When I was a kid, I used to think that some dishes could only be made by certain family members. For example, there was a black tea cake that I believed only my mother could bake. Turkish dumplings, I thought only my mother and aunt could make so delicious. And then there was this pastry which I believed could only be baked by my aunt, my father’s sister, as if there was something magical or that the trick was in her oven or something. Turns out, I was wrong. You just need to learn.
About 2 years ago, I published the recipe of my favourite soup in the world, together with its several stories in my life. That one is a well-known soup in Turkey. However, there is another one that even more people know and eat all the time: red lentil soup.
I have been planning to make this dessert for a looo…ng time. Every time I decided to work on it, something happened and I had to postpone. Finally last weekend I had the time and energy to work on it and it turned out to be an amazing sweet experience. And then I also realised that this dessert is originally from Egypt with the name “Basbousa”!
As I am writing this blogpost, I am eating one of these soft, puffy, melting-in-the-mouth buns and remembering my childhood. Most of my best memories back in Turkey involve food or are around food, and these buns bring out some of them.
I must admit that I was slightly suspicious about the idea of “hot hummus” when I first saw a recipe in the mezze cookbook I bought in Istanbul last summer. I am not a big fan of hummus anyway, but when it’s hot, I thought it might feel too heavy. Oh boy, was I wrong.. Not only it is light, but also it is so delicious that I could probably eat the whole pot when I first made it.
When I saw this recipe in “Anatolia – Adventures in Turkish Cooking” book, I immediately knew that I had to try it. After all, the soup combines two of my favourite ingredients, garlic and almond, in my favourite food form!
“German cake”. That’s what the patisseries in Turkey used to call this cake. “German cake”. That’s how we always knew this cake. But is it really a German cake? I couldn’t find any information on such a cake being “German” nor could I find its original name. The only thing that resembles this is berliner, and yet this cake is certainly not a donut and there it actually fails the resemblance for me.. However, it certainly resembles a giant semla, or laskiaispulla, without cardamom or egg wash…
It’s December 26th, and it’s my 37th birthday. So what can be better than sharing with you the recipe of the most festive dish ever for me – vine leaf rolls?? These rolls have always been there: on birthday table, in new year’s eve, in big family gatherings! If I ever have a family of my own (which I am beginning to doubt that it will happen…) then I will continue the tradition.
In Turkish cuisine, there is a series of dishes cooked specifically with olive oil, called “zeytinyağlı yemekler” (in English: dishes with olive oil). These dishes are vegetarian and are mostly eaten cold, some of them can also fall into the category of “mezzes”. I say that they are “mostly” eaten cold because even a little asking around friends brought various answers, some people prefer to eat them warm or even hot. I personally prefer eating them cold. What I mean by this is not almost frozen. It means that I let those dishes cool down to at least room temperature before eating – but I actually love them even more when they stay in refrigerator for a while.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you certainly know by now what a terrible child I was when it came to food. If I were my mother, I would beat me all the time – or at least during / after each meal! I was one of the pickiest little girls (nowadays I am rather picky about other things, erm, like men!!). However, there were certain dishes that I was totally obsessed with. This soup is one of them.