Complete Book Of Turkish Cooking by Ayla Esen Algar [azw3 | 2,87 Mb] ISBN: 0710305249

  • Full Title: Complete Book Of Turkish Cooking
  • Autor: Ayla Esen Algar
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publication Date: January 13, 1995
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0710305249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0710305244
  • Download File Format | Size: azw3 | 2,87 Mb
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First published in 1995. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Editorial Reviews



for a sample recipe – Wagyu Steak Sandwich

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People often look at me with surprise and ask me why, when, where and how I got into food, let alone have my own food show on television. The truth is, whilst I can chart how it all happened I am still somewhat surprised, perplexed and very happy that it did.

Without going through my family history, somewhere along the way I developed not just a love of food but also a love of cooking. I put it down to the fact that ever since I was a young boy I have always been a performer and a large part of being a performer is about being creative. Having a love of food is a good place to begin the journey into diverse and fulfilling food experiences, along with the understanding that food is about creativity and the ability to express your personality. Just look at all the rock star chefs we have on television now, they are all about expressing themselves and their art. I have done this all my life through dance, choreography, acting and now, through my cooking — and don’t I feel lucky!

My very first TV cooking appearance was back in the mid-seventies when I appeared on the Helen O’Grady show making a toasted cheese sandwich — the perfect after-school snack. Helen O’Grady was one of my first drama teachers at John Curtin Theatre Arts High School, a rather out-there lady who wore very large jewellery, had big hair, wore lots of make-up and just happened to have her own afternoon kids show on TV in Perth, Western Australia. I am horrified to remember that I used single sliced and wrapped processed cheese which melted under the studio lights. Thankfully I have moved on from that.

My next foodie experience was when I scored a job at my local Red Rooster outlet. Red Rooster is a chicken chain serving up the usual fare of roast chicken, chips, peas, gravy, corn and I was their new head chef at the ripe old age of 16. Yep, for $1.45 per hour I cooked, cleaned and served up everything. Looking back on it now it amounted to slave labour but I also learnt how to work hard, respect my ingredients and have integrity in my work. One of the best things about the job was back in those days (late seventies) when I made the chicken rolls, I would use the left over chickens from the day before. As there was no meat on the wings they were supposed to be discarded but I would fill up bags of them and keep them in the fridge. Then at the end of the night I would make sure to cook extra chips just in case we had a late run for them. At the end of the night my mum and I would go home with a couple of bags of hot chips and cold wings to a house full of friends waiting for a feast.

One of the managers at the store when I started was a Bangladeshi guy called Gerry who left Red Rooster to start his own place cooking traditional Bangladeshi and Indian food. I used to go down to his market stall and help him cook and serve customers on weekends. During this time I also met a Chinese martial arts instructor, Jonny, who also had a stall at the markets. I became friends with him, often hanging out at his stall helping where I could with cooking or serving. At the time, I was a full-time student with the Western Australian Ballet Company and Jonny, in between cooking and prepping food, would give me special Chinese liniments to help with sore, strained and often torn muscles. These guys were great as they had a passion for their traditional food and a desire to share that with people, they opened my eyes and taste buds to world cuisine. They also had a great zest for life and it seemed to me that their food brought them joy — cooking and sharing was as necessary and natural as breathing. I would like to think that this was their gift to me.

Mum was a good cook but as we were a family of five living on a single income, there really was not a lot of room to play with ingredients or to get too fancy. We used to eat a lot of lamb, or I should say mutton, as Mum would buy a side of lamb for a pretty cheap price and we would diligently eat our way through it. I love lamb but to this day my brother and sister have difficulty sitting down to a meal of it.

When I left home and moved to Melbourne to study at the Australian Ballet School, I got a job working at Taco Bill, a Mexican restaurant. I started out making the dips and the salads, which was fun and I was about to be promoted to the ovens but alas my dance studies were suffering and I had to give my nightly cooking career away. However, being away from home meant cooking every meal for myself and thus began my journey into produce, experiments, burnt toast, weird concoct
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pm your plants are acting as if they’d forgotten that they received their daily dose of water.

