sebze tajin

vegetable tagine

North African dishes cooked tagine style were mentioned in The Thousand and One Nights stories collection of the ninth century.

The dish is named after the cooking pot. The earthenware pot functions like an oven over open fire, the lid drips the collected steam onto the food allowing cooking with very little liquid thus a perfect vessel for cooking tough cuts of meat.

tags , , , , ,


Cilantro is supposed to be the most widely used herb in the world. It is known to have grown in the middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece since ancient times. Cilantro is a relative of parsley.

The leaves (cilantro) and seeds (coriander) have entirely different flavors. It was grown for a long time mostly for its seeds. Coriander seeds are mentioned in early Sanskrit manuscripts. They have also been encountered in Egyptian sarcophagi dated to 900 B.C.

Although this herb appeared originally in the Mediterranean region, it is widely used in Indian, Far Eastern, Chinese and Latin American cuisine. It has been available in Mediterranean and European markets only in the last five years. Getting used to the flavor of cilantro requires some time. Its taste is sometimes even described as “soapy”. It is also rumored that liking cilantro or not has a genetic root.

Guacamole is the Latin American recipe for which cilantro leaves are mostly used.

The root is only used in Thailand.

It is thought that the Turkish word of “kişniş” comes from the word “gishniz”, which was used in Central Iran. Coriander is mentioned in the old Testament as spiritual food.

As cilantro leaves quickly loose their flavor when heated, they are added when cooking is ended. It is mostly used in salads and in recipes that do not require cooking. Using cilantro in a dish with hot chili refreshes the palate.

I can still remember the taste of sugar coated coriander seeds that street vendors used to sell in front of my primary school. They are consumed in India to prevent bad breath.

Z If you are invited to a Passover dinner in a Jewish home and you remember to bring cilantro, your host will be very surprised. Your knowing that one of the bitter herbs eaten at Passover in ancient times was cilantro will certainly impress all the guests.

elmalı turta

apple pie

The oldest written apple pie recipe was published in the United Kingdom during 1381. Sugar was called white gold during those days, therefore pies were sweetened with dried fruit like figs & raisins and with spices.

As always I am sharing a recipe subjected to my adaptations.


If you can find the pastry tool called the "dough blender" please buy one. It is an excellent tool for rubbing butter into flour. It is also efficient when you do not want to work the gluten in tart and quick bread dough.

tags , , ,
ramazan pidesi

ramadan pide

The month of Ramadan can not be without is it’s “pide”. We wait long lines in front of boulangeries for it's mouth watering distinctive taste and for it’s intoxicating smell just to break fast with this special flatbread. Though nowadays one can find pide year round, eating it during ramadan is a unique pleasure.

I would advise you to try this dough though it is a bit of a labor of love even if it’s just for smelling this sweet scent rising from your ovens.

tags , , , ,
lavaş ekmeği

lavash flatbread

Artun Ünsal, in his book "Nimet geldi ekine" (Blessed is the crop) says that a type of yeasted phyllo bread called "lavash" came from Persia because they call a bread that resembles our pide but a little thinner and longer with the same name.

The famous Turkish pilgrim Evliya Çelebi mentions the word lavash in his book "Seyahatname".

In Azeri lavash means flat bread. This bread is also consumed in Azerbaycan, Kirghizistan, Kazakhstan and Iran on a daily basis. These countries together with Turkey asked for UNESCO recognition for "The culture of making and sharing of flat breads: Lavaş, Jupka, Kartırma and Yufka". Unesco accepted and added this request to the list of humanity's intangible cultural heritage. Armenian flatbread is registered separately with a different cooking technique. Lavash (Flat Bread) is not just a common bread, but it is also a symbol of Anatolian cultures from the past to date.

If flat bread is made just with white flour it is tough, that's why my recipe is more on the whole wheat flour side. You have to cook this bread on high heat, otherwise it dries out.

tags , , ,