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A wonder called Gozleme: Turkish Flat Bread

A wonder called Gozleme: Turkish Flat Bread

Want to whip up a great brunch for the weekend? Try Gozleme.

No, I don’t mean to scare you with all these fancy names but just pay homage to the earthy flavors of Turkey that I have discovered through Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.

Serve Golzeme with butter and lemon wedges

Serve Golzeme with butter and lemon wedges

Gozleme is a traditional Turkish flat bread stuffed with a variety of delicious combination of fillings, ranging from spinach and feta, to minced meat and mushroom and eggs to tomatoes, olives, halloumi,  and fresh basil.

The name Gozleme derives from the Turkish word goz meaning eye, which refers to the brown spots on the bread.

The bread is surprisingly easy to prepare at home. At least to those, who are from the Sub continent and are given to making stuffed parathas ( Indian flatbread) at home, this should be a breeze.

For a vegetarian palate, I have used spiced potato filling and have also experimented with spinach with Indian cottage cheese filling. Even though, I personally favor feta and spinach. The bread makes for a great brunch.

It can be served with labnah, olives and lemon wedges.

Full of flavor and makes  for a great brunch

Full of flavor and makes for a great brunch

Ingredients:

For the dough

1 cup flour

½ cup water

½ tsp. salt

Olive oil or butter to drizzle ( for later use)

Directions

Knead the flour with water to make a soft dough.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until springy, using extra flour if it’s too sticky.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide the dough in 4 equal pieces. Make balls.

Take one ball and roll out into a thin circle.

Place the filling of your desired choice in the  middle. Spread a little with a spoon.

Fold the sides to make a parcel, first fold opposite sides, then left and then right, so as to completely seal it. You should now have a rectangular parcel. If you wish, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Heat a pan, drizzle some olive oil/butter and place the Gozleme with fold side up.

Flip the bread carefully with a spatula, as soon as the base turns golden and you can witness brown spots or goz.

And once done, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. It should only take about 5 minutes for it to cook.

This recipe makes 4 rectangular Gozleme.

Slice the bread before serving. It’s best when eaten fresh.

And yes, I used a grill pan that explains those nice marks.

Serve with butter and lemon wedges.

 It’s best when eaten fresh


It’s best when eaten fresh

If you don’t want to go that extra yard and want an easy way out, try using ready-made Yufka sheets, available at your local Middle Eastern stores.

Here are some ideas to choose your own filling. Prepare according to the dough you are using.

Fillings

  • Potato filling

Olive oil

Boiled potatoes

Chopped onion

Salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice, chopped parsley

  • Spinach and feta/cottage cheese filling

Chopped onion

Baby spinach

Feta cheese/Cottage cheese

Olives

Salt and pepper

  • Tomato filling

Tomatoes sliced, remove seeds

Feta cheese

Black olives

Basil

Directions

To prepare these fillings, sauté chopped onions first in olive oil, add the desired fillings and then season lightly. Use dried Oregano, if you like.

Let the mixture cool before stuffing the bread. Feta is added just before stuffing. Cottage cheese can be added to the pan.

What is Labnah?

Labnah is almost like a cross between mildly salted cream cheese and yogurt, available at Middle Eastern grocery stores. It’s easy to make it at home too.

You would need Greek style yogurt, mix a bit of salt to it and drain the liquid by placing it in a bowl lined with cheesecloth or muslin for a couple of hours.

Inspired by Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.

Click here to read 

 

 

 

Luscious Lemon Yogurt Cake

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 One of the most prized possessions on my book shelf is The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Baking by Carole Clements, a gift from my daughter in law.

The book has marvellously diverse recipes that are easy, precise and it’s a great aid cookbook for novices and seasoned bakers alike. On a personal level, the recipes are easy to follow and I had loads of edible results from it.

An absolute favorite, this recipe is inspired from this book.

Lemon Yogurt Cake…waiting in vain for glaze by the cook

  Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter at room temperature

1½ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, at room temp (separated)

2 tsp grated lemon rind

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3-4 tbsp plain yogurt

Method:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Grease and dust a bundt cake pan.

In the meantime beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Yes, You can use an electric mixer.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the lemon rind,juice, and yogurt and stir to blend.

Sift together the flour and baking soda and keep aside.

In another bowl beat the egg whites and salt, until they hold stiff peaks.

Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture,then fold in egg whites gradually.

Pour into a pan and bake for about 45 minutes at 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F, until a knife/skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the pan after 15 minutes. Place it on a cooling rack.

For the glaze, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and just enough yogurt to make a smooth glaze. Let the cake cool.

Pour the glaze over the cake, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides. Decorate with lemon slices. ( I did it with orange rings…was out of lemons  and there was no time to glaze as my grandson and his play dates were difficult to keep at bay.  Ah, but when you see the cake disappear fast, do you really care if the cake was glazed or not!)

Yields 12 servings

( Optional: You may add either 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries, black berries or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dates before baking.)

Did you know that the Confectioner’s sugar is actually granulated which has been mechanically ground into a very fine powder. You can do it in a blender at home.

The Bundt pan was first produced in 1950 by Nordic Ware founder H. David Dalqui.

Joylicious Jam Filled Butter Ring Cookies

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 An easy to make, delicious treat.

  Ingredients:

1 Cup (250 gms) butter or margarine

1/2 Cup sugar

3 Cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Jam

Icing sugar

Jam Filled Butter Rings

  Method:

  1.  Cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix well.
  2.  Roll out to a thickness of 1/8 inch and cut with a floured 3-inch round cookie cutter. Cut out centers of half of the cookies with a 1 1/2 inch cutter.
  3.  Bake on an ungreased tray at 200 C (400 F) for about 10 minutes. Cool.
  4.  Spread whole cookies with jam, piled high in the center. Top with cookie rings. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

 (Source: Wonderful Ways to Prepare Cakes & Cookies by Jo Ann Shirley)

My Top 10 Favorite Indian Cookbooks

Favorite Indian Cookbooks

Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi

The Spice Story of India by Vikas Khanna

Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookery by Tarla Dalal

Rotis and Naans of India by Purobi Babbar

Everyday Cooking by Nita Mehta

Dal-Roti by Sanjeev Kapoor

The New Dalda Cook Book

India: The Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

The Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Premila Lal