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Turkish cuisine

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Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Trk mutfa) is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement ofCentral Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines.[1][2] Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt), creating a vast array of specialitiesmany with strong regional associations. Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements ofOttoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, and a wider use of seafoods. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi), has been influenced by Balkan and Slavic cuisine, and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeastUrfa, Gaziantep and Adanais famous for its kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, kadayf and knefe (kanafeh). Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking.[3] The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as kekek (kashkak), mant (especially from Kayseri) and gzleme. A specialty's name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, and may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between urfa kebab and adana kebab is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that kebab contains. Urfa kebab is less spicy and thicker than adana kebab.

1 Culinary customs

o o o o

1.1 Breakfast 1.2 Homemade food 1.3 Restaurants 1.4 Summer cuisine

o o o o

1.5 Key ingredients 1.6 Oils and fats 1.7 Fruit 1.8 Meats

2 Dairy products 3 Soups 4 Bread 5 Pastries 6 Pilav and pasta 7 Vegetarian dishes

o o

7.1 Vegetable dishes 7.2 Egg dishes

8 Meze and salads 9 Dolma and sarma 10 Meat dishes

10.1 Kebabs

11 Fish 12 Desserts 13 Beverages

o o

13.1 Alcoholic beverages 13.2 Non-alcoholic beverages

14 See also

14.1 Related cuisines

15 References 16 Bibliography 17 External links

Culinary customs[edit]

Simit is a circular bread with sesame seeds. Common breakfast item in Turkey.

Van breakfast

Yumurtal ekmek (French toast, Turkish style)

Turks usually prefer a simple breakfast. A typical Turkish breakfast consists of cheese (beyaz peynir, kaar etc.), butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, and kaymak. Sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage, can be eaten with eggs), pastrma, brek,simit, poaa and soups are eaten as a morning meal in Turkey. A common Turkish speciality for breakfast is called menemen, which is prepared with tomatoes, green

peppers, onion, olive oil and eggs. Invariably, Turkish tea is served at breakfast. The Turkish word for breakfast, kahvalt, means "before coffee" (kahve, 'coffee'; alt, 'under').

Homemade food[edit]
Homemade food is still preferred by Turkish people. Although the newly introduced way of life pushes the new generation to eat out, Turkish people generally prefer to eat at home. A typical meal starts with soup (in the winter), followed by a dish made of vegetables or legumes boiled in a pot (typically with meat or minced meat), often with or before rice or bulgur pilaf in addition of a salad or cack (made from diluted yogurt and minced cucumbers).

Although fast food is gaining popularity and many major foreign fast food chains have opened all over Turkey, Turkish people still rely primarily on the rich and extensive dishes of Turkish cuisine. In addition, some traditional Turkish foods, especially kfte,dner, kokore, brek and gzleme, are often served as fast food in Turkey. Eating out has always been common in large commercial cities.[4] Esnaf lokantas (meaning restaurants for shopkeepers and tradesmen) are widespread, serving traditional Turkish home cooking at affordable prices.

Summer cuisine[edit]
In the hot Turkish summer, a meal often consists of fried vegetables such as eggplant (aubergine) and peppers or potatoes served with yogurt and tomato sauce. Menemen and lbr are typical summer dishes, based on eggs. Sheep's cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons and melons also make a light summer meal. Those who like helva for dessert prefer summer helva, which is lighter and less sweet than the regular one.

Key ingredients[edit]
Frequently used ingredients in Turkish specialties include: lamb, beef, chicken, fish, eggplants, green peppers, onions, garlic,lentils, beans, and tomatoes. Nuts, especially pistachios, chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, together with spices, have a special place in Turkish cuisine, and are used extensively in desserts or eaten separately. Preferred spices and herbs includeparsley, cumin, black pepper, paprika, mint, oregano, pul biber (red pepper), allspice, and thyme.

Oils and fats[edit]

Butter or margarine, olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and corn oil are widely used for cooking. Sesame, hazelnut, peanut andwalnut oils are used as well. Kuyruk ya (tail fat of sheep) is used mainly in kebabs and meat dishes.


The rich and diverse flora of Turkey means that fruit is varied, abundant and cheap. In Ottoman cuisine, fruit frequently accompanied meat as a side dish. Plums, apricots,pomegranates, pears, apples, grapes, and figs, along with many kinds of citrus are the most frequently used fruit, either fresh or dried, in Turkish cuisine.ple, komposto (compote) or hoaf (from Persian khosh b, literally meaning "nice water") are among the main side dishes to meat or pilav. Dolma and pilaf usually contain currants or raisins. Etli yaprak sarma (vine leaves stuffed with meat and rice) used to be cooked with sour plums in Ottoman cuisine. Turkish desserts do not normally contain fresh fruit, but may contain dried varieties.

Imam Bayildi with Borek

Eggplant (Turkish: patlcan) has a special place in the Turkish cuisine.

