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Cakes and Desserts

Turkish Baked Rice Pudding! Ozlem Turkish Table Apron, TRT Interview and Online Classes

Turkish Baked Rice Pudding – Firin Sutlac

Milk based desserts have a special place in Turkish cuisine, like this Turkish Baked Rice Pudding, or Firin Sutlac, as we call in Turkish. We enjoy this comforting dessert, not only at the end of meals, but also as a day time treat. There are Pastanes, Patisseries, and  Muhallebici, Pudding Shops in Turkey, that serve this milk based dessert as well as other sweet treats. I have fond memories of stopping by our local muhallebici, pudding shop, to have enjoy our Firin Sutlac, with a glass of cay aside, with family and friends in Turkey.

Here’s my recreation of our creamy, comforting Firin Sutlac; it is a big hit with my family and friends,  I hope you enjoy it too. It  is lighter than you think, there is no butter in it and also gluten-free. Please use whole milk for a deliciously creamy taste, if you can. Traditional Turkish rice puddings are made with regular white granulated sugar but I used demerara sugar, as it is our preferred sugar in our home– hence my rice pudding is more golden in colour and less sweet than the regular Firin Sutlac. Even though Firin Sutlac is enjoyed cold in Turkey, I must say we love it warm. We also like to add crushed nuts and dried freeze berries on top; you can sprinkle ground cinnamon when serving too. My children like to have fresh berries with their Baked rice pudding; very tempting to have it for breakfast this way too!

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Turkish Baked Rice pudding, Firin Sutlac
 
Here’s my recreation of our creamy, comforting Turkish Rice Pudding, Firin Sutlac; it is a big hit with my family and friends, I hope you enjoy it too. It is lighter than you think, there is no butter in it and also gluten-free. Please use whole milk for a deliciously creamy taste, if you can. Traditional Turkish rice puddings are made with regular white granulated sugar but I used demerara sugar, as it is our preferred sugar in our home– hence my rice pudding is more golden in colour and less sweet than the regular Firin Sutlac. Even though Firin Sutlac is enjoyed cold in Turkey, I must say we love it warm. We also like to add crushed nuts and dried freeze berries on top; you can sprinkle ground cinnamon when serving too. My children like to have fresh berries with their Baked rice pudding; very tempting to have it for breakfast this way too!
Author:
Recipe type: Milk Pudding
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 125g / 4⅜ oz short grain rice, rinsed
  • 450ml / 16fl oz whole milk (to cook the rice at the beginning)
  • 900ml / 32fl oz whole milk (to combine with the cooked rice and rest of ingredients)
  • 200g/ 7oz demerara sugar (you can use regular white granulated sugar, if preferred)
  • 5ml / 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 45ml/ 3tbsp cornstarch
  • 80ml/ 3fl oz whole milk (to mix with the cornstarch)
  • Crushed pistachios, walnuts and/or dried berries to decorate (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon to decorate (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F
  2. Combine the rinsed short grain rice and 450ml / 16fl oz whole milk, in a medium to large heavy pot. Stir and bring to boil over medium to low heat. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat to low, cover and cook about 20 minutes, until all the moisture is absorbed. Make sure to check and stir occasionally so the rice won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Now add 900ml / 32fl oz whole milk to the cooked rice, stir and bring to a simmer, cooking over low to medium heat.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract and sugar, combine well.
  5. Mix the cornstarch with 80ml/ 3fl oz whole milk in a small bowl, making sure the starch blends with the milk and form a smooth paste. Add this to the rice mixture.
  6. Combine and simmer over low to medium heat, with constant stirring, for about 25 minutes. You will notice the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
  7. Pour the rice pudding into oven proof individual ramekin pots, taking care not to overfill until the top as the pudding tends to rise while baking. Place the pots on large baking dish or tray. Fill the baking tray half way with water, to provide moisture for the rice pudding.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven (200 C/ 400 F) for about 25 minutes or until the tops have a nice brown coating. Please check half way and towards the end to make sure the browning is good for your taste (and every oven is different, so it is good to keep an eye on it especially towards the end.
  9. Carefully take out the rice pudding, Firin Sutlac, from the tray. We enjoy ours warm, sprinkled with crushed pistachio, walnuts and dried freeze strawberries. You can also sprinkle cinnamon on top. If you prefer the traditional way, cool them at room temperature and refrigerate 2 -3 hours and serve cold.
  10. Afiyet Olsun.

