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

Cookery Classes

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

Turkish Delight – Lokum

We got a package from my parents in Turkey recently – a happy sight!-. They love spoiling us (especially the grandchildren!) and the package was full of treats; Turkish delights, pistachio nuts, Turkish coffee and many more. The Turkish delight is a special treat for my children and the real thing is not too sweet but fragrant, moist and full of flavor.

Prior to the arrival of refined sugar in the late 18th century, the Ottomans made a crude version of Turkish Delight using honey or pekmez, a concentrated grape syrup and wheat flour. Haci Bekir, a confectioner of the time, became famous due to his ingenious use of white sugar and corn starch and was summoned to Topkapi Palace to pioneer the development of what is today one of Turkey’s hallmarks. Special recipes for variations of Turkish Delight can be found in all regions of Turkey. Dried fruits, nuts, seeds and desiccated coconut are incorporated into the luscious mouthfuls of fragrant jelly. Sakiz (mastic gum) another ingredient revered by the Sultans, can be used to create a chewier version and is a must if you are preparing rolled up versions of lokum. This recipe is for sade – plain lokum, delicately flavored with fragrant rose water. However, you may wish to add shelled and chopped nuts of your choice – hazelnuts, pistachio nuts or walnuts work extremely well. I strongly suggest making it a day before serving, so that the mixture can settle down well.

My late mother-in-law, dear Penny Mum, absolutely loved Turkish Delight, and this is for her memory.

Serves 6 – 8
Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 20 minutes

450 gr / 1 lb fine white sugar
470 ml / 1 pint/ 2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons rose water
6 tablespoons corn flour / cornstarch
sifted icing sugar / confectioners sugar for dusting

Line a shallow tray or pan (8in square) with a piece of muslin and dust with a little corn flour. Combine the rose water and corn flour to make a smooth paste and set a side.

In a pan combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, and over a medium heat, stir constantly, allowing the sugar to dissolve and taking care the mixture doesn’t burn.

Add a little of the hot sugar syrup to the rose water and corn flour and mix thoroughly. Remove the pan of sugar syrup from the heat, add the rose water and corn flour mix and whisk thoroughly.

Return to a medium heat, continue to stir until the mixture takes on a clearer appearance and thickens to a jelly type consistency. Remove from the heat; at this point add chopped nuts of your choice (optional).

Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and allow to cool and set, preferably overnight.
Turn out the lokum onto a work surface well dusted with icing sugar. Remove the muslin, cut into squares, dust generously with more icing sugar and serve.

Continue Reading

Apricot Dessert with Walnuts – Cevizli Kayisi Tatlisi


Turkish Delight, Apricot Dessert, Aubergines 010

One of Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world.

Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants and their naturally rich, wonderful flavor is icing on the cake. This easy dessert is great for parties, sharing with friends or family or just indulging yourself.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time – 10 minutes Cooking time – 25 minutes

225 gr / 8 oz dried Turkish apricots
3 fl oz / 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar

For the filling:

75 gr /1/2 cup crushed walnuts
50 gr / 1/4 cup sugar

crushed pistachio nuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F

Soak the dried apricots in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Then drain the water.

Split open the apricots and stuff each apricot with a spoonful of crushed walnut and sugar mixture and close it up. Slightly grease a baking tray with oil and place the apricots on it. Pour the water over the tray. Place a little butter on the top of each stuffed apricot. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the apricots and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Arrange them in a serving dish and sprinkle over some crushed pistachio nuts. This light dessert goes well with some vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.

Afiyet Olsun,


Continue Reading

A Slice of London and Cotswolds

We had a wonderful weekend of indulgence; we were at the Royal Opera House in London and saw the amazing La Traviata, it was truly mesmerising. I feel one of the joys of life is to be able to watch such wonderful performances like this live; ROH has many more productions coming up (Carmen and Marriage of Figaro are amongst). So if you plan on being in London this summer, make sure to check out the ROH’s schedule!

The next treat was seeing our dear old neighbours, Maria and Tom from Austin, in London. We had a lovely trip to the Cotswolds to show them the English countryside; the flowers in full blossom and sun in our face, it was truly magical to spend time together. So special to see friends near and far and it makes the world seem smaller!
Here are a couple of photos to share, I hope they inspire you to travel whenever you can!

Continue Reading