In some regions, meat, which was mostly eaten only at wedding ceremonies or during the Kurban Bayram (Eid ul-Adha) as etli pilav (pilafwith meat), has become part of the daily diet since the introduction of industrial production. Veal, formerly shunned, is now widely consumed. The main use of meat in cooking remains the combination of ground meat and vegetable, with names such as kymal fasulye(beans with ground meat) or kymal spanak (spinach with ground meat, which is almost always served with yogurt). Alternatively, in coastal towns cheap fish such as sardines (sardalya) or hamsi (anchovies) are widely available, as well as many others with seasonal availability. Poultry consumption, almost exclusively of chicken and eggs, is common. Milk-fed lambs, once the most popular source of meat in Turkey, comprise a small part of contemporary consumption. Kuzu evirme, cooking milk-fed lamb on a spit, once an important ceremony, is rarely seen. Because it is currently a predominantly Islamic land, pork plays no role in contemporary Turkish cuisine.

Dairy products[edit]

A bowl of Cack, seasoned, dilutedyogurt with chopped cucumber, eaten throughout the former Ottoman world. The thicker Greek version of the dish is calledtzatziki.

Fresh Ayran with a head of foam

Yogurt is an important element in Turkish cuisine.[3] In fact, the English word yogurt or yogurt derives from the Turkish word yourt. Yogurt can accompany almost all meat dishes (kebabs, kfte), vegetable dishes (especially fried eggplant, courgette, spinach with minced meat etc.), meze and a specialty called mant (folded triangles of dough containing minced meat). In villages, yogurt is regularly eaten with rice or bread. A thicker, higher-fat variety, szme yourt or "strained yogurt", is made by straining the yogurt curds from the whey. One of the most common Turkish drinks, ayran, is made from yogurt. Also, yogurt is often used in the preparation of cakes, some soups and pastries. Turkey produces many varieties of cheese, mostly from sheep's milk. In general, these cheeses are not long matured, with a comparatively low fat content. The production of many kinds of cheese is local to particular regions.

Beyaz peynir is a salty cheese taking its name from its white color ("white cheese"). It is similar to feta but not as strong. This is produced in styles ranging from unmatured cheese curds to a quite strong mature version. It is eaten plain (e.g. as part of the traditional Turkish breakfast), used in salads, and incorporated into cooked foods such as menemen, brek and pide.

kelek is one of two types of unsalted white cheese, made by boiling the whey left over from making beyaz peynir. There are many regional varieties of kelek. Some are eaten fresh while others are preserved, either by storage in goatskin bags or pottery jars, or by drying in the sun. Kurut and ke are regional names for dried bricks of yogurt made from low-fat milk or from kelek made from buttermilk.[5]

Lor is the other type of unsalted white cheese, similarly made from the whey left over from kaar manufacture. Lor is used in traditional desserts made from unsalted cheese like hmerim.

Kaar is Turkey's other ubiquitous cheese, a moderately fatty sheep's cheese similar to the Greek kasseri, sometimes marketed as "Turkish cheddar", being closer in consistency and taste to mild cheddar-style cheese than other Turkish cheeses. Less maturedkaar, called fresh kaar, is widely consumed as well.

Kakaval is a wheel-shaped yellow sheep's cheese, similar to fresh kaar. The name is probably of Italian origin.

Tulum is a sheep's cheese preserved in an animal skin bag. There are regional varieties of tulum peynir in such areas as zmir, demi and Erzincan.[5]

Otlu peynir ("herbed cheese") is produced in many areas, chiefly in East Anatolia. Traditionally sheep's or goat's milk is used, but more recently cow's milk otlu peynir has been produced. The type of herb used varies by region: in Van wild garlic is traditional; Bitlisotlu peynir contains a damp-loving herb known as sof otu. In other areas horse mint (Mentha longifolia) and Pimpinella rhodentha are used.[5]

Hellim is a salty, firm-textured cheese, generally with some mint added, made in Cyprus. In Turkey, it is common to fry hellim in a pan in some olive oil.

Gravyer (analogous to Swiss gruyere) is produced in Turkey as well. Among others, Kars is famous for its graviera.

Mihali peyniri or Kelle peyniri is a hard sheep's cheese that can be grated, like Parmesan cheese. Sometimes goat or cow milk is used. It is a specialty from Karacabey, a town in Bursa province which was called Mihali during Byzantine and Ottoman period.

rg peyniri, "braided cheese", is a specialty from Diyarbakr. erkez peyniri, means "Circassian cheese".