And speaking of watering your plants, be sure to select a spot close to your water source.


You’ll want to determine whether your beds will be inground or aboveground. Raised garden beds can ease the pain in your back, but you’ll have to build them. Inground gardens require more weeding, which can also be backbreaking work. Be sure to kill the grass before you begin. The roots will lose their grip after they’ve died.

Veggies like soft, yet dense soil, with good moisture retention and a rich organic lining. They also prefer a nice deep cushion of 8–12 inches, ensuring that their roots have plenty of space to spread out and spread deep.

Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the mulch. Once you have sprouts, you’ll need it to keep the weeds to a manageable level no matter which method of gardening you choose. Organic mulch serves a dual benefit. It prevents weeds, and it eventually becomes a source of nutrients for your plants as it breaks down into the soil.


Focus on what you like to eat, not what you think you can grow. While a variety of colorful vegetables may add to your garden’s appearance, they’ll ruin the effect when left withering on the vine because no one cared enough to harvest them. Imagine you’re in the garden, short on time—What are you going to harvest? Your favorites, that’s what. Choose your seeds with that in mind.

When planting your seeds in the ground, a good rule of thumb is to consider the size of your seed. Tiny seeds like carrots, lettuce, and broccoli are planted very shallow—about a quarter inch deep. If you plant them too deep, they might not break through all that dirt to reach the surface. Stepping up in size are eggplant, squash, pepper, and beet seeds. These require a bit more coverage, about one-half inch depth. Then there are seeds like beans and corn, which prefer to be buried in about one inch of soil.


If farmer Joseph Swain knows one thing about farmers’ market customers, it’s that they love carrots.

“If you only have one or two farmers at your market who are selling carrots, you can pull a pretty good penny,” he says. One-quarter of Swainway Urban Farm is dedicated to growing carrots.

He constructed 12 raised garden beds in his backyard, giving him 3,000 feet of growing space. For the carrot beds, he mixed together peat, perlite, green sand kelp, and fertilizer. He has a long list of reasons why building raised beds is beneficial. You have control over the quality of the soil by adding amendments, compost, and organic material to a specific growing area.

Raised beds also provide a lush 6–8 inches of growing depth, which is key for a successful carrot crop. Plants can shoot their roots deep into the ground, which means Swain can plant his crops closer.

He hopes to be selling his first batch of carrots by the middle of June. He’ll then plant two new rows of carrots every two weeks, so he should be well stocked for the rest of the summer market season.

What about potatoes? They love to be underground and prefer a depth of about two inches. The same goes for garlic. This depth helps them burrow in for the long cold winter.

Companion planting is the idea of strategically planting certain fruits and vegetables close to one another in order to optimize natural growing conditions.

For example, if you know dill attracts the hornworm, and you know hornworms can devour a tomato plant down to the bare stem, you’ll know to not plant these two next to one another. How about rosemary and cabbage? Rosemary acts as a natural repellent for the cabbage moth, which just so happens to love to eat cabbage plants. Corn and beans are great friends, as corn provides the trellis for beans to climb. Garlic repels aphids, while tarragon seems to disgust most insects. Take a look at your selection of seeds and do the research. It will save you a basket full of heartache later on.


While some climates allow for an extended growing season, most plants still need certain growing conditions to thrive. Play it safe your first time. Read the seed packet labels and sow accordingly.

You can plant vegetables several times throughout the season. That’s called stagger planting. Let’s take tomatoes. Many tomatoes mature at between 55 and 80 days. If your first planting date is May 1 and your growing season effectively ends in October, then you might consider planting in the first week of May, the third week of May, early-to mid-June, and the beginning of July. By staggering your planting dates, you’ll stagger your harvest, giving you an endless stream of tomatoes fresh from the vine. You’ll also ensure that your last batch is mature prior to fall’s first frosty nip.

