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Grated Radish Salad with Tahini Sauce; Tahinli Turp Salatasi

Grated radish salad with tahini dressing; Tahinli Turp Salatasi

Grated radish salad with tahini dressing; Tahinli Turp Salatasi

Juicy, crunchy red radishes – turp, as we call in Turkey- add a lovely, punchy colour and a delightful peppery taste to dips and salads. In southern Turkey, in Adana region as well as in Antakya, we make a delicious, refreshing radish salad with a simple tahini sauce. We serve this Tahinli Turp Salatasi as part of a mezze spread, especially to accompany Oruk or Icli Kofte, our version of the Middle Eastern Kibbeh. The refreshing, peppery flavors of the radish salad complement the rich, nutty Oruk very well.

Delightful and easy to make radish salad with tahini sauce; tahinli turp salatasi

Delightful and easy to make radish salad with tahini sauce; tahinli turp salatasi

Tahini or Tahin, as we call it in Turkish, is a paste made from sesame seeds; it is a much loved ingredient in southern Turkish cooking as well as in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. We use tahini in dips like hummus, salads and in baking, as in this tahini bread rolls. Most supermarkets carry tahini these days; make sure to give it a good stir before using it as it tends to separate.

Tahini makes a delicious, healthy dressing at this wonderful radish salad; tahinli turp salatasi

 I hope you can give this delicious, nutritious radish salad with tahini a go; so easy to make and packed with flavor. Here I’d like to thank my talented seramic artist cousin, dear Nihal Sarioglu and Zen Ceramics in Istanbul for my beautiful plate, showcasing this lovely radish salad with tahini sauce.

Afiyet Olsun,
Ozlem

5.0 from 4 reviews
Grated Radish Salad with Tahini Sauce; Tahinli Turp Salatasi
 
Juicy, crunchy red radishes – turp, as we call in Turkey- add a lovely, punchy colour and a delightful peppery taste to dips and salads. In southern Turkey, in Adana region as well as in Antakya, we make a delicious, refreshing radish salad with a simple tahini sauce. We serve this Tahinli Turp Salatasi as part of a mezze spread, especially to accompany Oruk or Icli Kofte, our version of the Middle Eastern Kibbeh. Hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish Salads with Tahini Sauce
Cuisine: Southern Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 200 gr / 7 oz. red radishes, washed and pat dried
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed with salt and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. tahini, stirred
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp. cumin
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp. red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Flat leaf parsley to decorate
Instructions
  1. Clean and pat dry the radishes. Trim off the stem end and tip, keep the skin.
  2. Grate the radishes and place in a bowl. Sprinkle some salt over and let the moisture come out, for 5 minutes.
  3. Using an absorbent kitchen paper towel or clean tea towel, squeeze the grated radishes to get rid of the excess moisture. Later, place them in a serving bowl.
  4. To make the tahini sauce; combine the tahini, chopped garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a small container and mix well. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste.
  5. Pour in this sauce over the grated radishes and combine well.
  6. Sprinkle the ground cumin and red pepper flakes over the radish salad with tahini and decorate with flat leaf parsley.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.
Notes
Make sure to give tahini a good stir before using it as it tends to separate.

Stuffed grapevine leaves, aubergine with lentils, Turkish flat breads and More; Let’s create a Turkish Feast; Sunday 13th December, 12 noon – 3.30pm; Divertimenti Cookery School – Hands On –

"An unforgettable evening of Turkish cookery; loved your passion, enthusiasm and clear instructions, many thanks for a great class."

“An unforgettable evening of Turkish cookery; loved your passion, enthusiasm and clear instructions, many thanks for a great class.”

