattoush salad with toasted bread and sumac dressing, packed with flavor, could have eaten just that all night.
Dear Suhair and her husband Ma’en also very kindly took me some fabulous local eatries like this local Kunefe shop, it was well worth queuing for an amazing kunefe!
Back to our course, after teaching and sharing 22 delicious Turkish recipes, we gave our participants Certificate of Attendance. We were delighted to have Mrs Onal, wife of Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal for Jordan with us. My sincere thanks again to dear Suhair Kilani for organising our course in Amman, Jordan, all Panthera Jordan Team, JA University and the Turkish Embassy in Jordan for all their support.
Our Turkish cookery course in Amman aired on TRT!
Last, but not least, TRT, Turkish National TV crew came to our Turkish cookery course in Amman for an interview with us on the last day. Icing on the cake, it was lovely to express how well Turkish home style cooking is received in Amman and hearing from the JAU students that they very much enjoyed the course and it was inspirational. Here’s the link to our TRT interview
It was a wonderful series of Turkish course to remember, I very much look forward to returning for more Turkish cookery classes, many thanks Amman, Jordan!