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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,


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.


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,


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Lockdown Cooking Ideas from Ozlem’s Turkish Table (Signed copies now 30 % Off)

Merhaba dear all,

Semolina sponge cake in syrup; Revani

I hope this note finds you all well. We have been doing lots of home cooking and baking with the children and preparing food for the homeless and folks in self isolation, during the lockdown. There is a great comfort in home cooking, especially wholesome Turkish cooking – not only takes your mind off things, but a great activity to do with kids at home in between home schooling. If you are on social media, I do live videos at my Ozlem’s Turkish Table instagram and facebook pages too. Here is my Revani, Semolina sponge cake recipe we baked with my daughter, as well my Revani you tube video here.

Flexibility is the key especially at challenging times like this, so by all means experiment with the ingredients you have and substitute when needed; I try to give options at my recipes and at my you tube videos, like at my Baked Meatballs and vegetables casserole video here (courgettes, runner beans, peas all would work here as an option)

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, now 30 % OFF

I got this lovely note from Claire, she says “My Christmas present from my brother and Turkish sister-in-law was your fabulous cook book. It turns out that my local corner shop is stocked full of Turkish food, so I’ve been having a great time trying out your recipes! There’s generally something in the book for anything in my veg box (other than parsnips!), and it’s all turned out delicious. Now that I’ve got the pastry, I might brave trying kunefe this weekend, if I can get the right cheese. Thank you for keeping me so well-fed in lockdown”Thank you dear Claire and all folks who kindly sent notes on how much they have been enjoying the recipes, especially during the lockdown period. I am very happy to hear recipes enjoyed and bring some joy and comfort.


Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table now 30 % OFF via my publisher GBPublishing at this link and it is delivered promptly worldwide, including US and Canada. We hope this would help with delicous wholesome Turkish home cooking during lockdown. It can also be a lovely gift to a foodie, with Mother’s Day approaching.

Lockdown Cooking and Happy Ramadan – Ramadan Mubarak – wholesome, easy meal ideas

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Happy Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak, Hayirli Ramazanlar to all observing. Turkish food offers plenty healthy, convenient choices at this special time in Muslim calendar. Our iftar meals would traditionally start with a wholesome soup, such as this Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi – one of our favourites; make a big batch as it freezes very well.

Vegetarian Pide, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Many of my readers have been doing a lot of baking especially during the lockdown and this Vegetarian Pide, Turkish oval flat breads with cheese and vegetables, have been very popular – easier than you think! Here’s my recipe link; you can use any veg you have at home that needs using. You can bake the pide ahead of time and give a gentle reheat before you eat. Once it is cooked, it freezes well too, as a whole or in slices, wrapped in foil.

Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – Fasulye Piyazi

We have been eating a lot of cupboard staples such as tinned chickpeas and beans; they are a great source of protein, healthy and convenient. You can flavour beans beautifully as in this Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – tangy sumac adds a lot of flavour to the onions. It makes a wonderful lunch or can be a part of Ramadan iftar meals with grills aside too; you can substitute beans with chickpeas in this salad too. Here’s also my You Tube video link for this delicious Turkish bean salad.

Baked aubergine kebab with chicken – Patlicanli Kebap

Baked eggplant kebab with chicken, onions, peppers; Patlicanli Tepsi Kebabi

How about this yoghurt and spices marinated Baked aubegine kebab with chicken, Patlicanli Kebap? An impressive dish to serve, easy to make too. Aubergines here are double baked, which intensify its flavour; you can marinate the chicken ahead of time – leftovers freeze very well too.

Green (runner) beans cooked in olive oil – Taze Fasulye

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and we love vegetables. This green beans cooked in olive oil with onions, garlic, tomatoes, Taze Fasulye, is a national favourite. Also gluten-free and vegan, it is best to prepare ahead of time and let the flavours develop, it tastes even better the next day. French beans, dwarf beans would all be good for substutition – a delicious, healthy choice for Ramadan too.

Istanbul; we will meet again..