Turkish cuisine not only reflects a rich historical and cultural heritage, it is also healthy and a feast to all your senses. Kick off the festive season in style and join us for an unforgettable day of scrumptious Turkish food, history and culture at my Turkish Cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School on Sunday 13th December, 12 noon – 3.30pm. During this Hands On class, you will be amazed to see how easy it is to recreate these delicious courses once you have a go. From courgette fritters with feta and dill, mucver, to stuffed vine leaves, yaprak sarma, from aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil to Pide, Turkish flat breads with toppings and stuffed apricots dessert with walnuts, you will have a chance to create and enjoy an authentic, wholesome Turkish feast, great for entertaining.

We will me making Turkish oval flat breads with cheese and vegetables, Peynirli, sebzeli pide, and many more at my Dec. 13th Turkish Cookery Class

We will be making Turkish oval flat breads with cheese and vegetables, Peynirli, sebzeli pide, and many more at my Dec. 13th Turkish Cookery Class

Here’s the class details; Signing up for this class is through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link, hope you can join us!

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Baked Tahini Halva with Pine Nuts; Firinda Tahin Helvasi

Sweet and flaky tahini &and honey based halva or helva, a real treat

Sweet and flaky tahini &and honey based halva or helva, a real treat

Weather is turning cooler for most us and we look out for delicious, comfort food.  Tahini and honey based helva or halva, is a delicious treat enjoyed in Turkey; I especially love the baked tahini halva served in kebab houses and restaurants at home, such a heavenly taste.

Helva, the Turkish name, derives from the Arabic ‘halva’ meaning ‘sweet confection’. Halva is a very popular candy in Turkey, Armenia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East served in cafes and kebab houses. Halva is made primarily with honey and tahini and there are many variations of it.  In the old days they would grind oily sesame seeds into a paste (tahini) and then mix it with hot honey.  Nowadays prepared tahini is widely available in Middle Eastern stores abroad and at online stores like Best Turkish Food. Aside from the plain version of this sweet and flaky sesame based confection, there are many popular variations of Halva including chocolate and pistachio. The Turkish food store in North Cheam (address: 565-567 London Road, SM3 9AG, North Cheam) in the U.K. also carries Halva in packs.

This nut-butter-based Halva is made from tahini/tahin (sesame paste) or other nut butters e.g. sunflower seed butter with primary ingredients of nut butter, glucose and sugar or honey. This halva has a dry, crumbly texture and keeps in the fridge well for a long time. You can slice the halva and have with crackers or toasted slice of bread; the taste is just wonderful.

Baked tahini halva or helva with sauteed pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

Baked tahini halva or helva with sauteed pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

I was inspired by dear fellow blogger, Claudia for this delicious recipe and slightly adapted with the addition of pine nuts. Please check her wonderful blog, A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, where Claudia uses the seasonal produce in Turkey for her delicious recipes.

Here I chose to bake the tahini halva in the oven with sautéed pine nuts over the top. This dessert takes only minutes to make and it is so delicious; great for sharing with friends and family. The sautéed pine nuts add a lovely additional flavor and texture; I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 6

350g  precooked helva/halva– plain or with nuts

juice of half a lemon

100ml/4fl oz. whole milk

For sautéed pine nuts:

30ml/2 tbsp. pine nuts and drizzle of light olive oil

Ground cinnamon to serve

Plain crackers to serve

Preheat oven to 200C/400F

Mash the helva with a fork and then add the other ingredients, for a loose hummus consistency.

Mash the helva with a fork and then add the other ingredients, for a loose hummus consistency.

Mash the helva with a fork and then add the other ingredients. If you like, use an electric hand mixer to reach a smooth consistency which should become like ‘a loose hummus’. Pour into a large baking dish or 6 individual or small ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place in the hot oven for about 5 –  10 minutes, depending on how deep you filled the ramekins.

Sauteed pine nuts add a lovely texture and taste to the halva.

Sauteed pine nuts add a lovely texture and taste to the halva.

In the meantime, sauté the pine nuts in a drizzle of light olive oil for a few minutes in a pan, until they are golden.

Baked tahini helva with pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

Baked tahini helva with pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

Once the halva is baked, sprinkle the sautéed pine nuts over the halva and serve hot, with plain crackers by the side.

