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Semolina sponge cake with syrupy orange slices; Portakalli Revani and New Online Turkish Cooking Class!

We Turks love Revani, our deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in light syrup – a popular recipe from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table and at my cookery classes too. Recently, I came across a lovely Olive oil clementine upside down cake by Martha cooks @marthacollison, where she added clementine slices to her cake. This inspired me to have a go for my version, using semolina and orange slices.

There are many versions of Revani and traditionally when made with orange, often the zest of orange and in some cases, orange juice is used in the recipe in Turkey. With my version here, I used thinly sliced oranges cooked in syrup, as well as the fresh orange juice in the cake batter. Grainy semolina and ground almond gave a light, moist texture to the cake and the syrupy orange slices over the top of the cake made it impressive enough to serve your guests, with a citrusy, refreshing taste.  I used a mixture of demerara and regular white sugar in the syrup. I like demerara’s crunchy taste and texture, and the darker colour demerara gives; you can use regular white sugar instead for the whole amount. Please to use freshly squeezed orange juice in the syrup, as it does make a difference.

This lovely, light and so easy to make Semolina cake with zesty orange slices, Portakalli Revani, can be a wonderful addition to your festive table, or to make any day special. Serve with Turkish thick (or regular) clotted cream, kaymak, crème fraiche or strained plain yoghurt,  warm or at room temperature. This cake will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Semolina sponge cake with syrupy orange slices – Portakalli Revani
 
This lovely, light and so easy to make semolina cake with zesty orange slices, Portakalli Revani, can be a wonderful addition to your festive table, or to make any day special. Serve with Turkish thick (or regular) clotted cream, kaymak, crème fraiche or strained plain yoghurt, warm or at room temperature. This cake will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts and cakes
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 150g /5 ¼oz coarse semolina
  • 30g / 1oz ground almond
  • 170g / 6oz sugar
  • 5ml / 1tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium free range eggs, beaten
  • 225g / 8oz plain whole milk yoghurt
  • 60ml / 4tbsp light olive oil
  • For the syrup:
  • 1 medium orange, thinly sliced into round discs (skin on)
  • 100g/ 3 ½ oz demerara sugar
  • 150g/ 5 ¼ oz white sugar
  • 85ml/ 3fl oz freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 285ml / 10fl oz water
  • Ground pistachio nuts or desiccated coconut to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Grease a 20cm round cake thin with a little olive oil and line with baking parchment.
  3. Make the syrup first. Squeeze the juice of one large orange and pour it through a sieve to get rid of the pulp. Combine the demerara sugar, regular sugar, orange juice and water in a medium to large pan. Stir and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the orange slices and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until the orange slices softened.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the slices and arrange them side by side in the prepared cake tin. Reserve the syrup and cool aside. You can prepare the syrup with the orange slices this way a day ahead of time.
  5. Beat the eggs and combine with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat and combine well for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Then add the olive oil, yoghurt, semolina, ground almond and the baking powder and beat well. Combine well until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30-35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. To check; insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean, that means the cake is cooked. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Using a large spoon, drizzle the cooled syrup all over the hot semolina cake. Let the cake absorb the syrup and cool down for 10 minutes in the tin. Then carefully turn the cake out on a large flat circle serving plate. Gently remove the baking parchment to reveal the glossy top with glazed orange slices.
  7. Slice and enjoy warm or cold (I love mine warm), sprinkled with ground pistachios or desiccated coconut over if you like.Turkish thick (or regular) clotted cream, kaymak, crème fraiche or plain strained yoghurt goes well by the side. This cake keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  8. Afiyet Olsun.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book and Apron as Foodie Gifts!

It’s the gift giving season; Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book could make a lovely gift to a foodie, you can order a signed copy here, it is delivered worldwide including the US.

We are also delighted to offer you 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 could also make a wonderful gift for; you can get yours at this link. Delivered worldwide including the US.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table online cookery class

 – Healthy Turkish food made easy –

Date : Saturday January 16th 2021

Time: 5.30pm – 7pm (GMT)

Cost: 30 GBP per person

Stuffed aubergines/eggplants – Karniyarik; a delicious main from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Please join our small size online cookery class, where together we will make the Turkish classic, Stuffed aubegine/eggplant with minced/ground meat and vegetables, Karniyarik, as well as its vegan version with a filling of green lentils, tomatoes, onions in it, Mercimekli Karniyarik. We will also make the Cucumber and yoghurt, Cacik dip and finish off with Rice pilaf with pinenuts, currants and herbs, Ic Pilav. It will be a complete meal and you will get plenty of ahead of time preparation tips, ideas for substitution and with stories from my homeland.

