I remember cooking on my own for the first time when I was 6, not to mention those earlier attempts all of which resulted in disasters. The first proper fruit of those culinary adventures was a seemed-so-simple-but-damn-hard-to-knock minty yogurt soup.
As I reached my teenage years, I found myself in the kitchen kneading the dough for a paper-thin pastry sheet and preparing smoked eggplant purée as a filling to my first made-from-scratch borek.
Now, as a 28 year old woman who has been cooking religiously almost every day for the last 15 years, I cannot say I’ve mastered even a quarter of the art of Ottoman cooking, but I believe I am getting somewhere and it is now time to share my recipes out, particularly focusing on contemporary Turkish food and classical Ottoman cuisine with its 700-year-old treasures.
Why Ottoman cuisine? The answer to what makes it so special lies in the wide variety of influences ranging from the Caucasus to the Balkans, from Niles to Euphrates… Even Chinese cuisine had an impact on the Ottomans, as Turks brought an over-1000-year-old heritage from the steppes of Central Asia where they were in close contact with the Chinese. Greek, Armenian, Arab, Iranian, Circassian, Georgian and the list goes on.
The recipes on this blog are sometimes simple local dishes, sometimes sophisticated delicacies of the palace cuisine. What brings them together is the fact that they all have been cherished by people living on these lands for hundreds of years, either by the royalty or by the general public.
Now, dear reader, have a nice flight through the pages of a culinary dream-book.