Turkish Breakfast

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It’s good to have two or three dried fruits, a couple of different nuts, and a few seeds like sesame, flax, or even hemp. I played around with various things I had in my pantry for sweetness and ultimately settled on date molasses, but honey is great or that Turkish favorite pekmez. I love a dollop of tahini on top—it’s like a little touch of grown-up peanut butter flavor and doubly good if you add some sesame seeds to the mix.Use this recipe as a guide and fill in or substitute with whatever you have or like best. Play around and experiment. I think three different ingredients in each category—fruits, nuts, seeds—makes for the most exciting dish, with multiple textures and layers of flavor, but if you only have one in each category, it’s still going to taste very good.I admit I’ve even taking to filling a plastic bag with the nuts, fruits, and seeds to bring to the airport when I’m traveling. Combined with a plain yogurt—purchased after security—it’s a better meal than just about anything else you can find. You can’t bring the sweeteners, but you can usually at least find honey somewhere, even if it’s meant for tea.

  • 12 ounces thick plain yogurt, such as Siggi’s, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, or Fage
  • 1 tablespoon well-blended tahini
  • 1 tablespoon date molasses (silan)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 2 ounces (2 to 4) dried figs, cut into eighths
  • 2 ounces (6 to 8) dried apricots, cut into strips
  • 2 ounces (about 2 or 3 tablespoons) dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 pinch Turkish dried crushed chile, Aleppo pepper, urfa biber, or isot (optional)


  1. Divide the yogurt in half in two bowls and, using a spoon, smooth it around to form a hollow in the middle. Drizzle the tahini and the date molasses around the yogurt and fill in the hollow with the dried nuts and fruits. Sprinkle the mint and the chile, if using. Eat immediately (it will hold for about 15 to 20 minutes, but it’s so quick to make you might as well just make it and eat it).


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