I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

December 4, 2012

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey

One of my sisters, SpecialK,  has recently returned to Australia,after living in Turkey for the past 7 years.
She bought with her a Turkish husband and two gorgeous little kiddies who are rapidly adopting Australian accents and habits as they happily settle into their new home.
When we visited them earlier in the year, my brother-in-law proudly treated us to a Turkish banquet of homemade Kebabs and meats grilled over charcoal, and lots of fantastic fresh tasting salads and sweet, sweet Turkish desserts, so I know first hand how delicious real Turkish food can be.

Imagine then, how happy I was to receive and e-mail from author Sibel Hodge asking me if I would like to review her first cookbook 'A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey'!

Sibel's Dad emigrated to the UK where he met her English Mum. She grew up in the UK, but now spends most of her time in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, so she definitely has experienced the best of both cultures indeed.

When Sibel met her Coeliac husband, like most people she didn't have a clue what that meant at all.
Already the author of a string of  quirky romantic comedies, mysteries and children's books, she decided she wanted to show that gluten free food can be eclectic, vibrant and delicious, and so created 'A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey'- a mix of traditional Turkish cookery, dishes with a Turkish Cypriot twist, and some of her own creation.

I eagerly read through my ebook, and was certainly impressed with what I saw. I made my favourite recipe from the book, and have jotted down some of my thoughts on the recipes as well:
I think Sibel captured the vibrancy and variety available with Turkish cuisine so well- sadly only known to many as greasy kebabs and colourful dips. Writing this style of cookbook however, shows how delicious and adaptable it can truly be to both Coeliacs and regular eaters, without compromising on either authenticity or taste.
The little snippets of information before each dish were very interesting, and helped engage me with the recipe. Rather than just having a brief word or two describing the dish it helped give each a life of its own, and also showed through a bit of her personality.
One of my favourite dishes was the Yoghurt Soup- so very yummy indeed! My sister makes a version of it often and it's certainly a favourite in her household too.
I liked how there were different options for kebab marinades, as I know so many people who (stubbornly and stupidly) refuse to try a recipe at all if there is just one ingredient in it that they don't like. This leaves them no excuse for not giving them a go.
The Figs in Syrup are bookmarked for when the fig season is upon us, and I have some Saffron Syrup that I think would go really well with them too.
The Sexy Cabbage is definitely a winner, and such an under rated veggie here as well! I have some growing in my garden as we speak :)
Pan Fried Liver was a brave inclusion- offal is an almost controversial ingredient, isn't it? I'm so glad the whole nose-to-tail eating is coming in vogue again.
So many Gluten Free cookbooks really put me off with their almost militant style of writing. Let's be realistic, most people just won't bother with huge lists of weird and hard-to-source ingredients to make this-particular-authors-special-flour-blend that is the only one to make their recipe work. Sibel has used Great ingredients with Great style to show off one of the worlds truly Great cuisines, proving definitively that Gluten Free need not be Flavour Free!

Yoghurt Soup (Tarhana Corbasi)

1 1/2 pints (700ml) Gluten free Chicken stock
1/2 cup long grain Rice - washed
2 cups Yoghurt (I used Lidells Lactose Free)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Egg
2 tsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Mint (I used dried for cooking)
1 tsp Sumac
2 Tab Rice Flour (I used plain gfree flour)
2 Tab Butter

Put the stock, salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice, cover and cook on a low heat until the rice is soft.

In a separate bowl mix the spices, yoghurt, flour, egg, butter and tomato paste.

Add a few spoonfuls of the hot liquid from the rice pan into the yoghurt bowl to warm it up slightly, then pour the mixture into the rice pan, stirring it very slowly so it doesn't curdle.

Maintain a low heat on the pan, stirring for another 10 minutes, then pour into bowls. Yum!

I noticed that after a few minutes the soup thickened up considerably into a lovely smooth consistency. The flour and butter would work as a roux, and of course the protein from the egg would help give the luscious richness and silkiness- just don't let the mix get too hot, or stop stirring!

I absolutely loved this dish, but it's such a mix of opposites!

Light but rich tasting, comforting but special too, wonderful hot but gorgeously refreshing cold....
overall a terrific all-rounder and a meal I'll be adding to my families repertoire.