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eful to the members of the Mid York and Central New York Mycological societies and the North American and Rochester Area Mycological associations for their support and enthusiasm. Bill Chapman and Sally Reymers kindly helped in the selection of specimen photographs. Finally, we thank the entire staff at the University of Texas Press. The quality of design and photographic reproduction evident in this book are only the most visible characteristics attesting to their high standards.



Fungi ben mussheroms; there be two manners of them, one maner is deedley and slayeth them that eateth them and be called tode stoles, and the other doeth not.


Some of the finest foods in the world are free for the picking, and the truly poisonous ones are few, but one must learn to be discriminating.


Young, tender Dryad’s Saddles lurk in the shadows of fallen logs.


An Introduction to the Mushroom

What Is a Mushroom?

For many years, mushrooms and other fungi were classified as members of the Plant Kingdom. More recently, they have been placed in their own kingdom, the Fungi Kingdom. This seems only fair: mushrooms and other fungi lack chlorophyll, and their reproductive systems are wholly different from those of plants.

It is important to understand that mushrooms are simply the equivalent of fruit, bearing the microscopic spores that are the fungal equivalent of seeds. In other words, mushrooms are the reproductive structures of fungi. The fungus “body” is called the mycelium. It consists of a network of microscopic threads called hyphae. The mycelium is typically hidden in the food source (the substrate) from which it absorbs nutrients.

In terms of nutritional requirements there are three groups of mushroom-producing fungi. The first group is the saprobes, those fungi that receive nourishment by breaking down dead organic matter such as leaves, wood, feces, or humus. The second group is the parasites, which steal nutrients from living trees, plants, animals, or other fungi, weakening or killing their hosts in the process. The third group is the mycorrhizal fungi. These are essentially symbiotic fungi that receive much of their nourishment from the roots of trees or other plants. They benefit their host species by breaking down some nutrients into forms that are more easily utilized by the hosts and by increasing water and mineral absorption.

When conditions are favorable, a fundamental change occurs in the mycelium. It greatly increases its absorption of water and begins to form the complex structure we call a mushroom. Each mushroom grows rapidly, pushing its way out from the substrate to produce and release spores, thus perpetuating the species.

Some fungi require highly specialized habitats in order to exist—for example, the roots of a certain kind of tree, a certain climate, a certain type of soil. Others are more adaptable and, as a rule, more common. Some are short-lived, deriving nourishment from their substrates for only a few months. Others are perennial, some living for as long as several centuries.

Mushrooms and Taste

Those who are unacquainted with the tremendous variety of edible mushrooms often ask, “Don’t they all taste pretty much the same? If I don’t like the store-bought variety of mushrooms, why bother with the others?”

The answer takes the form of an analogy. Just because someone dislikes figs and beets doesn’t mean he or she dislikes all fruits and vegetables. Different mushrooms have different flavors, different textures, and different aromas. It can be said that most mushrooms have a “mushroomy” flavor, but it can also be said that most fruits taste fruity and that most meats taste meaty.

Because most people aren’t used to eating a variety of mushrooms, they tend to be more aware of the common flavor components of mushrooms than is the case with meats, fruits, vegetables, or other kinds of food. Most mushroom fanciers are convinced that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t like at least some kinds of mushrooms, if only the opportunity existed to try a variety of different ones.

This belief has been corroborated by personal experience. Those of us who have opened the minds—and mouths—of some of our most skeptical friends and relatives have enjoyed their surprised smiles when they tasted their first morel or their first slice of a puffball. Of course, not everyone likes every kind of mushroom. Even between enthusiasts there are differences of opinion on the culinary value of some of the edible mushrooms covered by this book. Taste is perhaps the most individual of the five senses. Therefore, in addition to our own preferences, we have considered opinions from a number of print and personal sources before deciding which species to include. Some people don’t like
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1 T. dried onion

1/8 tsp. turmeric

1/8 tsp. white pepper (preferred) or black

6 T. olive oil

2 tsp. prepared American mustard

2 tsp. salt

1/2 C. tomato sauce or ketchup

1 3/4 water

Blend all ingredients well in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking continuously until it comes to a boil and thickens to your liking.