New! Ozlem Turkish Table Apron on Sale and Special Offer

I am absolutely delighted to share with you that we designed this special Ozlem’s Turkish Table apron, just in time for the holiday gift giving season. It is special to my heart, as it is made in Turkey, with my hometown Antakya’s celebrated daphne leaves in the hand embroidered design – this lovely apron would make a wonderful gift for the festive season, you can get yours at this link. Delivered worldwide including the US.
We also have a special offer for Ozlem’s Turkish Table readersfor a limited time, to  you can get a  signed copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book bundled with this apron at a special price of £27.99. This special offer ends on 21th November 2020, if you like to get yours here is the link. Delivered worldwide including the US.
Signed hard back copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book are also 25 % Off, via GB Publishing, as a little gift from us to you, can be ordered at this link and delivered worldwide. I hope it helps bring many memorable Turkish feasts to your table.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Interview with TRT Radio 1 (Turkish National Radio 1)

It’s been an honor to be interviewed by the Turkish National Radio, TRT Radyo 1, at the Gunebakan Program today, talking about Turkish cuisine abroad. A special moment for me, talking in Turkish, at my homeland’s national radio channel. As we talked during the interview, our  recipes are  valuable means to share our thousands years of our culinary heritage with the world and pass on to the next generations. Also living abroad, I well know how precious our food is to connect us to our homeland, our memories and bring our stories to life. It is such a privilege to share my homeland Turkey’s amazing culinary heritage, traditions, recipes, hospitality, through these precious opportunities and my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. My sincere thanks goes to GB Publishing and Pinar Foods UK for helping me spread the word on wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine.
Here is the link to our interview with TRT Radio 1, I hope you enjoy it:

 I am absolutely delighted  to be teaching another  joint live cookery class with dear friend, author and passionate food blogger, Peri Avari  owner of the wonderful blog Peri’s Spice Ladle on Friday, November 20th, 9 am PT (5 pm UK) .We will be teaching festive dishes with Turkish favorites and global Indian specialties for your holiday servings, including the popular Filo Triangles with vegetarian fillings, Muska Boregi. Our menu includes:

    • Muska Boregi, vegetarian savory filo triangles, ideal appetizer for holiday meals.

    • Nar eksili, cevizli salata, watercress salad with sumac, onions, walnuts and pomegranate molasses, adds freshness to your celebration servings.

    • Aloo Gobi Casserole, a festive baked twist on a popular Indian favorite made with potatoes, cauliflower and a topping of Panko breadcrumbs.

    • Pine-nut Coconut Basmati Rice, bring in a touch of Indian ethnicity with a simple side of nutty rice.

    • During the class, we will give recipe tips, ideas for variations, ahead of time prepping and of course share stories from our homelands. Do hope you can join us at this special class to make the home cooking more festive. Here is the registation link for our online cookery class on November 20th; it is open worldwide.

    • Please also check my cookery class page for new classes and events coming up, including my Turkish Meze Feast Online Cooking Class on Dec 5th, with Milk Street Cooking School.
    • I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, in good health and happiness, Afiyet Olsun,

    • Ozlem

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Baklava, Revani, Kunefe and More; Desserts for the End of Ramadan

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day Ramazan Bayrami or Seker Bayrami in Turkey (also named Eid al-Fitr in the Islamic World, Festival of Fast-Breaking), starting 24 May 2020.

