This is an old-time classic recipe in most Turkish households. It is one of our favorite treats to have with tea or to pop in your mouth throughout the day as a snack.  And now that it’s Ramadan I thought it might be a good idea to share this recipe which I have adapted in two slightly different ways. These savory little cookies can be a tasty little treat or snack for both the evening meal after sunset or the early morning meal before dawn.

In any case, whether it’s Ramadan or any other time of the year these little tasty, flaky cookies are just great to have around.


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 70 gr (almost) melted, very soft butter
  • 100 ml full-fat yoghurt (you can use strained yoghurt)
  • 1 egg (separated, save yolk for eggwash)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp apple cider
  • 300 gr (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 50-70 gr of hard yellow cheese (kashar, pecorino or parmesan works great) (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, to coat
  • 2-3 tbsp nigella seeds, to coat

Step by step method

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  1. Combine all wet ingredients in mixing bowl and lightly with a fork or a whisk.
  2. Now add the apple cider, sugar, salt and baking powder and mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl sift flour then add to the wet mixture in 2-3 batches mixing first with a fork. The dough will be a little greasy but should not be sticky. It should be soft and smooth and not crumbly. This requires that you may need to adjust the amount of flour by reducing or adding small amounts.
  4. When dough starts coming together knead only very briefly and place in pastic bag or wrap in cling film to let it rest in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. From here on you have two options. I choose to call these Savory Little Round Sesame Cookies and Savory Cookies with Nigella Seeds.
  6. First let’s deal with the Savory Little Round Sesame Cookies. Heat oven to 175 C. (340 F) and line baking tray with baking paper. Add about 2-3 tbsp milk to the egg yolk and whisk to make an eggwash. Place sesame seeds (and about 1 tbsp of nigella seeds if you prefer) in a shallow dish and combine. Now use a melon scooper to take equal amounts of the dough and make little round balls. Taking 5-6 little dough balls each time, dip them into the eggwash then place them into the plate with sesame seeds and roll them to coat. Then place on prepared tray, bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.
  7. Our second choice – for which I strongly suggest the addition of grated cheese – is to roll out the dough to about 1,5 cm (ca. 3/4 inch) and cut out cookies with a small cookie cutter of whatever shape you prefer. Place cookies on tray lined with baking paper. Add about 1 tbsp of water to the egg yolk to make an eggwash and brush cookies with this, then sprinkle with nigella seeds (you may also sprinkle some sesame if you wish). Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  8. For both choices, place baked cookies on cooling rack once out of the oven. Wait until thoroughly cool to place in a cookie jar or other airtight container. You may keep them for up to 5-6 days.

Bon Appétit!