26 July 2013

New in my Turkish Kitchen

Cooper making truffles in Babaanne's Kitchen

You may have come across my series of posts called New in My Kitchen. I have a slightly different one for you today. I wanted to share some moments from my holiday to North Cyprus. In case you are wondering, the north of Cyprus is Turkish and the south is Greek.

Pitta Bread

The fresh pitta bread baked in the north of Cyprus is wonderful.

Freshly baked, springy and full of flavour. They are huge too.

Nothing like the ready-packed pitta we buy here in the UK, which is rather cardboardy in comparison

Bread is baked fresh in homes and bakeries in Cyprus. They don't have the same pre-packed bread culture we have here. We could learn a thing or two.


Yedigün is a refreshing mandarin flavoured drink. 

It hits the spot when the temperatures soar, especially if it's ice cold. I'm not usually a fan of fizzy juice, but this one is pretty good.


Mozzies love me. I must taste great to them. I have tried all sorts of sprays, but still get some bites. Admittedly, it isn't as bad in June, but they still get me.

I took Ultrathon this year and sprayed it liberally before going out to dine in the evening and didn't get any bites. Oh except by the wee spider that bite me on the leg when I was lying down, minding my own business and reading my book. Wee bugger!

Turkish Tableware

Down a dusty side-street in Girne, you will find two narrow shops, side-by-side selling traditional Turkish goods.

The owner and his wife visit Turkey regularly and bring new stock back.

Lamps, plates, bowls, pipes and a few bits and pieces. All of the most gorgeous quality.

We visit the shop every year. and come home with a stash.

This year I bought this plate and the bowl above for myself and a few others as gifts.

I could have spent hours in those shops deciding what I wanted. I think I was rather restrained, there is so much choice and all so beautiful and decorative too.

I'm sure you'll be seeing these in recipe photos very soon.

Brandy Sours

Karen over at Lavender and Lovage used to live in this part of the world and while I was away she kept asking me if I'd been drinking brandy sour.

Well, I couldn't let her down could I?

Brandy Sour was invented in Cyprus by the Haggipavlu family, in the early 1930s for the young King Farouk of Egypt, who liked cocktails, which he shouldn't have been drinking as a muslim. 

Brandy and lemons are two of the main exports from Cyprus and the drink is still popular there.

Here is a basic recipe:

Brandy Sour

2 shots of Brandy
1 shot of Cypriot lemon juice or squash
a few drops of Angostura Bitters
topped up with lemonade or soda water & ice

Savoury Rice

I didn't do a lot of cooking this year while we were away, instead my mother-in-law Jean did most of it.

I think she fears me knocking things over and breaking things in her kitchen. She could have a point!

This is one of the dishes she pulled together for us. A savoury rice dish, that was packed with vegetables and topped with succulent mushrooms.

It was seriously good!

Pure Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a really trendy ingredient at the moment. Everyone seems to be using it. 

I used it in a batch of Vegan Peanut Butter and Coconut Cookies I made for Graham.

*Coconut oil is one of the best sources of heart-healthy medium-chain fatty acids, notably lauric acid, which enhances the immune system through its antiviral and antibacterial effects. These acids also stimulate metabolism, and some research suggests they can aid weight loss.

Wellness Mama gives us a 101 uses for Coconut Oil

It sells for about £15 in Holland anf Barrett, so I was amazed to pick it up in a supermarket in Girne for just over £2.

Halil İbrahim Sofrası, Girne

This is a local cafe, that you wouldn't stumble upon unless you wander down alleyways.

The locals all eat in this cafe, that sits at the back of a building next to a car park.

It isn't fancy, but the food is fresh, tasty and very cheap.

They make there own flatbreads, which they turn into Dürüms (a kind of kebab) and serve with really good chips and a delicious shredded salad is brought with your meal, it's a bit like a coleslaw, dressed in pomegranate and lemon juice.

The vegetarian durum (Vejetaryen Dürüm) is the flatbread filled with onions, tomatoes, parsley, peppers or chillies and chips, yes I did say chips.

 In this photo, you can see the salad on the table and a little of the cafe. 

And a durum wrapped in paper. the paper is essential to keep the filling in.

Floral Plate

I picked up this pretty side plate in an brilliant shop called China Bazzar in Girne. 

It is one of those shops that has everything. 

Garden furniture, swimming pool toys, crocs, watches, kitchenware, toys, shoes, clothes, bags, clothes, yes everything.

I got this plate for about 50p. I thought it would be perfect to display a colourful frosted cupcake. I wish I had taken the time to have a better look to see what else they had.

Disclosure: Ultrathon sent me some bug spray to try. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own. The other products I bought or tried myself and wanted to share with you.


  1. what a great holiday - good food, beautiful tableware and no mozzie bites!

  2. The wee boy is HUGE. Love that curly hair.

    Fun - we have been experimenting with pitas and flatbread made in our toaster oven (not at ALL the same, but close!) and I JUST got a jar of coconut oil to try. Great minds!

    Meanwhile, we're still EVER so gentle with our gorgeous Turkish/Cypriot ceramic trivets; quite envious of your stash. We must go, someday!!

    I'm impressed you found something for midges that really works!

    1. You do so much more than me, you put me to shame. I really need a few extra days in the week.

      As for the midges, I think it was a combination of time of year and the spray.

  3. Lovely ceramics and interesting to see the different products

  4. A hliday in Cyprus sounds like my kind of holiday. Plenty of great food and shopping.

    1. I know, you have done Greece, so maybe Cyprus or Turkey next time :)

  5. Now that I know what goes into a brandy sour I'm going to have to try one!

    1. Enjoy Tandy and let me know what you think :)

  6. Love the tableware - I used to always buy a stash of similar designs when I used to work in the Middle East

    1. It's great to have such a great choice.


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