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Our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman, Jordan; A Very Special Trip

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Merhaba All,

I have just returned from Amman, Jordan, where we had our 3 day Turkish cookery course; it was a very special trip from the start to beginning and I wanted share some highlights here with you.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

My huge thanks first of all to dear Mrs Suhair Kilani and Panthera Jordan for organising our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman; Mrs Kilani has done so much for spreading the word on Turkish cuisine and make our course happen 2nd time in Jordan, my heartfelt thanks to her. It was very special to return to JA University to teach and I love being with the students there. They have been very enthusiastic and hard working; always a very happy feeling being inspired by them and be able to inspire. I was very touched by all the kindness and generous hospitality of our Jordanian friends , it really has been a very special trip.

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbesi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbeisi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

I had the honor to be the guest speaker at the opening of the new premises of the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association. It was an honor to be able to meet Turkish food lovers and have a chance to talk about Turkish cuisine. I have been so touched by dear Jordanians’ love and interest for Turkish cuisine and Turkey.

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkich cookery course

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkish cookery course

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

We had over 14 classic Turkish recipes we made during our Turkish cookery course. It was wonderful to see the keen interest from the participants and their enjoyment; some of the highlights have been Potato and bulgur rolls with pomegranate molasses, stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice,  Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with cheese and spinach and many more.

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Making Sekerpare with the participants

Making Sekerpare with the participants

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Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts from our class, delicious and healthy

We also made other classics such as Iskender Kebab, Stuffed peppers and tomatoes, Dolma, this delightful, gluten-free Islim Kebabi, marinated chicken wrapped around eggplant slices,  Manti, Turkish dumplings and many more. Desserts we made included Sekerpare, Semolina cookies in syrup, Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts, Semolina Halva and the very special Tavuk Gogsu; Ottoman milk pudding with finely shredded chicken. I will share the recipe of this unusual but delicious dessert in a separate post.

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our Turkish cookery course in Amman has been very generously supported by the Turkish Embassy in Amman; it was a great honor to be able to visit our Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal, to give our thanks for their support. Also very humbled by his kind words for our contribution to Turkish cuisine, we hope to organise many more of these courses in the near future.

A delightful pomegranate tree at TIKA office in Amman

A delightful pomegranate tree at the TIKA office in Amman

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

More kindness and hospitality followed, we felt home at the wonderful TIKA office in Amman and seeing their garden, I was transported to my grandmother’s 450 year old stone home in  old Antakya. She used to have pomegranate, fig and walnut trees in her garden and we would wake up with the doves singing, seeing these beautiful trees and hearing the doves were a very magical reminiscence.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Last day of our Turkish cookery course was filmed and I was interviewed on Turkish cuisine and its perception in Amman, to be aired on national TV. We also made it to Jordanian Times apparently! So good to see all this interest for Turkish cuisine. Another highlight was giving certificates to the participants of our 3 day Turkish cookery course, they have been all so enthusiastic and wonderful.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

We made everyone Turkish coffee at the end; many thanks to Ozerlat Coffee for providing our Turkish coffee, everyone greatly enjoyed the aromatic taste and the traditions, rituals behind this special drink, it really is more than a drink for us.

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Jordan has been a very special trip from start to the end, my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their warm hospitality, can’t wait to come back again!

Brief but very Special Stop in Istanbul

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Icing on the cake of this trip has been a brief but very special stop in Istanbul afterwards; the city I adore. As soon as I landed, I was by the Bosphorus in Bebek, a very special, memorable moment!

Dear Claudia Turgut's photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Dear Claudia Turgut’s photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Dear friend and ex-fellow blogger, owner of the wonderful A Seasonal Cook in Turkey blog Claudia Turgut has now a wonderful new passion, photography. She and some other photographers opened this lovely photo exhibition called PositivIST, sharing Istanbul they love through their photographs. Thanks to my lovely sister, we managed to make it to the Exhibition and met lovely Claudia. The exhibition continues until October 13th, located in Arnavutkoy Istanbul and highly recommended; gorgeous photos of Istanbul from these wonderful artists.

