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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Regional Signature Dishes; Mains, Sides and Desserts

Vegetarian Manti, Turkish dumplings with sautéed onions, chickpeas and spices

We absolutely adore manti; one of my favourite foods growing up in Turkey. I not only love the taste but the whole ritual of manti making; when I was a child, my mother would prepare the dough, cut into small squares and my father, sister, anyone around would help making these tiny dumplings. And with huge excitement, we would pour in the garlicky yoghurt and that delicious spices infused warm olive oil over to top of our manti and tuck in immediately, such special memories.

Making manti is a bit of a labor of love, but so very satisfying, delicious and I find it soothing. I previously made the traditional manti with ground/minced meat filling and recently, I made this vegetarian version with sautéed onions and chickpeas, a popular variation especially enjoyed in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was a great success and my family loved it. Sautéed onions add a delicious natural sweetness and moisture to the earthy chickpeas. Warm, pungent cumin is made for chickpeas, and with a lovely heat from pul biber, they make a great vegetarian filling. I made these manti dumplings a bit bigger than my previous manti, hence easier to make and equally tasty.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

 

Baked dried apricots with walnuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table, image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Why not serve manti with this light and delicious dessert, Dried baked apricots with walnuts, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table? Lovely vegan and gluten-free treat, that is so easy to make too. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is available at this link and delivered worldwide. Manti is not at my current cookery book, but I hope you enjoy over 90 authentic recipes in there.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Vegetarian Manti with sautéed onions, chickpeas and spices
 
Here is my vegetarian manti, Turkish dumplings, with sautéed onions and chickpeas, a popular variation especially enjoyed in Central Anatolia, Turkey. Sautéed onions add a delicious natural sweetness and moisture to the earthy chickpeas. Warm, pungent cumin is made for chickpeas, and with a lovely heat from pul biber, they make a great vegetarian filling. I made these manti dumplings a bit bigger than my previous manti, hence easier to make and equally tasty. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian Manti
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Dough ingredients:
  • 300g/10 ½ oz. all-purpose plain flour (plus a little extra for rolling)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 115ml /4fl.oz water
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 5ml/1tsp sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (to sauté the onions)
  • 400g/14oz cooked (can of) chickpeas, rinsed
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (to knead the filling mixture)
  • 10ml/2tsp ground cumin
  • 5ml/1tsp pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the garlic yoghurt:
  • 400g/14oz thick and creamy plain yoghurt
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 15ml/1 tbsp. Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi or tomato paste
  • 60ml/4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 ml/2 tsp. dried spearmint, kuru nane
  • 5 ml/1 tsp. (or more) ground sumac (optional)
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp. (or more) Turkish red pepper flakes, chili flakes, pul biber
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
  2. First make the dough. Sift the flour and salt into a wide bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the beaten egg and the water and using your hands, draw the flour into the liquid and mix to dough. Pour in the olive oil and knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Manti dough needs to be quite hard; cover the dough with a cling film or kitchen towel and leave to rest in a cold place or in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the yoghurt with the garlic and season with salt to your taste. Cover and set aside to bring to room temperature.
  4. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Finely chop the onion. Heat the 30ml/2tbsp olive oil in a heavy, wide pan and stir in the onions. Sauté for 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Season with salt and ground black pepper and mix well. Stir in the chopped parsley and combine well, turn the heat off to cool.
  5. Place the cooked and rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl. Mash them with a potato masher (I like to go hands on and mash and knead with my hands but if you find this labour intensive, you can mash in a food processor too). Stir in the cooled sautéed onions, 30ml/2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, pul biber or red pepper flakes. Season with salt and ground black pepper (this filling needs good seasoning, and its being vegetarian, you can taste the filling and adjust the seasoning to your taste). With clean hands, knead the mixture for a couple of minutes and combine well. The filling is ready.
  6. Cut the dough into 3 balls. Working one piece of dough at a time (and cover the rest of the dough balls with a cling film in the meantime so they don’t dry out), roll the dough as thinly as you can into a sheet, on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into small squares (roughly 4cm/1 ½ in). Spoon a teaspoon of the filling, rounded at a size of a chickpea into the middle of each square. Pinch the opposite corners to form a little a little pouch and press the seams together to seal firmly. Make sure to lightly flour your hands if handling the dough becomes sticky, so that you can seal the manti well.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the dough and place the stuffed dumplings in a greased oven proof dish, stacking them next to one another in one layer. Bake uncovered for 8 - 10 minutes, until the manti, dumplings start to get a light golden colour. Take them out of the oven and let the manti cool. You can freeze some of this baked manti at this point, in a sealed bag for up to 3 weeks.
  8. Pour the hot water and pinch of salt to a large pan and bring to the boil. Place the baked dumplings gently to the boiling water and simmer for about 8- 10 minutes, until they are cooked. Once cooked, drain the water and return the manti to the pan. Drizzle a little oil over them so that they don’t stick together.
  9. While manti is cooking, prepare your sauce. Heat the oil in a wide pan and add the hot pepper paste, biber salcasi or the tomato paste. Stir in pul biber or red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac, combine well and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Arrange manti on a serving dish and spoon the garlic yogurt over them. Then drizzle spices infused olive oil with the tomato/red pepper paste sauce over the garlic yoghurt. You can decorate with extra red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac and serve immediately.
  11. Afiyet Olsun.

