Aug 10, 2010

Revani--step by step into the magical old world of Turkey

'Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, I'll show you something that'll make you change you mind'. That was Ralph McTull.

Bu there were cities before London was born and there were streets and routes-- that traded silk and tea. Today it lies in ruins. But ...
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Turkey. I saw something that made me change my mind.  And it will do your's too...if you see it the way I did :) A country where history and enchantment still reigns. Don't let the newspapers tell you anything that ain't so. And what better way to start than to do it by the book-- so to speak :) 

Named after a sixteenth century Turkish poet who wrote reams extolling the delights of food, Revani (also known as Basbousa) , is an old country favorite :) It is nothing but semolina sponge in orange or rose water syrup. 

If only things were this bland. 

'This is Turkey. Where romance adventures when freed from the curbing reins of  should and woulds. Where spicy aromas tease the senses till you can take it no more...where old roads lead to new adventures and dark eyes becon you from beneath gorgeous scarves. They tell me the castles are in ruins and the coffee is bitter and the country has no money. But this is Turkey. What do I care...the belly dancers still swing and the bazzars still reek of aroma and old country. The muslin is still untainted. So what if its in the books. I am sure it the streets of Turkey'

Okay..enough of crazy romance and peotry! But it is so difficult not to be in this mood, when you make this spicy syrupy decadant semilina cake. Lovingly called 'Revani'. And for more of such midless teasing..surely take up this book. 'Classic turkish cooking' by Ghille Basan and photographs by Jonathan Basan.

For once I am doing it by the book :)


For the cake

4oz/120 g semolina
2oz/60g all purpose flour
4oz/120g sugar
6 eggs, separte into white and yellow
zest of 1 orange, 

For the syrup
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
6oz/175 g of brown sugar. You can also use white sugar
300 ml of water
To garnish
Desicated coconut
Sliced almonds. Optional

Step by step into old world charms :)

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease 10 in cake pan with little oil
Mix together the semolina and flour. 
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar until creamy and light. 2 mins
Beat in the orange zest (1 min) and then showly the semolina-flour mixture (3 mins)
Whisk in the egg whites to stiff peaks (2 mins) in a separate bowl and then gradually fold (add then slowly) it into the batter.
Pour into the cake pan 
bake for 30 min or till brown in top

Mix all ingredients and bring to boil. Stir continuously. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 min

Take the Revani out of the oven and cut into squares right in that pan. Pour warm syrup all over the cake and put it back in the oven for another 2- 3 minutes. 

Turn off oven and let the Revani cool ( 15-20 mins)
Sprinkle with coconut and almonds, raisins.
Transfer to serving dish and serve chilled. I liked it with bitter ..very bitter expresso.
Or store it in a container in the refrigerator.But no more than a week. It starts getting sour. Not that you would have any left :)

Happy journey...and happy eating...and not so healthy eating-- just this once :)


Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

sound good and delicious !

A Year on the Grill said...

Such a well written post. On 60 Minutes this week, they did a piece on the cliff churches in Turkey. indeed, full of history and hidden beauty.

Great post

The Japanese Redneck said...

Thanks for the tour and the cake looks very good.

Jhonny walker said...

Hi all

@ Sonia :)

@ Ramona : Thanks you like the tour too :) btw I haven't ever been to Turkey

@ Dave: Thanks. I always want to be in turkey. Someday surely I will be :)

Bridgett said...

I love the coconut in the recipe...definitely a favorite of mine. This sounds wonderful.

Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

What a great post! I'm ready to buy a plane ticket. You and me, let's go to 'Turkey'. Walking through the streets, enveloped by the scents. It's sounds purely magial.

Great dish! Every once in a while, you should treat yourself to something sweet, Don't you think? ;-)p

Jhonny walker said...


@ Bridgett: Coconut and almonsds..I might also use raidins the next time I make this :)

@ Ree: Lets...It will be super fun!! I have to have something sweet every night. EVERY. But its always like 1/2 a tsp :)

Indie.Tea said...

It sounds and looks delicious. Almonds, lemon, coconut...what could be better?

Pam said...

This sounds wonderful!

Velva said...

Wow, what a fascinating dish. I can see that this would take me on a happy journey.

5 Star Foodie said...

Sounds like a wonderful cake! I love the sprinkling of the almonds on top!

Reeni said...

What a scrumptious cake! And now I need a trip to Turkey! It does sound romantic...and exotic.

Jhonny walker said...


@ Indie tea, velva, Pam, 5 star and Reeni: lets all take a trip to Turkey. Bloggers of mercy :) what say?
At least we must all have the cake :)