The Blue Mosque Istanbul; a special place to visit during and end of Ramadan

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul; a special place to visit during and end of Ramadan

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement, charity, as well as increased devotion and worship.  Ramadan is also a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community, share what you have and visit one another.  With the Covid 19, unfortunately visiting one another will be a virtual one for most of us; still the food we prepare and share with friends, neighbours even by the door and give back to charities will be special.

Baklava, is one of the ultimate treats of end of Ramadan gatherings

Baklava, is one of the ultimate treats of end of Ramadan gatherings

 Below are some of the special desserts being prepared for Ramazan Bayrami in our family. I hope they may inspire to recreate for your family too.

Desserts play an important role in Turkish culture and are the center piece at religious festivals, weddings and family celebrations. My cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland is packed with delicious dessert recipes from Baklava to Kadayifi, fruit based desserts  to Turkish Delight – Lokum and more. Signed copies now 30 % OFF at this link, and delivered worldwide including US.

Ramazan Bayraminiz kutlu olsun, Eid Mubarak to all celebrating and best wishes,

Ozlem

Baklava with Walnuts and Pistachios 

Home made baklava; delicious, easy and lighter

Home made baklava; delicious, easy and lighter

An Ottoman legacy, baklava is regarded as one of the greatest creations from the pastry chefs at the Topkapi Palace. Generally, baklava is enjoyed as a mid-morning sweet snack with a cup of Turkish coffee, or as a mid-afternoon treat with a glass of tea or after lunch or dinner. Baklava is also one of the favorite desserts marking the end of Ramadan. The real thing shouldn’t be very sweet and heavy; on the contrary it should be light enough to tempt you to eat a small plateful. Here is my home made baklava recipe; my version is lighter and fragrant with lemon, hope you enjoy it.  How to make Baklava is also now on Ozlem’s Turkish Table You Tube channel below.

Gullac

Delicious and light Gullac dessert is ideal for warm summer days.

Delicious and light Gullac dessert is ideal for warm summer days.

One of our favorite dessert for this time of the year is the traditional dessert, Gullac. This lovely, light dessert is prepared with Gullac wafers which is made with corn starch and wheat flour. You can find Gullac wafers at specialty or Middle Eastern stores, or at Turkish online shops.

Güllaç dessert contains walnuts or almonds between the layers which are soaked in milk. It is a light and wonderful dessert for warm summer days. You can decorate Gullac with pomegranate seeds in winter or dried fruits like apricots in summer; crushed pistachios are also wonderful over gullac. Here is my Gullac recipe.

Kunefe; Kadayifi; a very festive dessert

Kunefe, Kadayifi - a glorious dessert that would make any day special.

Kunefe, Kadayifi – a glorious dessert that would make any day special.

This glorious syrup soaked, cheese filled pastry strands, Kunefe, Kadayifi, is one of the signature dishes of my hometown, Antakya and it appears on our table in almost every special occasion.

The Master at work in Long Market, Antakya. The dough is pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, called Tel Kadayif.

The Master at work in Long Market, Antakya. The dough is pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, called Tel Kadayif.

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 – fresh mozzarella works well. I also like to add a little clotted cream; my mother would add the wonderfully thick cream we get in Turkey, called Kaymak. Kunefe can be baked in one big pan or smaller ones as individual portions and it instantly makes any day special. Here is my Kunefe recipe, if you’d like to give it a go.

Revani; Semolina Sponge Cake with Syrup

Revani; a deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup

Revani; a deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup

Revani has been a popular dessert with us Turks since the Ottoman Period; it is believed that the name Revani is given when the Ottomans conquered the city of Yerevan in today’s Armenia. Revani has many versions and been enjoyed in various cuisines especially in the Eastern Mediterranean countries, as well as in Turkey. I have seen the addition of rose water, orange flower water and orange zest to Revani, all sounds delicious. We love semolina’s grainy, nutty texture, the goodness from yoghurt and the refreshing lemony flavor in Revani. Here’s my Revani recipe; it is lighter but still packed with a lot of flavor.

Here is also my Revani YouTube video – Afiyet Olsun.