Ozlem’s Simit and Turkish Breakfast Online (Zoom) Cookery Class

Saturday, March 27th, 2021, 6 pm – 8 pm (GMT) – SOLD OUT

Thank you so much for your keen interest for my Simit and Turkish Breakfast zoom class – as March 20th class Sold Out so quickly, I am doing another Simit and Turkish breakfast zoom class on Saturday, March 27th.

Turkish breakfast, kahvalti, is my favourite meal and I am so very much looking forward to recreating some of my Turkish breakfast favourites at my zoom cookery class on Saturday, March 27th, 2021, 6 pm – 8 pm (GMT). This class will feature our iconic street food, Simit, Sesame encrusted bread rings – it is so much fun making simit at home, and I will show you how. This class menu also includes a delicious Olive Salad with pomegranate molasses from my hometown Antakya,  Zeyting Ufeleme, Eggs with Spinach and Onion, Ispanakli Yumurta and Dried fig jam – all these will wonderfully complement our Simit and Turkish breakfast.

Date: Saturday, March 27th 2021

Time: 6pm- 8pm (GMT)

Cost: 35 GBP per person

This is a slightly longer class, as the Simit dough will need to prove and we will make in total 4 recipes for our Turkish breakfast feast.

You will get plenty of ahead of time preparation tips, ideas for substitution and with stories from my homeland. Recording of the class will also be sent to the participants for limited viewing. The class would also make a wonderful gift for a foodie.

Upon registration, you will get a confirmation email. The zoom link to join the class, recipe pack and ingredients list will be emailed a week before the class. Please note that no refund will be issued.

Do hope you can join us to make this delicious Turkish breakfast feast and take a virtual culinary journey to Turkey!

For private group classes, please email ozlem@ozlemsturkishtable.com, I look forward to cooking together.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Bulgur pilaf with freekeh, aubergine, tomatoes – Firikli Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

I love freekeh’s nutty, smoky flavor – it used to feature at lot at my grandmother’s table in Antakya; she would combine freekeh with seasonal vegetables, meat or sometimes just with bulgur and fresh butter, which always tasted heavenly.

This dish is popular in southern Turkish cuisine, using the season’s bountiful tomatoes and aubergines / eggplant or patlican. The meaty aubergines and juicy tomatoes are a great match here with the wholegrains – a fantastic, all in one pot plant based dish. Locals in southern Turkey use the glorious, ripe tomatoes in this dish; I opted to use a good quality chopped can tomatoes as living abroad, it is not always easy to get ripe, sun kissed tomatoes. I did however use some sliced fresh tomatoes – as ripe as I could find- to decorate the top of this lovely dish, and it added extra freshness and flavour.

