Saturday, November 17, 2012

Noah's Pudding/ Asure

Turkish Asure/Asurah/Noah's Pudding
It is very common to cook asure in Turkey in the first month of lunar calendar.The story of this desert is as follows: When Prophet Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Ararat ,they didnot enough food so they put everything they had together and coked asure!
It is believed that cooking asure will bring blessings to the household during that year.We share it with neighbors and friends as much as possible and spread the joy!


And finally I am ready to share the recipe of my a little different , yet tasteful  Asure/ Ashura / Noah's pudding recipe. 
This was chosen as the best Ashura at a local competition. The judges were diverse : Turkish, American and Peruvian  :) So this means this Ashura has an internationally proven taste:)

I should mention that I am not a picky cook, the amount of the ingredients are subject to change ( I don't even remember for some of them how much I added.) Actually for ashura, in general there is no unique way and ingredient list to cook but major ones: wheat, beans, raisins ( I don't like it so skipped) apricots and of course sugar!

This would yield ~40 cups

1 cup wheat (I used a little more than that)
1 cup rice (precooked)
1 cup chick peas ( I used canned )
1 cup northern beans ( I used canned) )
1 packet ~ 100 gr of dried apricots (Turkish ones are the best! You can find in many American grocery stores as well) ( diced into small pieces and stayed in water to make it softer)
Figs ( diced into small pieces and stayed in water to make it softer)
~5 cups sugar

the rest is all optional so feel free to add dry nuts/fruits to your taste:
 Poppy seed
Sesame ( at least 2 full teaspoons, i cooked them) (gives a great flavor!)
Black seeds
1 table spoon butter
1cup milk
1 table spoon honey
1 pinch salt
1 orange peel, (diced into cubes and boiled in water, discard the water, it has a bitter taste) (thisgives a great flavor,too!)
Half lemon zest

Other options may be but not limited to:
Almonds, peanuts, apple,orange, pear, raisins, prune, any dry or or fresh fruit  as desired
Clove, rose water for the flavor
walnuts, pistachios , peanuts, sesame, coconut, almonds, pomegranate 
Also cinnamon, hazelnuts

How to prepare Asure / Ashura/ Noah's Pudding?
One night before: 
(Soak wheat  in water before if possible)
Boil wheat in a big pan with 5 cups of water for about 10 minutes and turn the heat. It will adsorb the water and get soften in th morning
The day you cook:Add ~4 cups of water to the precooked wheat and let it boil. 
*At each step stir continously ,don't let the bottom stick Add chickpeas, dry beans and precooked rice. 
Add dry fruits.
Add seeds.Add milk
Add salt and sugar and boil for additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve with toppings, decorate and enjoy!
It will get thicker as it cools down so you may add boiled water as needed while cooking.*You can add more/less water/ sugar depending on your preference.
Afiyet Olsun, Good Appetite!

My first Ashura
I posted on instagram !

Click here and here to see the winner Asure of the "Best ASure competition"!

Here is a basic recipe:

1 cup wheat,
1 cup chick peas,
1 cup garbanzo beans,
1 cup raisins,
Almonds, peanuts
Dried apricots, figs, or any dry fruit and nuts as desired
Apple,orange,orange peels if desired
5 cups sugar, water (enough to cover)
Topping: walnuts, cinnamon,almonds,pomegranate etc
How to prepare Asure /Noah's Pudding?
Soak wheat, chick peas and garbanzo beans in water overnight.
Boil them in seperate pans. (You can use canned chick peas and beans).
After they are cooked ,mix them in one big pot and add dry fruits and nuts that remained in water for while and cut into small pieces.
Add to mixture along with sugar and boil for additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve with toppings
*You can add more/less water depending on your preference
Afiyet Olsun, Good Appetite!

Click here and here to see the winner Asure of the "Best Asure competition"!

Monday, October 15, 2012

English names for some of famous dishes in Turkish cuisine

This was the header of the flier I prepaed for "Turkish Cooking Class"  years ago.
Pogaca, Baklava (not so typical flower shape) , pilaf cake , sarma, stuffed dried veggies and Pide)

So here are some of the most popular dishes from Turkish cuisine, their English names and/or descriptions.
Links to English recipes to few are given as well.
Feel free to ask if there are other dishes you would like to learn about...