The other dish I decided to try were the Baked Eggs (Kavrilmis Yumurta). I'm always after nice breakfast or brunch dishes, but this would be a great lunch or supper dish as well.

from this:

The only difference I made to the recipe was to use a Greek Sheep Cheese instead of the Turkish Taze Kasar cheese or mozarella recommended. I can tolerate certain amounts of sheep and goats cheese, and the one I used was the one I could source easily from one of the major supermarkets.

to this:

I found the dish to be very tasty, but a bit rich and concentrated tasting for me. I realise that ingredients vary so much world wide, so a little tweaking is needed sometimes to adjust. I think if I just swapped out the tinned tomatoes for fresh ones, I would enjoy it a lot more.

to this!:

So Dear Readers, do you enjoy Turkish food, and how often you eat it?

The InTolerant Chef was gifted a free e-copy of 'A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey', by the author Sibel Hodge. No payment was received for this review.

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey is available to buy now in ebook format for Kindle from:


  1. Thanks so much for your lovely review, Rebecca! I'm soooo glad you enjoyed it! I wanted to include recipes that were easy-to-cook and tasted fab, but also had ingredients that you'd be able to find in your store cupboard. :)

  2. I love Turkish food personally, the recipes look like you have done them justice. There are also a range of Turkish biscuits and desserts that are gluten free, would be worth checking out for anyone with gluten sensitivites. Elinize saglik Sibel.

  3. I adore Turkish food, it's one of my favourites! Such delicious dips and breads and their mains? Fabulous! A lovely review too!

    1. Absolutely! Turkish food is so flavoursome and yummy, and I'm doing a happy dance at Rebecca's fab review! :)

  4. Oh my gosh TOO COOL. I've never had any experience of cooking Turkish food at home but it's def a cuisine I really enjoy every time I eat it at a restaurant. The whole culture fascinates me. Mum's always said she's wanted to visit Turkey too and from the looks of it, I'm sure she'll enjoy the food just as much as the scenery =]

    1. It's a fab place, Winston! As I mentioned, the recipes I've included are really easy-to-cook, using ingredients that most people will already have in their storecupboards. :)

  5. What a great sounding book (although I did think you were talking about Christmas turkey, not Turkey the country to begin with - one track mind at the moment). I agree that a lot of GF cookbooks have been off-putting because they set the bar so high and most of us just can't get there. How much better to have a cookbook that all of us can attain to managing a few or most of the recipes. Great review, Rebecca xx

    1. LOL, you're not the first person to think it's about the gobble, gobble kind of Turkey, although you could substitute turkey for the chicken recipes if you like! Yep, my recipes don't require any special flour mixes, ingredients, or equipment that will make them hard to use. We're all leading busy lives so we want things nice and easy! Cooking should be fun, not hassle! :)

  6. Lovely review, Becca! The baked eggs look great - I love those sorts of dishes! :)

  7. looks like some wonderful dishes and great that you don't have to adapt the recipes to gluten free, how amazing to have your sister close again.

  8. How lovely that your sister is back... and that Turkish banquet sounds so delicious, Bec!

  9. You're so right--so many people whittle it down to dip and kebab like Korean food is synonymous with tabletop bbq :/ I'll be sure to look into this book and getting more Turkish food into my diet!

  10. This book sounds wonderful as does the food you have made...love the baked eggs! I love to eat food from different cultures!

  11. We loved our experience in Turkey recently! Had some delicious "new" style food, fancied up a bit. I suspect it was a little cleaner than traditional eats. We loved it. I like the idea of sexy cabbage haha.
    Heidi xo

  12. Middle Eastern food is one of my favorites, so I suspect I will be buying this book (just what I need - ANOTHER cookbook lol!)

  13. I just checked on Amazon - not only is this book ridiculously cheap, but the writer has 8 cats.... 8!!!! Also, I can 'hide' the new book on my new ipad - so I HAVE to get this one :-)

  14. I would love to have a look at this book. Turkish food is deliciously delicious, yes indeed, and baked eggs haven't graced our kitchen table for a long while...I think I need to sort that out.

  15. Great review, Rebecca! I haven't had much Turkish food except the occasional kebab from uni- they certainly don't look as good as the recipes in this cookbook!