Turkish Desserts: Healthy, fresh and rich in flavours

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With soothing music playing in the background, you must have seen the videos of Turkish desserts trending on Instagram. Made with fresh ingredients and dipped in honey, these tempting food videos are the new craze! Though most of us recognise Baklava, which is also Turkey’s national sweet dish, there are many more desserts that rule the internet. We speak to chefs about other popular Russian sweets.

Some of the desserts which are ruling the internet are Sambali, a milkcake look alike dessert made with semolina, Ayva Tatlisi, a fruit-based dessert made with quince, Badem Ezmesi, a confection consisting primarily of sugar, honey, and almond meal (ground almonds), sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract. Cezerye, a gelatinous sweet made from caramelized carrots, shredded coconut and roasted nuts.

Cezerye, a gelatinous sweet made from caramelized carrots, shredded coconut and roasted nuts. (Photo: remziyenin_mutfaagi/Instagram)

“Turkish desserts are in trend because of their uniqueness and pleasing taste. The best thing with almost all the Turkish desserts is that you can have them at any time of the day, and with any meal. You can either start your meal with a good baklava or finish your meal with the same or can have this as a tea snack,” says Vivek Rana, executive chef, The Claridges Hotel, New Delhi.

Turkish desserts are not very sweet in taste and most of them have a good shelf life which can be enjoyed for over a period of time. “Most Turkish sweets are dipped in sugar syrup/ honey and that’s one unique technique used widely. One must try a pairing of Turkish coffee which is thick and syrupy with an assortment of baklava, the pairing of the two is phenomenal. Another Turkish specialty is pistachio halva, which is pistachios embedded in nougat like paste rolls,” says Vidushi Sharma, a pastry chef who tried all these during her trip to Turkey.

Turkish Delight, small squares with a jelly-like texture. (Photo: leahchrist/Instagram)
Turkish Delight, small squares with a jelly-like texture. (Photo: leahchrist/Instagram)

When we thought of the Middle East, it used to be about spicy flavours and aromas, but the new social media trend has made these Turkish desserts undeniably popular owing to their unique and enticing flavour and texture. “In 2017, I travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, and was introduced to the deliciousness of Turkish pastries. Since then, I’ve had an insatiable craving for Turkish desserts. Aside from Baklava, I’ve tried various desserts. Turkish Delight, small squares with a jelly-like texture are one of my favourites. These gummy treats are traditionally flavoured with bergamot orange, rosewater, and lemon. To enhance the taste, fruits or nuts are also incorporated. Lokma was one of the most well-known dishes I tried during my stay in Istanbul. It’s a fried treat dipped in syrup. The meal resembles Gulab Jamun. Kunefe, also known as Kanafeh or Kunafah, is made of two layers of crispy pastry filled with melted cheese and drenched in sweet syrup and is a specialty of the Antakya region. Some restaurants provide extras like almonds or clotted cream. Künefe can be served cold, warm, or hot,” says Chef Stephenson Simson, executive pastry chef, The Leela Ambience Gurugram.

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271


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