Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, February 11, 2007


(pronounced 'Chathal')

200 gr (about 1 stick + 5 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup yogurt
3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mahlep*, optional

1 egg yolk
2 tbsp Nigella seeds

Makes approximately 12 Catal.

In a large plastic bowl mix the butter, sugar, yogurt and sunflower oil with your hands. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mahlep slowly and knead. Divide the dough in about 12 pieces and give each piece a long, rope-y shape with your hands. Place on the counter. For each piece, squeeze the two ends together and give it a canoe shape as seen in the picture.

Put parchment paper on the oven tray. Arrange the Catal on it. First egg-wash tops, then sprinkle some Nigella seeds all over.

Preheat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 30 minutes until they are golden in colour.

Catal are great for breakfast or as a snack with afternoon tea.

Bake in two batches with two oven trays.

* Mahlep is obtained from the fruits of the Idris Tree. It is used in a variety of dishes including Kandil Simidi. It also keeps the food fresh and makes it brittle.



At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur,

Great timing for the Catal recipe.
One of my favorites from Cay Vakti in Istanbul, long time ago. Do you happen to have recipes for Halka, Acma & Baton sale?

I'm also trying to recreate a cookie recipe for Badem Ezme Kurabiye but have not been too successful. Any ideas...?

As always, many, many thanks in advance for posting my requests.

All the Best,


At 9:57 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Gulacti:)
I have been asked all the recipes and many many more that you asked
for in the last few months. That's why I added new sections and
started to take more pictures when I bake:) I am going to post Turkish
firin (bakery) and pastahane (patisserie) recipes very soon:)
It feels like home when you have them with Turkish tea like you are
cruising on the Bosporus:)

En icten sevgilerimle,

At 3:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!

For information on mahlep, see

At 8:18 PM, Blogger skips said...

In this recipe you say to sprinkle the black sesame seeds on top, my turkish friend says 'cere otu' (?) is tyhis the same thing or is there another translation?

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

It is Corekotu and other translations can be Nigella Seeds or Black Sesame Seeds.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous rado said...

I tried your recipe and i loved it.
i am translating it in french on my blog, and of course i am using my own pictures and puting a link toward yours.
i hope it s ok with you. because i changed few things..but basically it s your recipe.
please come and see and if you dont like it, i d be more than happy to remove it.
thanks again for sharing your culture...

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hello Rado,
Thank you for letting me know! There is no problem :)

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great recipe! thanking you so much

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Merhaba, dear Binnur! Sizin yemek tarifleri için çok teşekkür ederim!
I've cooked many dishes according to your recipes so far since I discovered your blog about a half-year ago (just after a memorable trip to unforgettable Istanbul in July). I'm enchanted with Turkey and its culture thus I'm glad to learn first-hand Turkish recipes which are tried and true.
I wonder, can I use baking soda instead of baking powder for I'm not keen on using it? If it works how much soda should one use?

Thank you in advance!

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Binnur said...


Cok tesekkur ederim:) Sure you can use baking soda. For this recipe, you should mix 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1 tsp lemon juice:)

Happy holidays!


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