Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

November 24, 2017

© Alicia Taylor

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Sesame rings

Traditional Turkish dishes that you can replicate in your kitchen

On five holy nights each year, the mosques throughout Turkey are all lit up brightly and special prayers are made. Each of these holy evenings are known as Kandil (meaning “candle”). For these special religious celebrations, you buy or make these little babies to share with your loved ones.


1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten, for brushing
1/3 c. (80 ml) sesame seeds, for sprinkling
9 oz. (250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ c. (60 ml) milk
¼ c. (60 ml) olive oil
1 tbsp. (15 ml) mahlab (see note below)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of sea salt
2 c. (500 ml) plain all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Set aside the egg yolk and sesame seeds. Put all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix together to make a dough (using your hands is easiest). Allow to rest for about 10–15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a cigar, about 4 inches (10 cm) long, and 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Form each cigar into a circle by joining the two ends and pinching them together, making a bagel shape. Brush each circle with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy warm, fresh from the oven. Makes 12.

Note: Mahlab (also called mahaleb, mahlep, mahleb or St. Lucie kernels) is a fragrant spice powder ground from the small seeds inside the pits of the wild, sour mahaleb cherry. You’ll find it in spice emporiums and Middle Eastern grocery stores.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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