Quince Dessert (Ayva Tatlısı)

A very easy to make, yummy Turkish dessert. I love Quince Dessert ever since I can remember my mom making it. The quince we eat as a fruit is sour, probably not everybody's favorite pick of fruit. However the dessert made with quince is simply sweet and delicious. I used to wonder how the yellowish color of quince turned to orange, but found out soon enough as I followed my mom prepare it. So here goes everything in detail :)


3 quinces
1 – 1 ½ cup of water
2 cups of sugar (1/3 cup sugar for each half of quince)
seeds of quinces
thick cream


1. Wash and peel the quinces and slice them in halves. Place the quinces and seeds in a pan. (the seeds give color to our desert)

2. Add water. (It should stand about ½ inch high in the pan) Then pour the sugar on the holes of the quinces equally.

3. Place the pan on high heat and bring to a boil, then turn down to low heat. Close the lid half and let it cook about an hour until the quinces take a red/orange color and are soft. (you can check it with a fork) 


4. When placing on a dish make sure to pour along its syrup, but not the seeds.

 5. Let it cool and keep in fridge at least 2 hours. Serve with cream and syrup. 

Bulgur Pilaf with Lentils (Mercimekli Bulgur Pilavı)


2 ½ cup coarse bulgur
4 ½ cup water
½ cup green lentils
1 potato, chopped
½ stick of butter
2 tsp salt  


- Wash and place green lentils in a pan and pour water enough to cover it. Boil about 15 minutes until lentils are soft. Then drain.
- Boil the potato the same way in a pan until it becomes soft.
- Boil 4 ½ cup water in another pan in high heat. 
- Add lentils, bulgur, potato and salt. Let it boil again before turning heat to low.
- Close the pots lid and cook until the water is all absorbed.
- Melt butter in a small pan. Pour it onto the rice and stir.
- Close the pots lid back to let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Serve warm. 


Shredded Phyllo Dessert (Tel Kadayıf)

Tel Kadayıf is a popular Turkish dessert soaked in sweet syrup. Yesterday I watched my mom prepare it step by step and came to realize how simple it is to make Kadayıf. Simple and delicious to be precise like all the rest of the desserts made with syrup. And here goes the recipe which is originally my grandmother’s.  


¾ lb shredded kadayıf dough
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of walnut, slightly crushed

For the syrup:

3 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
1 cup of cold milk


1. Heat sugar and water in a pan. Once it boils, continue boiling for about 5 minutes in low heat. Then put it aside to cool.

2. Melt butter in a small pan. Put it aside to cool as well.

 3. Place the shredded kadayıf dough on a tray. Separate the wires with your hands until you make sure non sticks together.   

 4. Pour the cooled butter over the kadayıf dough and mix evenly using your hands. Repeat the process of separating the wires.


5. Grease a large Pyrex dish and place half of the kadayıf dough in a thin layer. Place the crushed walnuts over it evenly, and the rest of the kadayıf dough over the walnut layer. Press on it with your palms to keep it in shape.


6. Place the Pyrex dish on the third rack of a 390 F preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the top takes a light golden brown color.  


7. Take the kadayıf out from the oven and turn it upside down on the Pyrex dish because it's time to bake the other side. (my mom used the help of a tray to turn it over) Put it back to oven to bake for 10 minutes more until the other side takes a golden brown color as well.


8. When it's done, add the cold milk to the syrup. Then cut the kadayıf to squares and pour the syrup evenly on the still hot kadayıf.

9. Let it absorb all the syrup for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Turkish Tabbouleh (Kısır)

Turkish Tabbouleh is one of the most common appetizers to be served for guests on special days or celebratory events. I asked my mom what difference this recipe had with her old recipe that included tomatoes and learned the recipes which include tomatoes are more like Kısır Salad rather than appetizer. And unlike salad version, this recipe is kneaded thoroughly until the bulgur sticks all together. Another similar dish to this is Çiğ Köfte which is prepared with raw meat in addition to bulgur. If you like bulgur recipes, you will find Turkish Tabbouleh to be the most savory of them all.


2 cups of fine bulgur
2 cups of hot water
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
½ bunch green onion, chopped (only the green parts)
1 big onion, diced
1 lemon juice
3 tbsp pomegranate syrup
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ tbsp hot pepper paste
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
¼ cup of olive oil
1 tsp salt to taste


- Place bulgur and hot water in a bowl and put it aside for 30 minutes for bulgur to soak all the water.
- Once it is done, mix bulgur and rest of the ingredients (except olive oil, green onion and parsley) Knead them for about 10 minutes thoroughly.  
- Add olive oil, green onion and parsley at this step. Mix lightly so that they will blend in with the bulgur mix.
- Serve cold and enjoy :)