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Tag Archives | lockdown

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,

Ozlem

 

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Revani; A deliciously moist, Semolina Cake in Syrup

Revani; deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup; this lighter version is still packed with flavor.

Revani; deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup; this lighter version is still packed with a lot of flavor.

My 9 year old son asked if we may bake anneanne’s (grandma’s) Revani semolina cake the other day and our heart was set. We don’t enjoy overly sweet desserts and this delicious, moist semolina sponge cake in lighter syrup has been a favorite with us. We love semolina’s grainy, nutty texture, the goodness from yoghurt and the refreshing lemony flavor in revani. I also used mild olive oil here and worked really well; lighter but still packed with a lot of flavor.

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.

My daughter's revani in cupcake; turned out wonderful!:)

My daughter’s revani cupcake; turned out wonderful!:)

Make sure to prepare the syrup ahead of time and that it is completely cool before pouring over the semolina cake, otherwise the cake gets soggy. Traditionally it is baked in a baking dish but my 6 year old daughter also wanted to make a few Revani cupcakes and they turned up rather wonderful!:) If you would like to bake revani as cupcakes, make sure to grease each cupcake shell with olive oil and not to overfill. If you are using paper cupcake shells, I suggest you to have 2 paper shells stacked together to provide a firm base, so that the batter won’t spill.

In Turkey, we like to decorate Revani with ground pistachio and desiccated coconut.  I hope you can give this delicious, moist revani a try, it makes any day special.

 

My cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, is a special tribute to my roots, going back to Antakya. I hoped to showcase delicious, authentic regional recipes, especially from southern Turkey and Antakya, including this fragrant, delicious Revani. More than a cookery book, it has personal stories from my homeland, along with beautiful photography; Signed copies are  NOW 30 % OFF available to order at this link, if you’d like to copy, it is delivered worldwide, including US and Canada. We hope this helps enjoying healthy, delicious Turkish recipes during lockdown; it can also make a lovely gift for a foodie.

Also, here is my Revani YouTube video, hope you enjoy it:

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Serves 6 – 8

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes for the cake and 15 minutes for the syrup

165 gr/ 6oz / 1 cup coarse semolina

200gr/7oz/1 cup sugar

45ml/3 tbsp. plain flour

5ml/1 tsp. baking powder

225gr/8oz/1 cup plain (whole milk) yoghurt

3 medium eggs

60ml/ 4 tbsp. light olive oil

10ml/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon and Juice of ½ lemon

For the syrup:

300gr/10.5oz/1 ½ cup sugar

375ml/12 fl. oz. / 1 ½ cup water

Juice of ½ lemon

Ground pistachio nuts and desiccated coconut to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4

First make the syrup, as it needs to cool down. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan (at a medium heat). Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let the syrup simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Add the lemon juice, mix well and simmer for another 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool down while you make the semolina cake.

Grease a square or rectangular baking dish (mine was 20 cm x 27 cm – about 8”x 10”) with 2 tbsp. olive oil. First beat the eggs and the sugar in a large mixing bowl briskly for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Then add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, yoghurt, semolina, flour, the baking powder and beat well.  Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. To check; insert a toothpick to the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, that means the cake is cooked. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes.

Using a large spoon, drizzle the cooled syrup all over the semolina cake. Let the cake absorb the syrup and cool down. Once cool, cut the revani in square or diamond shapes; you can serve revani with ground pistachio and desiccated coconut over the top like we do in Turkey.

Revani; semolina sponge cake in syrup, delicious.

Revani; semolina sponge cake in syrup, delicious.

Revani gets even better the next day and keeps well, covered, for a good few days. In Turkey, we enjoy revani with Turkish coffee  or Cay, Turkish tea by the side.

A very memorable Turkish tea, cay, I recently enjoyed at the Sofra Restaurant, Covent Garden - London

A very memorable Turkish tea, cay, I recently enjoyed at the Sofra Restaurant, Covent Garden – London

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Dunyanin Turk Sefleri, “Turkish Chefs of the World” TV program coming up at TRT Turk – with a little part from Ozlem’s Turkish Table 🙂

Delighted to have a small part at the Turkish Chefs of the World TV program; here with Milliyet food writer Sureyya Uzmez and TRT Producer Ahmet Sabuncu

Delighted to have a small part at the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program for TRT Turk; here with Milliyet food writer Sureyya Uzmez and TRT Producer        Ahmet Sabuncu

I was delighted to have a small yet delightful part at the Culinary TV program being shot for the Turkish TRT Turk channel, in London’s Covent Garden last weekend. TRT Turk is the Cultural – News channel of Turkey’s national TV channel, TRT, aired over 70 countries. The name of the program is Dunyanin Turk Sefleri, “Turkish Chefs of the World”, being shot in many European cities like in Vienna, Hamburg, London as well as in Japan, and more series will include shots in New York too. During the program, Milliyet Daily food writer Mr. Sureyya Uzmez aims to explore the world cuisines and the presence of Turkish cuisine within those countries. They kindly included an interview with me too at London’s Covent Garden about Turkish cuisine. We talked about the rise of natural, healthy eating globally how the Turkish cuisine fits the bill well with the emphasis on seasonality, fresh produce and artful use of spices. I also mentioned the growing interest for Turkish cuisine, thanks to you wonderful readers, and your enthusiasm to even tackle Turkish landmarks like Turkish Delight, Lokum, Simit – the sesame encrusted bread rings – , Gozleme; Anatolian stuffed flat breads and more. The program is scheduled to go on air later October – exciting times, stay tuned!:)

 

 

 

 

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