 

My very best wishes to you all for the festive season and the New Year, in good health and happiness. Many thanks for joining me to enjoy and share my homeland’s delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

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Roasted Aubergine with Tomatoes, Herbs and Cheese and Latest News

Merhaba dear All,

It gives me a great pleasure to share my dear friend Sibel Pinto’s special recipe, Roasted aubergine/eggplant with tomatoes, herbs and chees, Patlican Yelpaze. Sibel is a chef-instructor, founder of ‘Action Kashkarikas Wasteless Kitchen Mission’, anti-foodwaste activist, Gourmand Cookbooks Award winning author of ‘The Evolution of Sephardic Cuisine in Turkey.’  Sibel does a lot of very valuable work to promote Food Waste Awareness around the world, please follow her on Instagram at @chef_sibelpinto and her website, kashkarikas.com , if you like to know more about her work.

We have done an Instagram Live with Sibel a few weeks ago and she kindly demonstrated this delicious Roasted aubergine, tomatoes, herbs and cheese recipe to us. This recipe dates back to her Sephardic roots, a legacy from her grandmother Elisa’s kitchen; many thanks Sibel’cim for sharing with us.

I love the ease of this recipe and it is Mediterranean on a plate. Buffalo mozarella really works well here (our favourite) with its creamy texture. It was lovely with Turkish beyaz peynir, or feta cheese too. Marinating the aubergine generously with herbs, garlic, olive oil is important and adds such a lot of flavour. Here’s Sibel’s recipe if you like to make at home:

ROASTED AUBERGINE With TOMATOES, HERBS AND CHEESE – PATLICAN YELPAZE

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 aubergine, eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 60ml/ 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100-150 gr mozzarella cheese, cut into slices
  • 2 large tomatoes, halved and cut into thin slices (or several cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber
  • Parsley/basil (chopped roughly)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Prepare the sauce: Mix the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, mint, oregano and red pepper flakes.
  • Cut the aubergine into thin (about 1/2 cm) slices, but not all the way through, leave it attached to the stem.
  • Cover your baking dish with baking paper and place the aubergine on a baking pan.
  • Coat and brush every slice on both sides generously with the sauce.
  • Place the cheese and tomato slices between each aubergine slice.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Then uncover and cook around 10 – 15 minutes (and a bit more if your aubergine is big), until the cheese melts deliciously.
  • Once cooked, sprinkle with basil/parsley and serve warm.

Baked potato with cumin, red peppers and onions, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Shepherd’s Salad with sumac, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, image by Sian Irvine Photography

It’s been very hot recently, we enjoyed this  delicious Roasted aubergine, Patlican Yelpaze, with Shepherd’s Salad with sumac, Baked potato with cumin, red peppers and onions and Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side, it was lovely meal.

Stuffed Anatolian Flatbreads – Gozleme is at Ozlem’s Turkish Table YouTube Channel!

Stuffed Anatolian Flatbreads, Gozleme, is one of the most popular street food in Turkey and it is easy to make it at home. It is now at Ozlem’s Turkish Table YouTube channel and it’s been a big hit, here is the link if you like to have a go too:

Signed Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table – 30 % Off until July 3rd 2020

One of the most special things about writing Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book has been witnessing how much joy it has brought to over 5,000 Turkish food lovers around the world. My sincere thanks to each and everyone for your kind feedback and writing a review on Amazon. If you have a copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book and can kindly write a review here, we would greatly appreciate it.

Here’s the latest 5 star review on Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, with many thanks to Leah 1709:

“Passion for Turkish Cuisine: This is a wonderful book, full of excellent tips and suggestions as well as alternative ingredients and suggestions to try. You can definitely feel the love Özlem has for her homeland and the passion she has for the cuisine. This book was one of the best gifts I have received and I love trying the recipes. More people should try Turkish cuisine…. Delicious”

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is 30 % off via GBPublishing at this link, until July 3rd 2020. It is delivered worldwide, including the USA. The offer has been our way of helping out food lovers with home cooking, especially during the Covid 19 lock down. Many thanks for all your kind words and sharing your delicious creations with us.