Tatlilar/ Desserts
Baklava : Baklava , Filo dough with nuts and syrup
Sekerpare:  (Sugar bit) Semolina cookies with syrup
Revani : Semolina cake with syrup
Kadayif: Kataifi Shredded filo dough with syrup
Lokum : Turkish delight (Turkish candy with starch, sugar and nuts, covered with confectioner's sugar)
Gullac : Starch wafers in milk syrup
Yogurt tatlisi : Yogurt cake with syrup (English recipe is here)
Irmik helvasi : Semolina halva (recipe)
Asure: Noah's pudding (English recipe is here)

Zeytinyaglilar/ Appetizers with olive oil
Sarma : Stuffed grape leaves
Kisir : Bulgur salad (recipeTurkish tabbouleh)
Dolma : Stuffed veggies (pepper, eggplant most common ones, meat versions are served hot as main dish)

Corbalar/ Soups
Mercimek corbasi : Red lentil soup (English recipe is here)
Ezo gelin corbasi : Ezo the bride soup: lentil soup with bulgur and rice (English recipe is here)
Yayla corbasi : Yogurt soup with rice

Et yemekleri / Main dishes with meat
Doner:  gyro
Pide:  Turkish pizza
Manti : Dumplings with meat ,served with garlic yogurt (Turkish ravioli*)

Pilav : rice ya da  pilaf (pila et/ tauk suyu kullanilinca ozellikle)
Sehriyeli pilav: pilaf with orzo
Eriste : noodle
Cacik: garlic yogurt with cucumber
Tavuk suyu : Chicken broth

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fruit love

Apple of my eye
You are pearfect
I am bananas for you
You are plum perfect!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sujuk, parmesan breakfast muffins

Ingredients (make 10-12 muffins)
2 eggs
2/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup oil
1/2 kangal sucuk (more for toping if desired)
(can be replaced with your favorite processed meat product)
1/2 cup parmesan, grated (i use whole foods aged parmesan!)
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

How to prepare these easy, yummy muffins?

  • preheat oven to 375 F
  • beat the eggs with a pinch of salt (i used hand whisker)
  • add yogurt,oil, mix
  • add flour , turmeric and blend mixture well.
  • add chese & sujuk
  • Fill muffins cups about 3/4 of the way up and bake for 15-20 minutes


  • Easy to prepare and quick to bake. You should try for weekend breakfast with the family or guests!
  • I used turmeric to give a natural yellow color. You don't feel the flavor but it is healthy and really looks yellow!
  • You can replace sujuk with your favorite processed meat product
  • well, you can replace parmesan cheese with feta, mozzarella, even cream cheese. i tried all different cheeses for salty cakes. Whatever I have in the refrigerator is what I put in the cake:) 
  • Brew Turkish tea as it bakes. Don't forget tomatoes & black olives!

Afiyet olsun!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cute food, great for lunchbox, too!

A teddy bear under the omelet blanket:) 
Veggie had, kinda scary?
Cutie French toasts...
Kitty pizzas!
This is for you, Erika!
Robot man sandwiches, boys will like more than girls, hugh?

Pictures are taken from web, I have no right or whatsoever on them. Just intended to give parents ideas to make little ones eat better & more with more appetite!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Healthy muffins with carrot ,oatmeal, agave & honey

I baked these muffins for my daughter's and her friends' lunchbox yet everyone at home enjoyed these healthy, soft muffins! No sugar but sweet thanks to agave and honey; lots of fiber thanks to whole wheat flour and oatmeal 

Recipe adapted from Whisks and Whimsy

Carrot Cake Agave Muffins (I had 20 muffins)
2 cups whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup oatmeal1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 table spoon cacao
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup organic amber agave nectar
2 cups  baby carrots, chopped

1/2 cup honey

How to prepare healthy carrot muffins:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, oatmeal and salt and set aside. 
In another large bowl, beat the eggs, canola oil, and agave nectar until well combined, and then stir in the carrots. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Fill the muffins cups about 3/4 of the way up and bake for 22 to 25 minutes until the center of the muffins spring back when touched.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perfect Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake with Perfect Chocolate frosting...

