Review: Turkish Flavours, Sevtap Yuce

Turkish Flavours

Title: Turkish Flavours
Author: Sevtap Yuce
Publisher: Hardie Grant
Style: Turkish food

Rating: 4 stars

If Turkish cooking conjures up thoughts of heavy meat dishes and sickly sweet pastry, prepare to be taught otherwise by Sevtap Yuce’s book ‘Turkish flavours – recipes from a seaside cafe’.  Yuce, who was born in Turkey and moved to Australia when she was 17, has created a beautiful book full of food which is simple, fresh and designed to be shared.

Her cafe, the namesake for her first recipe collection, is located just south of Brisbane; so trying your hand at some of the treats inside might well be your only chance to experience her cooking. And if my humble efforts are anything to go by, you don’t want to miss out.

Covering breakfast, mains and desserts, with meze and salads thrown in in the middle, the book holds plenty for everyone; from simple turkish

Om nom nom nom.

favourites like flatbread and baba ghanoush (much simpler and tastier than I thought it would be), to fried sheep’s testicles, which I have to admit I didn’t attempt.

Yuce emphasises the importance of fresh, good quality ingredients so it’s much less of a ‘what’s in the cupboard’ collection than some that rely on staples. For that reason, if you don’t live close to a grocer or good supermarket you might come unstuck in places, but the end result is worth it and the book provides an ideal starting point for someone just getting to grips with Turkish flavours.

There’s a nice balance between fish and other meat dishes, with plenty to satisfy veggies too, including zucchini fritters and smoked eggplant which looks mouthwatering just based on the pictures alone. I’ve already earmarked the rose petal jam and walnut and pistachio filled baklava, which Yuce tellingly leaves until very last, for my next cooking adventure.