A heavenly taste of baked tahini halva with pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

A heavenly taste of baked tahini halva with pine nuts, firinda tahin helvasi

 

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

 

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An Emotional, Poignant Moment at Dardanelles, Gallipoli ; Anzac Day

Have you ever tried hummus warmed up? In Turkey, especially in the South, hummus is served warm with sautéed Turkish sucuk (sausage) – or pastirma (pastrami) or with sautéed pine nuts over the top. I strongly suggest you to try hummus this way, as I feel you may be pleasantly surprised and maybe converted to eat hummus warm as many of my friends have done.

Warm hummus with sauteed Pastrami (Pastirma, Turkish dried cured beef) - the flavors complement each other so beautifully.

Warm hummus with sauteed Pastrami (Pastirma, Turkish dried cured beef) – the flavors complement each other so beautifully.

Please adjust the recipe according to your taste, as some like it garlicky, some with more tahini and others may prefer it more lemony. In my recent Turkish cooking class, I added the sautéed pastrami, pastirma, over warm hummus, as it is served in traditional kebab houses in Turkey. Pastirma is a dried cured beef coated with spices and has a delicious, rich flavor. The  hummus and the spice coated pastrami has complemented each other so beautifully here. If you can’t get Turkish pastrami, you can use the Italian pastrami or your favorite cured meat or grilled meat.

Warm hummus with red pepper flakes infused olive oil - a delicious vegetarian dip.

Warm hummus with red pepper flakes infused olive oil – a delicious vegetarian dip.

This warm hummus would make a wonderful appetizer to share with friends and family and goes so well with grilled vegetables or meat by the side. For a vegetarian option, you can serve the warm hummus with red pepper flakes infused olive oil, this one is so delicious too. Both these options may also be wonderful addition for the Mother’s Day spread, if you are celebrating. Pita bread is the perfect accompaniment – hope you enjoy it.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time – 15 minutes (add 1 hour if used dried chickpeas and soaking overnight)

225gr/8oz dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans, soaked in water overnight or for at least 6 hours or equivalent amount of precooked chickpeas in can

5ml /1 teaspoon salt – please adjust according to your taste-
60ml/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
30ml/2 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves, crushed – optional-
Juice of 1 lemon
30ml/2 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin

To serve:
30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
110gr/4oz Turkish Pastirma, chopped in 1″ strips (or your choice of any Pastrami or sausage)

Slices of pita bread to serve

If using dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a pan with plenty of cold water. Bring to boil and boil for a few minutes. Then lower the heat and partially cover the pan, Simmer the chickpeas for 1 hour, until they are soft and easy to mash.

If precooked chickpeas are used, drain the juice and give them a little wash in a colander. Put the precooked (or cooked) chickpeas in a food processor and blitz them together with the extra virgin olive oil, water, lemon juice, garlic and tahini. If it appears thick and difficult to blend, add a little more olive oil or water. Season with salt and mix in the cumin and red pepper flakes (if desired). Process until you achieve a soft, smooth paste. Refrigerate until required.

Warm hummus with sauteed pastrami; makes a delicious appetizer and goes well with grilled vegetables and meat.

Warm hummus with sauteed pastrami; makes a delicious appetizer and goes well with grilled vegetables and meat.

Just before serving, add a splash of olive oil and heat the hummus in a pan for a couple of minutes. In a separate pan, sauté the strips of pastrami in olive oil. Place the warm hummus in a plate with the sautéed meat over the top, scattering some ground cumin and red pepper flakes over. Serve immediately with slices of pita or flat bread by the side.

We all enjoyed the warm hummus as part of our Turkish cookery class at Istanbul Culinary Institute.

We all enjoyed the warm hummus as part of our Turkish cookery class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem 

Strolling Through the Battlefields of Gallipoli – Dardanelles

Driving towards Canakkale, we saw bountiful fig trees, just beautiful.

Driving towards Canakkale, we saw bountiful fig trees, just beautiful.