A Turkish meal usually starts with a thin soup (orba). Soups are usually named after their main ingredient, the most common types being; mercimek (lentil) orbas, yogurt, or wheat (often mashed) called tarhana orbas. Delicacy soups are the ones that are usually not the part of the daily diet, like ikembe soupkembe

soup and paa orbas, although the latter also used to be consumed as a nutritious winter meal. Before the popularisation of the typical Turkish breakfast, soup was the default morning meal for some people. The most common soups in Turkish cuisine are:

Buday a/Yourt orbas/Ayran orbas (which can be served hot or cold) Lahana (cabbage soup) Tavuk (chicken soup, if added almond becomes "Bademli Tavuk") Dn (Wedding soup) Eki A Ezogelin Balk kembe(Paunch) Mercimek (lentil soup) Mahluta Paa Paz ehriye Sumak A Tarhana Domates (tomato soup) Tutma (lentil dish with noodles) Yayla Yksk


A baker in Istanbul

Bazlama Msr ekmei (corn bread) Lava Pide (a broad, round and flat bread made of wheat flour) Simit (also known as "gevrek", another type of ring-shaped bread covered with sesame seeds. Simit is commonly eaten in Turkey, plain or with cheese, butter or marmalade).

Yufka a round and flat bread, made of wheat flour, thinner than pide.


Tableside preparation of gzleme in a restaurant near Antalya

Lahmacun ready to be served.

Papara (Popara)


Turkish cuisine has a range of savoury and sweet pastries. Dough based specialties form an integral part of traditional Turkish cuisine. The use of layered dough is rooted in the nomadic character of early Central Asian Turks.[6][7][8] The combination of domed metal sa and oklahu/oklava (the Turkish rod-style rolling pin) enabled the invention of the layered dough style used in brek (especially in su brei, or 'water pastry', a salty baklava-like pastry with cheese filling), glla and baklava.[6][7][8] Brek is the general name for salty pastries made with yufka (a thicker version of phyllo dough), which consists of thin layers of dough. Su brei, made with boiled yufka/phyllo layers, cheese and parsley, is the most frequently eaten. i brek (also known as Tatar brei) is fried and stuffed with minced meat. Kol brei is another well-known type of brek that takes its name from its shape, as do fincan (coffee cup), muska (talisman), Gl brei (rose) or Sigara brei (cigarette). Other traditional Turkish breks include Tala brei (phyllo dough filled with vegetables and diced meat), Puf brei. Laz brei is a sweet type of brek, widespread in the Black Sea region. Poaa is the label name for dough based salty pastries. Likewise rek is another label name used for both sweet and salty pastries. Gzleme is a food typical in rural areas, made of lavash bread or phyllo dough folded around a variety of fillings such as spinach, cheese and parsley, minced meat or potatoes and cooked on a large griddle (traditionally sa). Katmer is another traditional rolled out dough. It can be salty or sweet according to the filling. Lahmacun (meaning dough with meat in Arabic) is a thin flatbread covered with a layer of spiced minced meat, tomato, pepper, onion or garlic. Pide, which can be made with minced meat (together with onion, chopped tomatoes, parsley and spices), kashar cheese, spinach, white cheese, pieces of meat, braised meat (kavurma), sucuk, pastrma or/and eggs put on rolled-out dough, is one of the most common traditional stone-baked Turkish specialities.

Ama is a soft bread found in most parts of Turkey. It is similar to simit in shape, is covered in a glaze, and is usually eaten as a part of breakfast or as a snack.

Pilav and pasta[edit]

Mant with yogurt and garlic, spiced with red pepper powder and melted butter.

It is a common belief that the taste of pilaf comes from the butter and stock used for cooking it.

Turkish English


Sade pilav ordinary rice, which can accompany almost all dishes Pilaf

Domatesli pilav

tomato pilaf

Etli pilav

rice containing meat pieces

Nohutlu pilav

rice cooked with chickpeas


rice with liver slices, currants, peanuts, chestnut, cinnamon and a variety of herbs

Patlcanl pilav

rice with eggplant

zbek pilav

Uzbek pilaf

rice with lamb, onion, tomato, carrot

Acem pilav

Persian pilaf

rice with lamb, cooked in meat broth with pistachios, cinnamon, etc. [9]

Bulgur pilav

a cereal food generally made of durum wheat. Most of the time, tomato, green pepper and minced meat are mixed with bulgur. The Turkish name ( bulgur pilav) indicates that this is a kind of rice but it is, in fact, wheat.

Perde pilav

rice with chicken, onion and peanuts enveloped in a thin layer of dough, topped with almonds

Hamsili pilav

spiced rice covered with anchovies, cooked in oven. A speciality from the Black Sea Region.

Frik pilav

rice made of burnt wheat. A speciality from Antioch/Antakya.


Turkish pasta that consists of folded triangles of dough filled with minced meat, often with minced onions and parsley. It is typically served hot topped with garlic yogurt and melted butter or warmed olive oil, and a range of spices such as oregano, dried mint, ground sumac, and red pepper powder. The combination of meat-filled dough with yogurt differentiates it from other dumplings such as tortellini, ravioli, and Chinese wonton. Mant is usually eaten as a main dish. Minced chicken and quail meats are also used to prepare mant in some regions of Turkey.


home made pasta is called erite in Turkey. It can be combined with vegetables but it can also be used in soups and rice.