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

 Time to say farewell to this fascinating city, Istanbul, until next time; it was a huge dose of home, seeing loved ones being at home, treasured every minute.

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Inspiring flavors at our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman, Jordan

My Turkish cookery course at the JA University, Amman - Jordan

My Turkish cookery course at the JA University, Amman – Jordan

I have just returned from an amazing trip to Amman, Jordan; I was in Amman last week to teach a 5 day Turkish cookery course at JA University, a wonderful experience from the start to the end, very kindly organised by Panthera Jordan with a much appreciated support by the Turkish Embassy in Amman, Jordan. There has been so many highlights from our course, here I wanted to share a few with you.

Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli borek, was a big hit at our Turkish cookery course

Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli borek, was a big hit at our Turkish cookery course

Making kisir, spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses during our Turkish cookery class

Making kisir, spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses during our Turkish cookery class

Antakya's tray bake kebab with vegetables, Tepsi Kebabi

Antakya’s tray bake kebab with vegetables, Tepsi Kebabi

During our 5 day course, we covered 22 recipes; from Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek and pastries to salads, vegetables cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyaglis to mezzes, to kebabs to desserts and drinks. It was great to hear the participants very much enjoyed the freshness of our dishes, based on seasonality, ease of making and lightness in flavor as well as being wholesome. They expressed they loved the vegetarian courses we made as much as the meat based dishes. I aimed to try to show them what is cooked and enjoyed in Turkish homes as well as some classic Turkish dishes; from Mucver – Zucchini fritter with feta and dill to Ispanakli borek to Patlicanli Mualla, Eggplants, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil to Revani to Caramalised dried apricots with walnuts – Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi and more so they get a broader perspective of wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine, beyond our much loved kebabs.

Mucver; Zucchini/courgette fritters with feta and dill

Mucver; Zucchini/courgette fritters with feta and dill

Showing the class the "Sweating of the eggplants/aubergines" and importance of getting rid of the bitter juices from eggplants

Showing the class the “Sweating of the eggplants/aubergines” and importance of getting rid of the bitter juices from eggplants

Baked  caramalised dried apricots with walnuts, Cevizli Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi, a wholesome, delicious and easy dessert

Baked caramalised dried apricots with walnuts, Cevizli Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi, a wholesome, delicious and easy dessert

Teaching at the Jordan Applied University, JAU was very special; seeing the students’ as well as other participants – houseviwes, keen foodies, chefs from restaurants and hotels, as well as JAU students -enthusiasm and interest for the Turkish cusine, as the young chefs of the future. It really was a pleasure to have a chance to teach the delicious, wholesome, refreshing Turkish flavors to them and hearing they were inspired to enthusiastically make them straight after the class, showing me the photos of their creations.

Talented young chefs in JAU attending my Turkish cookery course

Talented young chefs in JAU attending my Turkish cookery course

Making and sharing Pide, Turkish flat breads, a special highlight from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Making and sharing Pide, Turkish flat breads, a special highlight from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Home made Pide, Turkish flat bread with sesame and nigella seeds from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Home made Pide, Turkish flat bread with sesame and nigella seeds from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Making the Turkish pide bread was a special highlight from the class; bread is a major staple in Jordan too and it was interesting to compare notes of our flat bread and theirs. Fresh from the oven, it was much enjoyed.

Our lighter baklava with walnuts, fragrant with lemon juice in syrup also hit the spot well. Baklava at home, in Turkey is much lighter than its versions abroad and glad to see it is received very well.