This was on the  Hersheys cocoa box...

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine (i always use butter. what is  margarine???)
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa (I prefer dark cocoa in general, but this one would make a bitter frosting so can use normal cocoa)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I dont use as vanilla extract has alcohol in it)

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Semolina Halva/ Irmik helvasi

Bowl tells it all, I love semolina halva!

Definitely one of the most famous desserts in Turkish Cuisine is Halva
The one with flour is more common but semolina version, especially when served hot with icecream is among the favorites...
Easy to make too..

2 cups of Turkish semolina (other types of semolinas have different texture so your dessert mayfail)
12 tb spoons of unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
1 tb spoon pinenuts

1.5 cups milk
2 cups water
1.2 cups sugar

How to make Semolina Halva
Melt the butter in a pan, add the pine nuts and semolina.
Stir conitnously until it turns light brown. Be craful, dont overcook!
Meanwhile mix water,milk, sugar and warm till sugar melts.
After smelona is ready add mil mixture, mix and cover, and turn the heat off.
 Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
You an enjoy immediately, or serve later.

Picture and recipe from Selva, a well known semolina brand
I did not have pine nuts so used coconut.
Cinnamon can be used as topping.
You can try other nuts ,too but pine nuts go best with semolina halva.
Afiyet olsun!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ezogelin Çorbası (Ezo the bride Soup)

picture to come soon
Ezogelin Çorbası (Ezo  the bride Soup)
is definitely one of the best soups in Turkish cuisine. Very tasty and very nutritional, too. The smell of mint and paprika is a must , that reminds Anatolia...  

Makes 4-6 servings.

1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup bulgur, cracked wheat (ignore for a gluten free soup )
1/4 cup rice
2 tbsp  oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste (can use 1 spoon of pepper paste if available)
4-5 cups of water
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp dry mint
Topping: Melt the butter, add red pepper and/or mint

Saute the onion with olive oil then add tomato paste and saute the onions are softened
Add the rest of the ingredients. After it comes to full boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. You may want to stir so that the ingredient dont stick to the bottom of the dish.
(Optional: You can blend the soup if you want more homogenous texture but do for short time as you would like to feel the ingredients which makes the soup such special)
If it's too thick, add a little more hot water.
Add the butter sauce and  Serve with lemon !
Afiyet olsun!

The movie from 1968 , starring famous Turkish actress Fatma Girik

  • Although not known exactly, here is the story behind the Ezo gelin ,whose name embraced this delicious soup :
Originally from southeast Anatolia, the origin of this soup is attributed to an exceptionally beautiful woman named Ezo, near Gaziantep in the early 20th c. Legend has it that Ezo, with her rosy cheeks and black hair, was admired by travelers along the caravan route who stopped to rest in her village. Many men longed for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately she did not become happy in her  two marriages. Her second marriage took her to Syria where she became homesick for her village. It is for her, the story goes, that Ezo created this soup. After bearing 9 children, Ezo died of tuberculosis in the 1950s and has since become a Turkish legend, depicted in popular films and lamented in folksongs. Her name lives on in this popular soup although the reason is not known exactly.
  • There were even Turkish movies, Tv series named after Ezo gelin
  • If you have Turkish markets around where you live, you can find 'ready to cook' soup mixes. You add water and boil, then let it simmer.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Home-made chocolate pudding (from scratch)

Home-made chocolate pudding (from scratch) 
Easy to make and so delicious, trust me! No need to buy those instant mixes that are full of additives, artifial ingredients and (to me) artifical tastes.

Takes 10 minutes to cook, serves 4-6
1/2 half corn starch
1 cup sugar
4 cups of milk
2 table spoons of dark cocoa ( I use special dark Hershey's cocoa)

How to prepare the chocolate pudding:
Put the dry ingredients in  saucepan over medium heat,
add milk slowly, stirring continuously.
After it comes to full boil, lower the hear, let it simmer for 2 minutes. Yes, still keep stirring!
I like toppping with coconut flakes or nuts, so top with your favorite as fruit, strawberry, banana, toffe bites.
Afiyet olsun!