a meat and wheat (or barley) stew


the Turkish version of couscous, which can be served with any meat dish or stew

Vegetarian dishes[edit]
Vegetable dishes[edit]
A vegetable dish can be a main course in a Turkish meal. A large variety of vegetables are used, such as spinach, leek, cauliflower, artichoke, cabbage, celery, eggplant, green and red bell peppers, string bean and jerusalem artichoke. A typical vegetable dish is prepared with a base of chopped onions, carrots sauted first in olive oil and later with tomatoes ortomato paste. The vegetables and hot water will then be added. Quite frequently a spoon of rice and lemon juice is also added. Vegetable dishes usually tend to be served with its own water (the cooking water) thus often called in colloquial Turkish sulu yemek (literally "a dish

with juice"). Minced meat can also be added to a vegetable dish but vegetable dishes that are cooked with olive oil (zeytinyallar) are often served cold and do not contain meat. Spinach, leek, string bean and artichoke with olive oil are among the most widespread dishes in Turkey. Dolma is the name used for stuffed vegetables. Like the vegetables cooked with olive oil as described above dolma with olive oil does not contain meat. Many vegetables are stuffed, most typically green peppers (biber dolmas), eggplants, tomatoes, courgettes, or Zucchini in the U.S. (kabak dolmas), vine leaves (yaprak dolmas). If vine leaves are used, they are first pickled in brine. However, dolma is not limited to these common types; many other vegetables and fruits are stuffed with a meat and/or rice mixture. For example, artichoke dolma (enginar dolmas) is an Aegean region specialty. Fillings used in dolma may consist of parts of the vegetable carved out for preparation, rice with spices and/or minced meat. Mercimek kfte, although being named kfte, does not contain any meat. Instead, red lentil is used as the major ingredient together with spring onion, tomato paste etc. Imam bayildi is a version of karnyark with no minced meat inside. It can be served as a meze as well. Fried eggplant and pepper is a common summer dish in Turkey. It is served with yogurt or tomato sauce and garlic. Mcver is prepared with grated squash/courgette or potatoes, egg, onion, dill and/or cheese and flour. It can be either fried or cooked in the oven. Pilaf can be served either as a side dish or main dish but bulgur pilav (pilav made of boiled and pounded wheat - bulgur) is also widely eaten. The dishes made with kuru fasulye(white beans), nohut (chickpeas), mercimek (lentils), brlce (black-eyed peas), etc., combined with onion, vegetables, minced meat, tomato paste and rice, have always been common due to being economical and nutritious. Turu is pickle made with brine, usually with the addition of garlic. It is often enjoyed as an appetizer. It is made with a large variety of vegetables, from cucumber to courgette. In the towns on the Aegean coast, the water of turu is consumed as a drink. It comes from the Persian "Torshi", which refers to pickled "Torsh" (sour) vegetables.

Egg dishes[edit]

Menemen consists of scrambled eggs cooked with tomato, green pepper, and onion. lbr is another traditional Turkish food made with poached eggs, yogurt and oil. Ispanakl yumurta consists of eggs with spinach and onion.

Kaygana can be described as something of a cross between the pancake and the omelet in Ottoman cuisine. It used to be served with cheese, honey, crushed nuts, or eggplant. However, it is almost forgotten in the big cities of Turkey.

Meze and salads[edit]

A plate of Turkish meze

A plate of piyaz

A plate of ksr decorated with greenolive and cucumber pieces

Meze is a selection of food served as the appetizer course with or without drinks. Some of them can be served as a main course as well.

Aside from olive, mature kaar kashar cheese, white cheese, various mixed pickles turu, frequently eaten Turkish mezes include:

Acl ezme hot spicy freshly mashed tomato with onion and green herbs Acuka (also known as muhammara) a spread having both Circassian and Syrian origins, prepared with from Aleppo pepper paste, ground walnuts, tomato paste, bread crumbs, garlic, and spices

Ahtapot (octopus) served as a salad or grilled Arnavut cieri (literally "Albanian liver") fried liver cubes served with onion, parsley and hot pepper Roka (arugula) salad Patlcan salatas eggplant salad Bakla ezmesi hummus prepared from broad bean Barbunya pilaki borlotti beans cooked with garlic, tomato paste, carrot and olive oil Borani Brek very thin dough layers staffed with cheese, meat or vegetables Cack cucumber with yogurt, dried mint and olive oil Cevizli biber a meze prepared with walnut, red pepper, pepper paste, onion and cumin erkez tavuu (literally "Circassian chicken") i kfte raw mea patties, similar to steak tartare, prepared with ground beef (sometimes lamb) and fineground bulgur; a vegetarian version using tomato paste is known as etsiz i kfte (literally "meatless raw meatballs")

oban salatas a mixed salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, green peppers, and parsley Deniz brlcesi (Salicornia europaea, also called common glasswort or marsh samphire) Dolma vine leaves, cabbage leaves, chard leaves, peppers, tomato, squash, pumpkin, eggplant or mussels stuffed with rice and/or meat