It’ll thicken more as it cools, so it’s best served hot or at least very warm. To reheat, add a bit of water and stir over low heat.


In case yer lookin’ to flavor firm tofu beef-style for somethin’ like Fajitas (p. 76).

prep: 3 minmakes: 2 C.

3/4 C. soy sauce

1 C. water

1/4 C. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. black pepper (fresh-cracked if available)

1 tsp. beef or vegetable broth powder (optional)

Mix ingredients well; should do fer marinatin’ a 350g package of firm/extra-firm tofu.


Fer doin’ a chicken-style firm tofu, like when makin’ Country-Fried Tofu (p. 81)

prep: 4 minmakes: 2/3 C.

1/2 C. boiling water

1 tsp. white vinegar

2 T. soy sauce

2 1/2 T. vegetable broth powder (optional)

black pepper (to taste)

1/8 tsp. each of:

– paprika

– rosemary

– garlic powder

– onion powder

– oregano

– parsley

– basil

Mix ingredients well and get ta marinatin’ yerself 350g of firm or extra firm tofu.

Add extra water, vinegar, and soy sauce ta get yer tofu fully immersed if need be.


A great all-purpose gravy ya kin use for mashed potatoes, Vegetable Pot Pie (p. 91), or wherever else a meal cries out in the night fer some hearty gravy.

prep: 5 mincook: 15 minmakes: 2 C.

2 T. canola oil

1/2 C. onion, finely chopped

1/2 C. mushrooms, diced

3 T. nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vegetable stock powder

black pepper, to taste (optional)

1/3 C. all-purpose flour

2 C. water

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent.

Mix together spices and flour separately and then add to saucepan, stirring until oil and juices are absorbed and the onions and mushrooms are well-coated in the mix.

Add water 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well and allowing to thicken after each addition until all the water is added. Try fresh-cracked black peper to give it a bit of a kick.


A simple, fast-food style gravy. Try it on Country-Style Biscuits (p. 26), a Vegetable Mountain (p. 92), or anything else ya might want ta slather in gravy.

prep: 10 min | cook: 15 min | makes: 3 C.

2 T. canola oil

4 T. all-purpose flour

3 C. broth of desired gravy flavor

1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. white sugar

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sprinkle in the flour, whisking well to remove any clumps.

Continue heating mixture until it turns a darker brown (7-10 minutes), stirring often to avoid scorching.

Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and increase heat until it comes to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces and gravy thickens to how ya like it.


This is called for if ya make Enchiladas (p. 77), but tasty on tex-mex any ol’ time.

prep: 2 mincook: 12 minmakes: 1 3/4 C.

1 T. canola oil

1/2 C. onion, chopped

1-3 tsp. chili powder (to taste)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

3 T. tomato paste

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 C. chicken-flavored broth

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook onion ‘til it’s translucent.

Mix spices and flour together and then stir in well with the onion, making sure there’s no lumps and as much of the oil and moisture is absorbed as possible.

Mix tomato paste and broth together and pour inta the saucepan. Mix well and boil for a few minutes, stirring frequently to prevent any clumping or scorching.

Stir in extra flour to thicken more, or add extra spices to suit your taste if desired.


Once ya make a batch a’ this, you might not bother ever buyin’ it pre-made again.

prep: 17 mincook: 40 minmakes: 4 C.

1 1/2 C. diced tomatoes

1 1/2 C. water

1/2 C. green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 C. red bell pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1/3 C. tomato paste

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T. white vineger

1/4 tsp. dried garlic granules

1/4 C. jalapeno peppers, chopped—this’ll make yer salsa MEDIUM


– use 2 T. jalapenos for MILD – use 1/3 C. jalapenos for HOT

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Cool, then transfer to a storage container and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors combine before u
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hat as the stew develops it absorbs the flavour of the pepper, but if it becomes too spicy it can be removed at any point.