Some backround information on freekeh. Firik, (as in Turkish) or Freekeh (sometimes spelled frikeh)  or farik is a cereal  food made from green drum wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production.  Firik is a popular and ancient grain used Middle Eastern & Southern Turkish cuisine and also popular in Levantine, Egyptian, Arabian Peninsula and North African cuisine. The wheat is harvested while the grains are yellow and the seeds are still soft; it is then piled and sun-dried. The piles are then carefully set on fire so only the straw and chaff burn and not the seeds. It is the high moisture content of the seeds that prevents them from burning. The now roasted wheat undergoes further thrashing and sun-drying to make the flavor, texture, and color uniform. It is this thrashing or rubbing process of the grains that gives this food its name, farīk or “rubbed.” The seeds are now cracked into smaller pieces so they look like a green bulgur.

This delicious, ancient grain freekeh is a similar food made from barley and it is also mentioned in the Bible. Freekeh is also considered as a superfood, as in the category of the healthy grains such as quinoa and farro. Freekeh has at least four times as much fiber  as some other comparable grains, consisting mostly of insoluble fiber. It also has a low glycemic index so is suitable for managing diabetes. You can get freekeh in Middle Eastern or specialty food stores abroad, though it is widely available in Turkey. Bulgur is now widely available in supermarkets, so great to see. If you like to use a gluten-free option, you can replace bulgur with quinoa.

This is a bountiful dish and can easily feed 6 people or more. It also tastes great the next day and freezes well, so perfect for family meals or entertaining too. I also made another version of this Bulgur pilaf with aubergines, at my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table (page 213), adding small chunks of meat there, if you fancy that version too. If you prefer not to use freekeh, you can omit and replace it with more bulgur here if you like. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is available at this link here and delivered worldwide, including the USA and Canada. You can also see ebook and other options here.

I hope you enjoy this delicious plant based recipe, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.7 from 3 reviews
Bulgur pilaf with freekeh, aubergine, tomatoes – Firikli Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi
 
This dish is popular in southern Turkish cuisine, using the season’s bountiful tomatoes and aubergines / eggplant or patlican. The meaty aubergines and juicy tomatoes are a great match here with the wholegrains - a fantastic, all in one pot plant based dish. Locals in southern Turkey use the glorious, ripe tomatoes in this dish; I opted to use a good quality chopped can tomatoes as living abroad, it is not always easy to get ripe, sun kissed tomatoes. I did however use some sliced fresh tomatoes – as ripe as I could find- to decorate the top of this lovely dish, and it added extra freshness and flavour.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian, Vegan
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 350g/12oz coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 110g/4oz freekeh, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium aubergines, quartered and sliced in 1cm chunks
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp. Turkish red pepper paste, biber salcasi
  • 15ml/1tbsp concentrated tomato paste
  • 400g/14oz (1 can of) chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 60ml/ 2fl oz olive oil – for baking the aubergines –
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil – for cooking-
  • 900ml / 1.6 pints hot water
  • 5ml/1tsp Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped – to decorate
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F
  2. First prepare the eggplants (aubergines). Cut the aubergine in quarters and then slice into 1cm with pieces. Layer the aubergine pieces on a tray and sprinkle salt over them, leave them aside for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, dry the aubergines with kitchen or paper towel thoroughly.
  3. Spread the aubergine slices in a baking tray and pour in the 60ml/2floz olive oil over them. Using your hands, make sure that all aubergine slices have a nice coating of the olive oil. Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes in the preheated oven at 200C / 400F. Aubergines will start to get crispy around the edges, a nice color and soften up (you can alternatively sauté your aubergines on a pan with olive oil, though I find the baking easier and healthier).
  4. Heat the 2tbsp/30ml olive oil in a heavy, wide pan and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes, until soft and they begin to color. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, red pepper paste, can of chopped tomatoes, Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber and combine well.
  5. Toss the sautéed aubergines to the pan and gently combine.
  6. Now stir in the rinsed bulgur and freekeh to the pan and mix well. Pour in the hot water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, combine well. Reduce the heat to low for simmering.
  7. Place the tomato slices over the top, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the liquid is evaporated and the grains are cooked (add a little more hot water if needed). Check the seasoning and add more salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Turn the heat off. I like to rest the dish and settle the flavours for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with refreshing Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi and/or Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt aside.

Hands On Turkish Cookery Classes and events with Ozlem Warren in Fethiye and Kalkan, Turkey!

October 20th and 21st, 2020

I am so delighted to be returning to Fethiye – Turkey, for a series of Hands on Turkish cookery classes and events and do hope you can make one of these, if you are nearby Fethiye.