Fasulye pilaki white beans cooked with garlic, tomato paste, carrot and olive oil Fava broad/horse bean puree Gavurda salad Hardalotu mustard plant salad Haydari Humus (from the Arabic for "chickpea") a spread prepared from sesame tahini, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

li kfte (also known as oruk) served either as a meze or a main dish; especially in the east of Turkey, when it is cooked through boiling in a pot, ili kfte is served as a main dish

Kabak iei dolmas stuffed zucchini blossoms, a kind of dolma

Kalamar (calamari) fried or grilled, served with tarator sauce Karides (shrimp) served as a salad, grilled, or stewed with vegetables in a gve (a casserole) Ksr (also known as 'sarma ii') a very popular meze or side dish prepared with fine-ground bulgur, tomato paste, parsley, onion, garlic, sour pomegranate juice and a lot of spices

Kzartma, various fried vegetables (eggplants, peppers, courgettes) served with yogurt or tomato-andgarlic sauce

Kfte meatballs Midye (mussels) fried and served with tarator sauce or as midye dolma (mussels stuffed with rice filling) Muhammara: see Acuka Oruk: see li kfte Piyaz white bean or potato salad with onion and vinegar akuka or in another version kpolu fried and chopped eggplants and peppers served with garlic yogurt or tomato sauce

Semizotu (summer purslane) salad served with yogurt Tarama a spread made with fish roe Turp otu salad Zeytin piyazi - olives and green onion salad

Dolma and sarma[edit]

Turkish yaprak sarma

Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak 'to be stuffed(or filled)', and means simply 'stuffed thing'.[10] Dolma has a special place in Turkish cuisine. It can be eaten either as a meze or a main dish. It can be cooked either as a vegetable dish or meat dish. If a meat mixture is put in, it is usually served hot with yogurt and spices such as oregano and red pepper powder with oil. Zeytinyal dolma (dolma with olive oil) is the dolma made with vine leaves stuffed with a rice-spice mixture and cooked with olive oil. This type of dolma does not contain meat, is served cold and also referred to as sarma,

which means "wrapping" in Turkish. If dolma do not contain meat, they are sometimes described as yalanc dolma meaning "fake" dolma. Dried fruit such as figs or cherries and cinnamon used to be added into the mixture to sweeten zeytinyal dolma in Ottoman cuisine. Vine leaves (yaprak) could be filled not only with rice and spices but also with meat and rice, etli yaprak sarma, in which case it was often served hot with yogurt. The wordsarma is also used for some types of desserts, such as fstk sarma (wrapped pistachio). Melon dolma along with quince or apple dolma was one of the palace's specialties (raw melon stuffed with minced meat, onion, rice, almonds, cooked in an oven). In contemporary Turkey, a wide variety of dolma is prepared. Although it is not possible to give an exhaustive list of dolma recipes, courgette ("kabak"), aubergine ("patlcan"), tomato ("domates"), pumpkin ("balkaba"), pepper("biber") , cabbage ("lahana") (black or white cabbage), chard ("paz") and mussel ("midye") dolma constitute the most common types. Instead of dried cherries in the palace cuisine, currants are usually added to the filling of dolma cooked in olive oil. A different type of dolma is mumbar dolmas, for which the membrane of intestines of sheep is filled up with a spicy rice-nut mixture.

Meat dishes[edit]

Karnyark is a Turkish and Iranian Azeri dish consisting of an eggplant stuffed with a mix of sauted chopped onion, garlic, black pepper, tomatoes, parsley and ground meat.

Kokore cooking on a spit

A plate of Kuzu Gve in Tapiola, Espoo,Finland.

Kuzu Gve (lamb cooked in casserole) Kuzu Kapama (spring lamb stewed) Halama (boiled lamb with vegetables and lemon juice) Kavurma ("kavurma", which means roasting/parching in Turkish, is generally used for roasted lamb. oban kavurma is a variety of it, prepared with diced lamb with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers and herbs. Kavurma is one of the favorite dishes of Ramadan.)

Alinazik kebab, a home-style Turkish kebab variety which is a specialty of the Gaziantep province of Turkey.

Hnkar Beendi (meaning that the sovereign/sultan liked it, sultan's delight, the dish consists of the puree of grilled eggplant with cashar cheese topped with cubed lamb meat)

Trl (a stew of vegetables and meat cooked in gve-casserole) Klbast Elbasan tava Prizren tava Further information: Cuisine of Kosovo#Tava e Prizrenit

Tandr (without adding any water, the meat is cooked very slowly with a special technique) ncik (lamb on the bone cooked in the oven) Boraniye (broad bean/spinach/squash boraniye, vegetables cooked together with meat, yogurt and chickpea)

Mahmudiye (a palace speciality consisting of chicken meat mixed with honey, apricots, almonds, currants and black pepper)

Karnyark (split-belly eggplant) (eggplants are cut off and fried. Then they are filled with minced meat, onion, garlic and tomato paste and cooked in the oven)