Pouring cold syrup over piping our hot, lighter baklava

Pouring cold syrup over piping our hot, lighter baklava

My home made baklava with walnuts; delicious with a lighter, fragrant syrup

My home made baklava with walnuts; delicious with a lighter, fragrant syrup

I was delighted to see that the salads and vegetarian courses were very popular during our course. Zeytinyaglis, Vegetables Cooked in Olive Oil is a wholesome, delicious category in Turkish cuisine and a favorite with us. We made Antakya’s aubergines/eggplants cooked with lentils, onions and peppers in olive oil, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla during our Turkish Cookery course. Marriage of lentils with eggplants and vegetables are heavenly in this dish and dried mint gives a delicious, refreshing finish – a personal favorite, became hugely popular at the class.

Eggplants/aubergines cooked with lentils, peppers and onions in olive oil - Patlicanli, Mercimekli Mualla

Eggplants/aubergines cooked with lentils, peppers and onions in olive oil – Patlicanli, Mercimekli Mualla

Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping, Kiymali Pide was another highlight from our course. My version includes a lot of onions and peppers, a lovely juicy topping, if you’d like to have a go too.

Kiymali Pide; Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping

Kiymali Pide; Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping

Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings is the ultimate street food in Turkey and it was wonderful to recreate this much loved snack during our course in Amman and we all enjoyed the results!

Making Simit, sesame - encrusted bread rings, during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Making Simit, sesame – encrusted bread rings, during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Here comes our Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings!

Here comes our Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings!

Memorable food scene from Amman, Jordan:

Jordanians are a very hospitable nation, everyone has been so kind, generous with hospitality high on the agenda. My huge special thanks to especially dear Suhair Kilani and the Panthera Jordan team for their amazing hospitality. Thanks to them, I got to experience the Jordanian food scene at its best.

The atmospheric Rajeen Restaurant in Amman with fabulous mezzes

The atmospheric Rajeen Restaurant in Amman with fabulous mezzes

The traditional Jordanian meal we had at the Rajeen Restaurant in Amman was very special, the atmosphere was unforgettable. I really enjoyed the food and the variety of the mezzes. Their hummus is much creamier than ours and we found the secret – they add strained yoghurt to their hummus, a delicious addition. I loved the Fattoush salad with toasted bread and sumac dressing, packed with flavor, could have eaten just that all night.

Deliciously creamy hummus and fattoush salad, huge favorites

Deliciously creamy hummus and fattoush salad, huge favorites

Personalised doner or shawarma kebab, impressive presentation

Personalised doner or shawarma kebab, impressive presentation

Could you believe this beautifully painted piece of work is a hand wash basin?

Could you believe this beautifully painted piece of work is a hand wash basin?

Dear Suhair and her husband Ma’en also very kindly took me some fabulous local eatries like this local Kunefe shop, it was well worth queuing for an amazing kunefe!

Delicious kunefe in Amman, Jordan

Delicious kunefe in Amman, Jordan

Back to our course, after teaching and sharing 22 delicious Turkish recipes, we gave our participants Certificate of Attendance. We were delighted to have Mrs Onal, wife of Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal for Jordan with us. My sincere thanks again to dear Suhair Kilani for organising our course in Amman, Jordan, all Panthera Jordan Team, JA University and the Turkish Embassy in Jordan for all their support.

Giving attendees their Certificate after our course, with Mrs Onal from Turkish Embassy in Amman - Jordan.

Giving attendees their Certificate after our course, with Mrs Onal from Turkish Embassy in Amman – Jordan.

Group photo at the end of our 5 day Turkish cookery course in Amman, Jordan.

Group photo at the end of our 5 day Turkish cookery course in Amman, Jordan.

 Our Turkish cookery course in Amman aired on TRT!

Last, but not least, TRT, Turkish National TV crew came to our Turkish cookery course in Amman for an interview with us on the last day. Icing on the cake, it was lovely to express how well Turkish home style cooking is received in Amman and hearing from the JAU students that they very much enjoyed the course and it was inspirational. Here’s the link to our TRT interview

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It was a wonderful series of Turkish course to remember, I very much look forward to returning for more Turkish cookery classes, many thanks Amman, Jordan!

 

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