Hands on Turkish cookery class on Tuesday, October 20th, 9.30am – 1pm at Yakamoz Hotel – Fethiye

Baklava; image from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, by Sian Irvine Photography

Please join us for a scrumptious hands on Turkish cookery class (including how to make home made baklava!) on Tuesday, October 20th, 9.30am – 1pm at Yakamoz Hotel – Fethiye,  where we will cook a delicious menu from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book together and then sit down and enjoy our creations at the Yakamoz Hotel’s beautiful grounds. Participation is limited, please visit my Cookery Classes page for all the details and registration.

If you like to join us at this fun and friendly hands on cookery class, please call Mehmet Yakamoz at +90 533 336 76 10 or email at yakamozone@hotmail.com to reserve your spot, participation is limited.

Turkish Style Lunch and Ozlem’s cookery demo and talk at Yakamoz Hotel, Fethiye 

Tuesday, October 20th; 1.30pm – 4pm

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

Please join us for a scrumptions Turkish style lunch at Yakamoz Hotel, on Tuesday, October 20th; 1.30pm – 4pm. Ozlem Warren, author of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book will be with us too, to give a talk on Turkish cuisine and demonstrate how to make Potato and bulgur patties with pomegranate molasses and will sign her cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, if anyone would like to get a copy.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table book signing at Fethiye!

If you like to join us at this exciting event,  please call Mehmet Yakamoz at +90 533 336 76 10 or email at yakamozone@hotmail.com to reserve your spot, participation is limited. Please visit my Cookery Classes page for more information.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Hands on Classes at Guru’s Place Cookery School, Kalkan – 

Wednesday, October 21st, 9.45am – 2pm

“Ozlem Warren, International cookery teacher and the author of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, is delighted to be visiting Guru’s Place Cookery School in Kalkan, on Wednesday, October 21st, 9.45am – 2pm, to co-teach hands-on cookery classes, with Huseyin Kayir, owner of the Guru’s Place Cookery School, Kalkan. We will cook together delicious Turkish recipes from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book and then we will all sit down and enjoy our cooking, with a glass of wine. If you’d like to join the class, please kindly book your place and get in touch with Guru’s Place Cookery School at gurusplace@hotmail.com or call +905363311016. Participation is limited. Please visit my Cookery Classes page for full details of the class.

Baked zucchini with feta, spring onions and dill, Firinda Mucver

Do hope to be able to enjoy Turkish cuisine together with you in Fethiye in October, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Spiced Bulgur balls with leafy greens, peppers, onions-Bulgurlu Kofte

 

Merhaba Dear All,

I hope this note finds you all well. We have been enjoying this delicious vegan bulgur balls, Bulgur Koftesi, with sautéed greens, onions, peppers, and I wanted to share with you too. Bulgur is a main staple in southern Turkish cuisine and enjoyed in multiple ways –such as in salads as in Kisir, Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad in bulgur patties as in Oruk, our version of baked kibbeh, in pilafs and more. This delicious bulgur kofte is from southern Turkey; in Antakya, the sauce is mainly made with spinach or pazi, similar to Swiss chard and garlic. In my version, I included sautéed onions and peppers to the mix too; their natural sweetness really complemented the cumin spiced bulgur balls, along with the greens. Spinach, Swiss chard or spring greens would work well here as alternatives. With the freshness from squeeze of lemon and a delicious heat from pul biber or red pepper flakes, it is a lovely meal. You can serve as meze or as a main with cucumber and yoghurt dip aside. These Baked potatoes with olives, peppers and red onions can be a nice accompaniment too. If you prefer not to use red pepper paste, you can use concentrated tomato paste, though the red pepper paste does add a deliciously rich flavor. You can also make your own red pepper paste, biber salcasi, with my recipe here.