Kfte (meatball) is another meat dish in Turkey. The word kfte is sometimes preceded by the name of a town, which refers to the technique for cooking it or the ingredients or spices specifically used in that region, for example; negl kftesi, Sultanahmetkftesi, zmir kfte, Akaabat kfte, Bursa kfte, Filibe kfte, Tire kft e, Islama kfte (mainly in Sakarya province) etc. Its main ingredients are minced meat, parsley, bread-egg (not necessarily, usually homemade kfte contains egg yolk and some crumbled bread) and a range of spices: cumin, oregano, mint powder, red or black pepper powder with onion or garlic. Kadnbudu kfte is another traditional speciality; minced meat is mixed with cooked rice and fried. Ili kfte can be described as a shell of "bulgur" filled with onion, minced meat and nuts. i kfte is a meze from south-eastern Turkey meaning raw meatballs, prepared with "bulgur" and raw minced meat. Terbiyeli Sulu Kfte is another meatball speciality cooked with flour, tomato paste and water in which lemon and egg sauce is added.

Sujuk (sucuk) is a form of raw sausage (made with beef meat and a range of spices, especially garlic, slightly similar to Spanish chorizo) commonly eaten with breakfast. Instead of classical sausages (sosis), sujuk is the most used ingredient for snacks and fast-food style toasts and sandwiches in Turkey.

Pastrma is another famous beef delicacy (see pastrami). Both pastrma and sujuk can be put in kuru fasulye (dry beans) to enrich the aroma. Both can be served as a meze as well. Sucuk or pastrma with scrambled eggs, served in a small pan called sahan, is eaten at breakfast in Turkey.

Kokore (the intestines of sheep) with spices is a traditional low-price fast food in Turkey. Liver is fried in Turkish cuisine. "Arnavut cieri" (meaning Albanian liver), served with oni on and sumac, is usually eaten as a meze, in combination with other mezes such as fava. "Edirne cieri" is another famous liver dish from Edirne. Liver is first frozen so that it can be cut into very thin layers. After being cut off, liver layers are fried.

Kelle (Roasted Sheep's Head) - From the Persian word for "head": "Kaleh". Kuzu Etli Enginar (artichokes with lamb) Etli Taze Fasulye (green beans stew with meat) Pastrmal Kuru Fasulye (white kidney bean with pastirma) Etli Bamya (okra with meat or chicken) kembeli Nohut (chickpea with tripe) Pili Dolma (stuffed chicken with spice filling)


Adana kebap on pide flatbread, served with (clockwise) parsley,onion salad, grilled tomatoes, and peppers.

Alinazik kebab over garlic-eggplant puree with vermicelli rice pilaf, grilled tomato and green bell pepper.

Doner being carved.

Ca kebab.

skender kebap

Main article: Kebab For a list of kebab variants, see List of kebabs. Kebab refers to a great variety of meat-based dishes in Turkish cuisine. Kebab in Turkey encompasses not only grilled or skewered meats, but also stews and casseroles.

Adana kebap or kyma kebab kebab with hand-minced (zrh) meat mixed with chili on a flat wide metal skewer (shish); associated with Adana region although very popular all over Turkey.[11]

Ali Paa kebab, "Ali Pasha kebab" cubed lamb with tomato, onion and parsley wrapped in phillo.[11] Alinazik kebab Ground meat kebab sauted in a saucepan, with garlic, yogurt and eggplants added. Bahvan kebab, 'gardener's kebab' Boneless lamb shoulder mixed with chopped onions and tomato paste.

Beykoz kebab Tomato and onion flavoured lamb, wrapped in aubergine slices and garnished with lamb brains.[11]

Beyti kebab Ground lamb or beef, seasoned and grilled on a skewer, often served wrapped in lavash and topped with tomato sauce and yogurt, traced back to the famous kebab house Beyti in stanbul and particularly popular in Turkey's larger cities.

Bostan kebab Lamb and aubergine casserole.[11]

Buu kebab, "steamed kebap" cooked in low heat until the meat releases its moisture and reabsorbs it. Ca kebab, 'spoke kebab' Cubes of lamb roasted first on a ca (a horizontal rotating spit) and then on a skewer, a specialty ofErzurum region with recently rising popularity.

Cierli kat kebab, 'liver paper kebab' Lamb liver kebab mixed with meat and marinated with thyme, parsley and dill.

ardak kebab, 'arbor kebab' Stuffed lamb meat in a crpe. kertme kebab Sirloin veal kebap stuffed with yogurt and potatoes. mlek kebab, 'earthenware bowl kebab' Meat and vegetable casserole (called a gve in Turkish) with eggplant, carrots, shallots, beans, tomatoes and green pepper.

p i, "small skewer kebab" a specialty of Seluk and Germencik near Ephesus, pounded boneless meat with tomatoes and garlic marinated with black pepper, thyme and oil on wooden skewers.[12]

Dner kebab Hnkri kebab, 'Sultan's kebab' Sliced lamb meat mixed with patlcan beendi (aubergine pure), basil, thyme and bay leaf.[11]

skender kebap dner kebap served with yogurt, tomato sauce and butter, originated in Bursa. The kebab was invented by skender Efendi in 1867. He was inspired from Ca kebab and turned it from horizontal to vertical.

slim kebab, 'steamed kebab' Another version of the aubergine kebab without its skin, marinated in sunflower oil.[11][12]

Kat kebab Lamb cooked in a paper wrapping.[12] Kuyu kebab, 'pit kebab' Prepared from the goat it is special for Aydn region, similar to tandr kebab. Kuzu incik kebab, 'lamb shank kebab' Lamb shanks mixed with peeled eggplants and chopped tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper.