First Iftar dinner -Ramadan 2012

So me and my little one set this blue table together.
Wrote "Ramazan' (Turkish spelling for the month of Ramadan) with little stoned and she carefully covered the whole table with sets of 3 stones of other kind:)
Upon littign the canled she even sang " Happy Ramadan" song which does not exist:)
THis is not a muslim or Turkish tradition but I just wanted make first iftar of Raadan more colorful and more fun for my 4.5-year old.

Our menu was vegetarian, hence light!

Red lentil soup
Potato- cauliflower dish
Rice pilaf
Home-made chocolate pudding (recipe coming soon!)

Dates, Turkish delight (lokum) and walnuts as iftariyelik (nuts,dates, dried fruits etc that are eaten as light/ healthy snacks to break fast or during the main courses)

Afiyet olsun!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Perfect chocolate cake with walnuts, mouth watering, isnt it?

Caramel cake, one of the best sellers at the Folk Festival
Carnival cake!
A romantic cake with rich chocolate taste and colorful hearts
Letter Cakes
Vegan fruit cake (almond milk frosting with vegan cake recipe)
3-in-1 cake!
Don' get shocked, this is real! You will not taste it but will enjoy the natural green color!
See here for the recipe
Green crust cheesecake!
coffe cake with Brittles
Coconut cake for Beth

You can select the flavor of the cake and the frosting.
To name a few:

Coffee (yes, Turkish coffee available!)
Brownie (have you ever tried  brownie cake with frosting? Great for chocolate lovers. A birthday girl loved the cake
Spinach (

Fruit: banana, strawberry, pineapple
Cream cheese

Cool whip
Brittle, Nuts
  • All the cakes are alcohol free with natural ingredients -no food colorings (except decoration if fancy , colorful stuff used) made with love :)
  • Vegan, Gluten-free cakes are available upon request
  • Everything can be ordered as plain cakes or cupcakes
  • Various Turkish desserts are also available, desserts with syrup, milky desserts etc. Details to come later
  • Prices depend on the size and ingredients of the cake but not expensive, I guarantee:)

Some (sincere) compliments from friends who ate my cakes:
-You should start a pastry store!
-You make the best cakes ever!
-I can't believe you made this!

Monday, July 16, 2012

An idea for Iftar Tables

Ramadan is 4 days away!
I have come up with this idea that I wanted to share with you:

This is great especially when you have guests over. Prepare a menu, put it in a picture frame on the table!
Everyone will know in advance what delicious food they will enjoy!

You can include the names of the host and the date so keep it as a nice memoir from the iftar.
Soup, Main dish, Salad(s), appetizer(s), dessert, drinks , pastry .. more to add!
You can either write by hand or prepare a template and fill according to your menu. Here is a template I prepared.
If you have a theme for the dinner stable, like flowers, a colro theme etc, your picture frame and menu (background, the paper color, some images etc) can match it so even a more fancy idea, isnt it?

I did this when I had my colleagues over for Turkish tea party. Sin the food was new to all, they liked the fact they could see all written:)

Another idea I saw on pinterest is here:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yogurt dessert (Yogurt cake with syrup)

Yoghurt Cake with Syrup/ Yoghurt Dessert 
3 eggs
1 cup yoghurt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 table spoons melted butter
2 cups flour
1 table spoon baking powder
Lemon zest (optional )

3 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 table spoon lemon juice

How to prepare:
First prepare the syrup and set aside.The cake should be hot, syrup should be cold fro best results.
Beat the yoghurt and confectioner's sugar. 
Add eggs, butter and 
Sift flour and baking powder, add to the mixture.
bake at 360F until the top is golden.
Cut into slices, diamond or square or heath shaped :), add syrup let is absorb all. Covering with a tray would be helpful.
Let it cool in the refrigerator before serving.
Top with coconut flakes or  nuts as desired.
Enjoy! Afiyet olsun!
This picture was taken at the competition

I made this dessert for the International Potluck Competition at Pitt last year. It was the winner of dessert category! Everyone enjoyed the taste as well as the hearty , beautiful look ;)
Ramadan is just a week away! This dessert is ideal for iftar dinners, for the family or for the guests!