My Best wishes and 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.

I have been experimenting with the bulgur balls and added semolina in the mixture recently.  It worked really well; semolina not only helps making the bulgur balls moist but also binds the bulgur dough. You can enjoy them over the sauteed leafy greens, with Shepherd’s Salad with sumac. Garlicky yoghurt (or plant based alternative) complements these bulgur balls, bulgur koftesi very well too,  for a delicious, satisfying meal.


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. I recently experimented with adding semolina to the bulgur ball mixture - it worked great, making the bulgur balls moist and also binds the bulgur dough.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Bulgur Balls
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6 generously
Ingredients
  • For the bulgur balls:
  • 340g/12oz fine (koftelik) bulgur
  • 140g/5oz semolina
  • 30ml/2 tbsp all - purpose plain flour
  • 15ml /1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste / biber salcasi
  • 45ml/3 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 15m/1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 325ml/11 fl oz hot water (for the bulgur)
  • 115ml/ 4fl oz hot water (while kneading the bulgur and semolina dough later)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Bowl of lukewarm water with a drizzle of olive oil to shape the bulgur balls
  • 30ml/2tbsp plain flour spread on a wide tray (to coat the bulgur balls)
  • For the pul biber and tomato paste sauce:
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 45ml/3tbsp olive oil
  • 30ml/2 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 10ml/2tsp pul biber or red pepper flakes (add more if you like more spicy)
  • For the vegetable sauce:
  • 2 tbsp/ 30ml 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 (optional)
  • Garlicky yoghurt (or plant based substitute) to serve (optional):
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped and crushed with salt
  • 225g/8oz natural plain yoghurt (or plant based alternative)
Instructions
  1. First prepare your bulgur balls. Rinse the bulgur over a sieve and press gently to get rid of the excess moisture then place in a large mixing bowl. Pour in 325ml/11 fl oz hot water over the bulgur, stir and let the bulgur to absorb the hot water for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Then stir in the semolina, plain flour, pepper paste, tomato paste, ground cumin, season with salt and ground black pepper. Slowly pour in 115ml/ 4fl oz hot water in two batches and knead the mixture with your hands for 5 minutes, until it resembles a soft, smooth dough. Check the seasoning and add more salt or black pepper to your taste.
  3. Have the lukewarm water bowl with a drizzle of olive oil near you. Dampen your hands and take a large cherry size bulgur dough and shape as a little ball. Have a wide tray scattered with 2 tbsp plain flour near you. Place the bulgur balls you have made on the tray. Shake the tray so that the bulgur balls coat with the flour gently,
  4. Pour in 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. Once cooked, you will see bulgur balls rise to the top of the pan. Take out the cooked bulgur balls with a slotted spoon and place on a large bowl. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil over them and gently shake the bowl so that they would have a nice olive oil coating and don't stick together. Set aside until the tomato paste & pul biber sauce and vegetable sauce is ready (you can make your bulgur balls ahead of time and keep in the fridge too).
  5. For the vegetable sauce; pour in 2 tbsp olive oil on a wide pan. Stir in the sliced onions and peppers and saute over medium to high heat for about 4-5 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. For the pul biber and tomato paste sauce; pour in the olive oil over a wide pan. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste and pul biber and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley, combine well. Gently stir in the cooked bulgur balls over this sauce and combine well for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  7. For the garlicky yoghurt; combine the crushed, finely chopped garlic with yoghurt (or plant based alternative), set aside.
  8. Serve the bulgur balls over the vegetable mixture or at a side, with wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over. Garlicky yoghurt (or plant based alternative) complement these bulgur balls, bulgurlu kofte very well.
  9. Afiyet Olsun.

I hope you enjoy the post and it inspires. Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is now 20 % off at this link, for a limited time, and delivered worldwide, if you like to get a copy. If you live in the USA, Canada or Mexico, you can now get a hardback copy with lower delivery rates here.

Stay well, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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