Kuzu i Shish prepared with marinated milk-fed lamb meat. Kfte kebap or Shish kfte minced lamb meatballs with herbs, often including parsley and mint, on a stick, grilled.

Kl i Brochette of swordfish[11] Manisa kebab This Manisa region version of the kebab is smaller and flat size shish meat on the sliced pide bread, flavored with butter, and stuffed with tomato, garlic and green pepper.

Orman kebab, 'forest kebab' Lamb meat on the bone and cut in large pieces mixed with carrots, potatoes and peas.[11]

Patates kebab, 'potato kebab' Beef or chicken mixed with potatoes, onions, tomato sauce and bay leaves.

Patlcan kebab, 'aubergine kebab' Special kebap meat marinated in spices and served with eggplant (aubergine), hot pide bread and a yogurt sauce.[12]

Ramazan kebab, 'Ramadan kebab' Meat mixed with yogurt, tomato and garlic stuffed with fresh mint or garnish on Pide bread.

i kebab Prepared with fish, lamb or chicken meat on thin metal or reed rods, grilled.[11][12] i tavuk or Tavuk i Yogurt-marinated chicken grilled on a stick[12] Sivas kebab Associated with the Sivas region, similar to Tokat kebab but especially lamb ribs are preferred and it also differs from Tokat kebab on the point that there are no potatoes inside.

Susuz kebap, 'waterless kebab' Cooked after draining excess fluid from the meat rubbed with salt and cinnamon in saucepan.

Tala kebab, 'sawdust kebab' Diced lamb, mixed with grated onions, brown meat mixed with flour dough.

Tandr kebab, 'tandoor kebab' Lamb pieces (sometimes a whole lamb) baked in an oven called a tandr, which requires a special way of cooking for hours. Served with bread and raw onions.[11]

Tas kebab, 'bowl kebab' Stewed kebab in a bowl, beginning with the cooking of the vegetables in butter employing a method calledyaga vurmak, ("butter infusion"), before the meat itself is cooked in the same grease.

Testi kebab, 'earthenware-jug kebab' Ingredients are similar to mlek kebab, prepared in a testi instead of a gve, generally found in Central Anatolia and the Mid-Western Black Sea region.

Tokat kebab Associated with the Tokat region, it is made with veal marinated in olive oil, aubergine, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic and special pita bread.

Urfa kebab from Urfa, similar to Adana kebab, but not spicy


Istavrit on display at a fish market.

Turkey is surrounded by seas which contain a large variety of fish. Fish are grilled, fried or cooked slowly by the buulama (poaching) method. Buulama is fish with lemon and parsley, covered while cooking so that it will

be cooked with steam. The term pilki is also used for fish cooked with various vegetables, including onion in the oven. In the Black Sea region, fish are usually fried with thick corn flour. Fish are also eaten cold; as smoked (isleme) or dried (iroz), canned, salted or pickled (lkerda). Fish is also cooked in salt or in dough in Turkey. Pazda Levrek is a seafood speciality which consists of sea bass cooked in chard leaves. In fish restaurants, it is possible to find other fancy fish varieties like balk dolma (stuffed fish), balk iskender (inspired by Iskender kebab), fishballs or fish en papillote. Fish soup prepared with vegetables, onion and flour is common in coastal towns and cities. In Istanbul's Eminn and other coastal districts, grilled fish served in bread with tomatoes, herbs and onion is a popular fast food. In the inner parts of Turkey,trout alabalk is common as it is the main type of freshwater fish. Popular seafood mezes include stuffed mussels, fried mussel and fried kalamar (squid) with tarator sauce. Popular sea fishes in Turkey include: anchovy hamsi, sardine sardalya, bonito palamut, gilt-head bream upra or ipura, red mulletbarbun(ya), sea bass levrek, whiting mezgit (allied to the cod fish) or bakalyaro, swordfish kl, turbot kalkan, red pandora mercan,trana, istavrit and white grouper lagos.[13]


Baklava is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes

Stla, or rice pudding.