Glorious Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – hope to see you again soon

I have meant to fly to Istanbul end April, to see my mother, family and also run my Turkish cookery classes and  events in Fethiye and Kalkan. With the current pandemic, it was not meant to be. I am hopeful that we will meet again and see our loved ones soon, fingers crossed. Until then, we will keep on bringing a bit of home with our food and reconnect with family, friends and share our food virtually. We baked this Turkish bread rings with sesame seeds, Simit, our popular street food with the children the other day. It certainly brought a huge dose of home and smiles; here is my recipe link, I do hope you enjoy it too.

Stay well, keep cooking, afiyet olsun,



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Ozlem’s Turkish Table on YouTube and Gourmand Best of the World Award!

Merhaba Dear All,

Gourmand Best in the World winners just announced! We are delighted to let you know that Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book got the Gourmand Best in the World award for Food Heritage category – Turkey! There were participants over 100 countries for the award and Ozlem’s Turkish Table got this award for Turkey, along with other wonderful books from Japan, Sweden and Germany in Food Heritage category – many congratulations to all! My sincere thanks goes to GB Publishing  team,  Pinar Foods UK and everyone involved making this special book to celebrate Southern Turkish culinary heritage. And to all of you dear readers for your kindness and continued support, cok tesekkur ederim, many thanks.

This has been such uplifting news and warmed our hearts, at this challenging times. Please remember there are plenty wholesome, easy, delicious recipes at my blog here as well as at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table  to inspire you; please stay well, stay home and look after one another. Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table are NOW 30 % OFF  at this link and delivered worldwide including the US. You can also see ebook and other options at this link too. We hope this helps enjoying delicious, healthy Turkish recipes during lockdown, it can also make a lovely gift to a foodie and for Mother’s Day too.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on YouTube! 

In the hope to inspire you with healthy, wholesome cooking with easy Turkish recipes, I have started my Ozlem’s Turkish Table You Tube channel   My 13 year old daughter, home schooling, has been helping with the videos at her spare time. There are plenty of tips for ease of cooking with ingredients we can get hold of, substitution and easy to follow steps at my videos, I do hope it helps and inspires at this challenging times and bring you a bit of warmth, joy and comfort. Please Subscribe here for my you tube videos, if you like to join us.

Here is the links of of my you tube videos I have prepared so far:

Welcome and Hoş Geldiniz! My first video here I am talking and spices, pulses and wholesome Turkish meal ideas.

Baked cauliflower with peppers, onion, cheese, Firinda Karnabahar Mucveri you tube video here

Baked cauliflower with red onions, feta and dill, from ozlem’s Turkish Table; image by Sian Irvine Photography

At this you tube video, I am preparing this healthy, easy vegetarian dish that you can prep ahead of time, featuring cauliflower – great for weekday meals too – a lot of tips for substitution and pairing in the video at this link, I hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun.

Aubergines, lentils, peppers cooked in olive oil – Mercimekli Mualla you tube video here

Aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, from my  cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland

This wholesome, delicious dish is from my hometown Antakya Turkey. It is vegan , gluten free and so easy to make; lots of ideas for substitution (e.g. making with courgette instead of aubergines) and ahead of time cooking in my video at this link. I hope you enjoy it, Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

Ozlem’s Turkish Table book signing at Yakamoz Hotel in 2019

I have longed to come back home in April but it was not meant to be. The current Covid-19 crisis dictates us all stay at home; so we are all at home, doing our best, supporting one another in the best way we can. This means, I can no longer do my cookery classes and events in Fethiye and Kalkan – Turkey, as we planned previously for early May. However, we will be rescheduling events and classes in Fethiye and Kalkan for later in the year, most likely in October time. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will get organised and get going and let you know. I can not wait to come back home, and I am sure so many of you feel the same way. Until then, we must stay home and keep home cooking, going. We may not be able to visit our home land, see our loved ones physically at the moment, but we can connect with that special land, our loved ones, our memories with the food we make; Turkish cuisine has that power for us. And with a huge bonus of being healthy too.

So please stay safe, stay home, enjoy cooking. I am always here if you have any questions and would love to help.

Stay well, Afiyet Olsun, 


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