Kaymakli Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish Bread Pudding in Syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish bread pudding soaked in syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish bread pudding soaked in syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi, a specialty from Antakya, is a delicious and very popular dessert in Turkey, made with the special (dehydrated) bread soaked in syrup. Topped with the thick Turkish clotted cream, kaymak, it is a heavenly and a very satisfying dessert. Unfortunately it is difficult get this dehydrated bread abroad. Middle Eastern shops, Turkish shops and online Turkish stores may carry them, worth checking. I have also seen crumpets being used as an alternative to this dehydrated bread abroad. If using crumpets, you’ll need to adjust the syrup quantity. Here is my Ekmek Kadayifi recipe.

 Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Katmer; Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachio and clotted cream

Katmer; Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream

Katmer; Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream

This delicious and easy to make Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream, Katmer, hails from Gaziantep, one of the must visit gastronomic regions in Turkey. The crunchy, flaky Katmer is traditionally the first meal eaten by the bride and groom after their wedding night in Gaziantep. It tastes absolutely heavenly with Gaziantep’s world famous pistachios and the thick Turkish clotted cream, kaymak.

and place little dabs of the clotted cream, mascarpone cheese or Turkish kaymak, all around the filo sheet.

Place little dabs of the clotted cream, mascarpone cheese or Turkish kaymak, all around the filo sheet.

My version of Katmer here uses filo pastry sheets (you can use the fresh, paper thin Turkish yufka pastry sheets in Turkey) and thick clotted cream instead of kaymak, as it is not easy to find kaymak abroad (mascarpone cheese also gave good results). The substitution worked well in Katmer and made a lovely, light dessert with with fresh fruit by the side. You can serve Katmer as part of breakfast, dessert or as a tea time treat.

Katmer, Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream, a specialty of Gaziantep.

Katmer, Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream, a specialty of Gaziantep.

I hope you enjoy Katmer, Afiyet Olsun,
Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Katmer; Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachio and clotted cream
 
This delicious and easy to make Turkish crunchy pancakes with pistachios and clotted cream, Katmer, hails from Gaziantep, one of the must visit gastronomic regions in Turkey. It is delicious as part of breakfast, tea time treat or a light dessert with fresh fruit aside.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish regional desserts
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry, thawed (each sheet about 30 cm x 27 cm – 11 in x 12 in)
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
  • 55 gr / 2 oz. clotted cream, Turkish kaymak or mascarpone cheese
  • 60 gr / 4 tbsp. finely crushed, unsalted pistachios
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. sugar (brown sugar works well too)
  • Honey and fresh fruit to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Take the filo sheets out of the fridge 30 minutes prior using to bring to room temperature. If filo sheets are frozen, it is best to thaw in the fridge overnight and take out 1 hour prior using to bring to room temperature. Alternatively, you can take out the frozen filo sheets 2 hours prior using to bring to room temperature.
  2. Place two filo sheets on top of another on a dry surface (keep the rest of the filo sheets under damp towel so that they won’t dry out).
  3. Leave a margin of about 4 cm (1.5 in) around the edges and place little dabs of the clotted cream, mascarpone cheese or Turkish kaymak, all around the filo sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the finely crushed pistachios and sugar evenly over the cream.
  5. Place the remaining 2 filo sheets on top. Brush the edges of the top filo sheet with 1 tbsp. of melted butter. Wet your hands and fold over each side of the pasty (about 2 cm / 1 in) to make a parcel. Seal the edges with your wet hands and the brushed melted butter.
  6. Coat the remaining 1 tbsp. melted butter around a large, non-stick frying pan, over medium heat.
  7. Place the filo parcel into the pan (with the wrapped edges down) and cook for 2 minutes, as it will get golden.
  8. Turn the pancake over gently (large spatulas help) and cook for another 1,5 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve katmer warm, drizzled with a little honey (if you wish) and crushed pistachios over. Bowl of fresh fruit aside complements katmer beautifully too.
 

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