Bulgur is a nutty grain and these bulgur balls are not soft, they are quite sturdy. Rolling them in smaller balls and coating them with olive oil once they boiled, help to keep them moist. If you like to have them in a more juicy sauce, you may like to try this delicious rich tomato sauce with aubergines, as I have done at my Bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce, Patlicanli Eksi Asi recipe here, to go with these bulgur balls too.  I hope you enjoy this delicious, vegan Bulgur balls, Bulgurlu Kofte, great for preparing ahead of time too.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spiced Bulgur balls with leafy greens, peppers, onions - Bulgurlu Kofte
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious vegan bulgur balls, Bulgur Koftesi, with sautéed leafy greens, onions, peppers, from my southern Turkish roots. in Antakya, the sauce is mainly made with spinach or pazi, similar to Swiss chard and garlic. In my version, I included sautéed onions and red peppers to the mix too; their natural sweetness really complemented the cumin spiced bulgur balls, along with the greens. Spinach, Swiss chard or spring greens would work well here as alternatives. With the freshness from squeeze of lemon and a delicious heat from pul biber or red pepper flakes, it is a lovely meal. You can serve as mezze or as a main with cucumber and yoghurt dip aside. Bulgur is a nutty grain and these bulgur balls are not soft, they are quite sturdy. Rolling them in smaller balls and coating them with olive oil once they boiled, help to keep them moist. If you like to have them in a more juicy sauce, you may like to try this delicious rich tomato sauce with aubergines, as I have done at my Bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce, Patlicanli Eksi Asi recipe at my blog, to go with these bulgur balls too. Afiyet Olsun.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Bulgur Balls
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • For the bulgur balls:
  • 170gr/6oz fine bulgur
  • 45ml/3 tbsp all - purpose plain flour
  • 15ml /1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste / biber salcasi
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 115ml/ 4fl oz hot water
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Bowl of warm water with a drizzle of olive oil to shape the bulgur balls
  • For the vegetable sauce:
  • 3 tbsp/ 45ml olive oil
  • 1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 310gr/ 11oz Swiss chard, spinach or spring greens, coarsely chopped (please remove any hard stalks)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes – optional-
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
Instructions
  1. First prepare your bulgur balls. In a large bowl, combine the fine bulgur, flour, cumin, red pepper paste. Season with salt and ground black pepper to your taste (bear in mind that the red pepper paste is quite salty). Pour in the hot water over the mixture and combine well.
  2. Wet your hands with the warm water bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, and knead the bulgur mixture with your hands for 5 minutes, wetting your hands a few times. You will reach a smooth elastic bulgur dough at the end.
  3. Again wet your hands and take a cherry size bulgur dough and shape as a little ball. Have a wide plate or tray near you and place the bulgur balls you have made from the bulgur mixture.
  4. Have boiling water in a large pot, stir in a pinch of salt. Gently drop the bulgur balls in to the pan and let it cook, uncovered, on a medium heat, for 8 minutes or so. Take out the cooked bulgur balls with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil over them and gently shake the plate so that they would have a nice olive oil coating. Set aside until the vegetable sauce is ready (you can make your bulgur balls ahead of time and keep in the fridge too).
  5. Pour in the 3 tbsp olive oil in a wide pan. Stir in the sliced onions and peppers and saute over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped leafy greens (please remove the hard stalk for the Swiss chard and spring greens) and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and ground pepper to your taste. If you like, sprinkle Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber and combine well.
  6. Gently stir in the cooked bulgur balls to the vegetable mixture and combine well over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until the bulgur balls warmed up. Serve warm, with wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.

Join our Instagram Live – Friday, June 12th, 6pm UK time!

I am delighted to be hosting this delicious Instagram LIVE on Friday, June 12th at 6pm UK time, from my Ozlem’s Turkish Table Instagram account. We will be doing a joint cookalong with dear Sibel Pinto, showcasing delightful aubergine dishes from our cuisines. I will be making Antakya’s Mercimekli Mualla, Aubergines, lentils, peppers cooked in olive oil from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table and  Sibel will be making her Mediterranean style roasted aubergine with olive oil, tomatoes, herbs and cheese, Yelpaze Patlican, from her Sephardic roots, not to be missed! Do hope to have you with us.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on YouTube!

I have been sharing a lot of videos for Turkish recipes over the YouTube; many thanks for all your wonderful feedback! Here is one of the recent ones, Stuffed aubergine with minced/ground meat, onions, vegetables – Karniyarik, hope you enjoy it:

I hope you enjoy the post and it inspires. Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is now 30 % Off at this link, for a limited time, and delivered worldwide including the USA. You can also see the ebook, kindle options too.

Stay well, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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