Shake the pan regularly so that the chicken does not stick. Turn over after 5 minutes. While the chicken is browning, finely dice the onions and crush the garlic to a paste. Keep semethodte and put to one side.

After 5 minutes, add half the garlic to the pan and fry for a further 5 minutes, so that the garlic and chicken brown together. When given room in the pan, garlic caramelizes very quickly – this gives a lovely rich flavour and texture which attaches itself to the chicken. When the chicken has browned nicely on both sides, remove it from the pan and put to one side.

Using the same pan, slightly increase the heat to medium-high and add the diced onions and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the onions for 12 minutes, stirring regularly. When they are very soft and dark, turn the heat down to medium and add the tomato purée and the remaining garlic. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes, then add the groundnut butter and stir.

Put the browned chicken back into the pan and add the stock slowly while stirring, so that it is incorporated with the sauce. Leave to cook on a low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should reduce slightly and take on a thicker consistency. Serve hot.

In West Africa, the seeds of the egusi melon are a common component of the soups that are integral to daily life. Coarsely ground up, they thicken stews, adding texture and another layer of flavour. Egusi soup is usually prepared with fish and or meat but given its nutritional profile – the seeds are composed of mostly natural fats and protein – it works perfectly as a vegetarian alternative to the Groundnut stew.



Serves 4

Time: 40 minutes

100g whole egusi seeds

3 teaspoons salt

1 large red pepper

200g baby plum tomatoes

3 medium onions

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 Scotch bonnet pepper

400g fresh plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato purée

½ teaspoon soft dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon hot paprika

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

400g cooked chickpeas

300g baby leaf spinach

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.

Roast the egusi seeds on the middle shelf of the oven for 12 minutes, turning once. The egusi should be crunchy and some will have taken on a golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and grind half the seeds in a pestle and mortar. Leave the rest whole and set all the seeds aside.

To make the base sauce, finely dice the onions and gently fry in the oil for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Deseed and finely dice the Scotch bonnet pepper. Chop the garlic and crush to a paste. Add both to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and dark brown sugar. Stir and taste. It should have a pleasant sweetness from the tomatoes, onions and sugar, with a spicy undercurrent from the Scotch bonnet pepper. Add the black pepper, paprika and the other 2 teaspoons of salt.

Pour in 200ml water or vegetable stock, then cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. This allows the flavours to meld together. Remove from heat and blend base sauce. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Add the ground egusi to the base. Simmer on a low heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken and become a creamier colour as the seeds absorb liquid.

Rinse the red pepper, then remove the stalk and seeds. Cut it into 5mm squares. Quarter the baby plum tomatoes.

Then add the chickpeas, red pepper and plum tomatoes and simmer for a final 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the spinach and the extra virgin olive oil. Serve just as the spinach begins to wilt, and scatter the reserved whole egusi seeds on top.

Ugali is a staple made of maize meal eaten across much of East Africa. It is one of those everyday dishes that growing up you might not care for – I didn’t. There are cousins of this dish made with different grains across the continent (eba made from cassava, pounded yam and fufu from a multitude of starchy crops).

It wasn’t until as an adult my cousin Kate started regularly cooking maize meal for me that I came to appreciate it properly. In her version the maize meal is left to cook for longer and is softer and plumper than that I was accustomed to. I favour it as an accompaniment to the groundnut stew. These days I still make it weekly or so, and I find it real comfort food. Roll ugali into small balls with your hands and then use to scoop sauce into your mouth.



Serves 6

Time: 40 minutes

400g fine maize meal

Mix 200g of maize meal with 500ml of cold water in a deep saucepan. Put the saucepan on a low-medium heat. Stir the maize meal and water until well mixed, then add 1.2 litres of boiling water and continue sti
lt syrup or date syrup, all available from natural food stores.