Our culinary and cultural tour to Turkey  has almost come to an end; going to Gallipoli  and visiting the battlefields  near the Dardanelles has been a highlight to many folks and did provide a reflective, emotional moment.

Ferry trip from Canakkale to Gallipoli, Gelibolu.

Ferry trip from Canakkale to Gallipoli, Gelibolu.

GallipoliGelibolu is a peninsula in North-west Turkey, close to Istanbul. The Gallipoli Peninsula is the site of extensive First World War battlefields and memorials on the north bank of the Dardanelles Strait. You can take the ferry from Canakkale to go to Gallipoli like we did, it is easy and convenient.

A surprising and emotional moment, hearing the locals singing  Gallipoli folk songs at the ferry.

A surprising and emotional moment, hearing the locals singing Gallipoli folk songs at the ferry.

While on the ferry, all of a sudden we saw a group of locals gathered at the deck, singing Canakkale Turkusu, Gallipoli Folk Song whole heartedly. I remembered singing this folk song as a child, it was a surreal and an emotional moment, we all joined in.

The impressive Gallipoli Kabatepe Museum, well worth visiting

The impressive Gallipoli Kabatepe Museum, well worth visiting

The impressive  Gallipoli Kabatepe Museum (or Gallipoli War Museum) was recently opened and so well worth a visit. It has 11 gallery rooms, each equipped with advanced high-tech simulation equipment and the technology allows visitors to choose their presentation language and interact with the display. The centre houses an extensive collection of historic items relating to the renowned World War I campaign and we have been told that the simulations are so real.

Private belongings of the soldiers neatly preserved and displayed at Gallipoli Kabatepe (War) Museum

Private belongings of the soldiers neatly preserved and displayed at the Gallipoli Kabatepe (War) Museum

Gallipoli Kabatepe Museum hosts numerous relics from the campaign including weapons, uniforms, ammunition, letters written by soldiers to their families, photographs, and private belongings such as shaving tools, cocoa tins and cutlery. A very poignant and emotional moment to view and get so near to each piece.

Ariburnu Cemetery at Ariburnu Beach, Gallipoli

Ariburnu Cemetery at Ariburnu Beach, Gallipoli

We then drove up to the Ariburnu Cemetery, at the beautiful Ariburnu Beach. The Ariburnu Cemetery is situated on the north edge of ANZAC Cove by the shore where the Anzacs first landed on 25 April 1915. We were told that 253 Allied soldiers rest in the cemetery; it was very emotional visiting the graves. It is such a peaceful spot and may all those souls rest in peace.

The Ariburnu Memorial, Ataturk's wonderful epitaph is a stone monolith beside the Ariburnu Cemetery

The Ariburnu Memorial, Ataturk’s wonderful epitaph is a stone monolith beside the Ariburnu Cemetery

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,  the extraordinary leader and founder of today’s Turkey, wrote a tribute to the ANZACs who  lost their lives at Gallipoli. This wonderful tribute inscribed in English on the monolith are the famous words Mustafa Kemal Ataturk delivered in 1934 to    the first Australians, New Zealanders and the British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields. I absolutely loved and embraced it:

Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives…
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly Country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours…
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons front far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land
They have become our sons as well

Our dear driver with his favorite wild ivy hand picked in Gallipoli

Our dear driver with his favorite greens, Sarmasik, Wild Ivy hand picked in Gallipoli

Just as we have been reflecting on what we’ve seen on Ariburnu Cemetery, our dear driver, Mehmet Bey excited came forward to show the wild greens he just picked up by the side road’ “Ozlem Hanim” he said “ these are the best Sarmasik  (Wild Ivy) you can get. I will sauté with garlic and crack my eggs into it tonight, delicious!” Being from the Aegean region, I know how much Mehmet Bey loves the fresh, wild greens – food managed to bring similes to face again.

And off we set towards Istanbul, looking forward to the buzz of the city and that baklava class..

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