Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine – Dessert with Cheese and Syrup (Künefe)

Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine

Dessert with Cheese and Syrup (Künefe)

turkish-flagTurkish cuisine is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, köftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (Türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as Baklava, Söbiyet, Kadayıf, and Künefe.


For syrup:

  • 200 g white sugar
  • 500 ml water


For Künefe:

  • 500 g prepared shredded Filo dough (Kadayif)
  • 250 g unsalted Mozzeralla cheese or any other white, stringy, unsalted cheese, shredded
  • 250 g butter
  • 120 ml milk (optional)

For decoration:

2-3 tbsp unsalted pistachios,  finely ground


turkish-recipes-kunefeIn a medium pot, combine sugar and water and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to let the syrup cool down.

Melt 2 – 3 tbsp of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the Kadayif and distribute it in the pan.

(Optional: Add the milk and continue mixing until the butter and milk are completely incorporated into the dough.)

Distribute the cheese evenly over the top of the Kadayif and compress it with a spatula or your hand.

Add the rest of the Filo dough on top of the cheese, distribute and compress again.

When the dough is slightly browned at the bottom, remove from heat, loosen the whole lot with a spatula or a knife and tilt it into a further frying pan with melted butter.

Fry the Künefe for another few minutes until both sides are browned. Maybe you have to tilt it once more.

Remove the skillet from the hotplate, pour over the syrup and decorate the Künefe with ground pistachios before serving.

Editor´s note: For a better understanding please watch the following video clip.

About tfrsecretary

Born in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany in 1957, I was educated at a Baccalaureate High School. Later completed Technical University with a degree in Economic Informatics. I served for 12 years in the German Army before joining a French computer company for another 10 years. Then ran my own motorcycle and gastronomy businesses before deciding to retire. I arrived in North Cyprus with my second wife in 2004 and since her sad loss in 2011, I have kept myself very busy trying to help others with similar problems and in 2012 became the Secretary of “The Foreign Residents in the TRNC” (TFR). I am very keen to see expat communities coming together and playing their part in helping North Cyprus, our adopted homeland.
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