Nutritional yeast (Engevita brand)

Nutritional yeast is high in vitamin B12, usually found in animal products, making it an important source for vegans of this essential nutrient. The yeast is deactivated, so it’s not suitable for baking. The bright yellow flakes have a nutty, cheesy flavor, which makes them an excellent addition to vegan cheese sauces, pastas, scrambled tofu and more. You can find nutritional yeast in bulk in natural food stores.


Vinegar adds tanginess and depth of flavor to food. For salad dressings and seasoning, I use balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar is good for Asian dishes.

HP Sauce

HP Sauce, or brown sauce, is a traditional condiment made from malt vinegar, tomato, dates, tamarind and spices. It contains no animal ingredients.


A fermented paste made from soybeans, often combined with rice or other grains, miso is a salty, savory and protein-rich addition to soups, sauces and other dishes. You can buy miso, which comes in varieties ranging from light to dark, in Asian or natural food stores. I prefer the dark variety, which has a richer flavor.

Soy sauce/tamari

Tamari is a naturally fermented soy sauce that adds a deep, complex flavor to many vegan dishes. You can use it interchangeably with regular soy sauce, which is slightly saltier. Gluten-free tamari is also available. Look for tamari in natural food stores or supermarkets.

Teriyaki sauce

A sweet, savory, soy-based sauce used in Asian dishes. I like to make my own (see recipe on this page), but you can also use a bottled version.

Vegetable stock

Vegetable stock can be purchased as granules, powder or cubes, and adds flavor to soups and sauces. I prefer granules, as they distribute better, but powder or cubes can be substituted. Better Than Bouillon brand produces a vegetarian chicken-flavored stock, useful for “chicken” noodle soup.

Curry paste

For Indian-style curries, I often use tikka or tandoori curry pastes, which are combinations of various Indian spices with oil and other ingredients. Patak’s brand is available in Asian stores and in the ethnic food aisles of most supermarkets.


Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, is high in protein and calcium and adds creaminess to dips, dressings and other dishes. You can find it in most grocery stores.

Yeast extract

Marmite and Vegemite are the best-known brands of yeast extract, a salty, slightly bitter black paste that comes in jars and tubes. Some people like it spread on toast, and a little bit adds saltiness and depth of flavor to savory dishes. You’ll find it in natural food stores and in some supermarkets.

Sweet chili sauce

Sweet chili sauce is made from chilies and a sweetener. It’s a popular condiment in Asian cooking and can be found in Asian grocery stores, and in the ethnic food aisle of supermarkets.

Vegan “fish” sauce

Incredibly, you can buy several brands of vegan “fish” sauce, suitable for flavoring authentic Asian recipes. I use Golden Mountain sauce, available in Asian grocery stores or online through

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce often contains anchovies, so look for vegetarian varieties in natural food stores.

Rosewater, rose essence, rose syrup and rose petals

These add a lovely floral flavor to desserts and savory dishes. You can find rosewater and rose essence (also called rose extract) in natural food stores or natural pharmacies; the essence is much more concentrated. Rose syrup, which is sweetened, is usually available in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian grocery stores and in some supermarkets. For fresh rose petals, look for unsprayed roses at farmers’ markets or through organic florists. Edible dried rose petals are available in some gourmet food stores and Middle Eastern grocery stores, or find them online through or eBay.

Vegan jelly

Most jelly is made from gelatin, an animal product. For a vegan alternative, try Just Wholefoods Real Fruit brand, available in some natural food stores and through online vegan specialty stores (see below). You can also substitute agar flakes (see this page).


Puff pastry

Puff pastry is a layered pastry for making light, flaky pie crusts. I find it’s too time-consuming to make my own, so I prefer to use a good-quality ready-made brand, such as Aussie Bakery (available at Whole Foods) or Pepperidge Farm.

Phyllo pastry

Made from very thin sheets of dough, phyllo (sometimes called filo) is used in Greek and Middle Eastern pastries, such as baklava. Many brands of phyllo dough are vegan (check the ing


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