Pumpkin dessert

A display of Turkish delight in Istanbul

One of the world-renowned desserts of Turkish cuisine is baklava. Baklava is made either with pistachio or walnut. Turkish cuisine has a range of baklava-like desserts which include biyet, blbl yuvas, saray sarmas, stl nuriye, and sar burma. Kadaif ('Kadayf') is a common Turkish dessert that employs shredded yufka. There are different types of kadaif: tel (wire) or Burma(wring) kadayf, both of which can be prepared with either walnut or pistachio. Although carrying the label "kadayf", ekmek kadayf is totally different from "tel kadayf" (see [1]). Knefe and ekmek kadayf are rich in syrup and butter, and are usually served

with kaymak (clotted/scrambled butter). Knefe contains wire kadayf with a layer of melted cheese in between and it is served hot with pistachio or walnut. Among milk-based desserts, the most popular ones are muhallebi, su muhallebisi, stla (rice pudding), kekl, kazandibi (meaning the bottom of "kazan" because of its burnt surface), and tavuk gs (a sweet, gelatinous, milk pudding dessert quite similar to kazandibi, to which very thinly peeled chicken breast is added to give a chewy texture). A speciality from the Mediterranean region ishaytal, which consists of pieces of starch pudding and ice cream (or crushed ice) put in rose water sweetened with syrup. Helva (halva): un helvas (flour helva is usually cooked after someone has died), irmik helvas (cooked with semolina and pine nuts), yaz helvas (made from walnut or almond[14]), tahin helvas (crushed sesame seeds), kos helva, pimaniye (floss halva). Other popular desserts include; Revani (with semolina and starch), ekerpare, kalburabasma, dilber duda, vezir parma, hanm gbei, kemalpaa, tulumba, zerde, hmerim, paluze, irmik tatls/peltesi, lokma. Glla is a dessert typically served at Ramadan, which consists of very thin large dough layers put in the milk and rose water, served with pomegranate seeds and walnut. A story is told that in the kitchens of the Palace, those extra thin dough layers were prepared with "prayers", as it was believed that if one did not pray while opening phyllo dough, it would never be possible to obtain such thin layers. Aure can be described as a sweet soup containing boiled beans, wheat and dried fruits. Sometimes cinnamon and rose water is added when being served. According to legend, it was first cooked on Noah's Ark and contained seven different ingredients in one dish. All the Anatolian peoples have cooked and are still cooking aure especially during the month of Muharrem. Some traditional Turkish desserts are fruit-based: ayva tatls (quince), incir tatls (fig), kabak tatls (pumpkin), elma tatls (apple) andarmut tatls (pear). Fruits are cooked in a pot or in the oven with sugar, carnation and cinnamon (without adding water). After being chilled, they are served with walnut or pistachio and kaymak. Homemade cookies are commonly called kurabiye in Turkish. The most common types are acbadem kurabiyesi (prepared only with egg, sugar and almond), un kurabiyesi (flour kurabiye) and cevizli kurabiye (kurabiye with walnut). Another dough based dessert is ay rei. Tahin-pekmez is a traditional combination especially in rural areas. Tahin is sesame paste and pekmez is grape syrup. These are sold separately and mixed before consumption. Lokum (Turkish delight), which was eaten for digestion after meals and called "rahat hulkum" in the Ottoman era, is another well-known sweet/candy with a range of varieties.

Cezerye, cevizli (walnut) sucuk (named after its sucuk/sujuk like shape, also known as Churchkhela in Circassian region) and pestil(fruit pestils) are among other common sweets. Marzipan badem ezmesi or fstk ezmesi (made of ground pistachio) is another common confection in Turkey. Another jelly like Turkish sweet is macun. Mesir macunu of Manisa/zmir (which was also called "nevruziye" as this macun was distributed on the first day of spring in the Ottoman Palace) contains 41 different spices. It is still believed that "mesir macunu" is good for health and has healing effects. As with lokum, nane macunu (prepared with mint) used to be eaten as a digestive after heavy meals. Herbs and flowers having curative effects were grown in the gardens of Topkap under the control of the chief doctor "hekimba" and pharmacists of the Palace who used those herbs for preparing special types of macun and sherbet.[15] Tavuk gs is a Turkish style milky pudding with chicken breast. There are also several types of ice creams based salep powder or Cornstarch with Rose water such as Dondurma (Turkish gum ice cream), dried fruit ice cream, ice cream rose petals. Dried fruit, used in dolma, pilav, meat dishes and other desserts is also eaten with almonds or walnuts as a dessert. Figs, grapes, apricots are the most widespread dried fruits. Kaymak (clotted cream-butter) is often served with desserts to cut the sweetness. Turkish tea or Turkish coffee, with or without sugar, is usually served after dinner or more rarely together with desserts.

Alcoholic beverages[edit]
See also: Turkish wine and Alcohol laws of Turkey

Turkish rak

Although the majority of Turks profess the Islamic religion, alcoholic beverages are as widely available as in Europe. However, some Turks abstain from drinking alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan. There are a few local brands of lager such as Bomonti, Marmara34 and Efes Pilsen and a large variety of international beers that are produced in Turkey such as Skol, Beck's, Miller, Foster's, Carlsberg and Tuborg. There are a variety of local wines produced by Turkish brands such as Kavakldere, Doluca, Corvus, Kayra, Pamukkale and Diren which are getting more popular with the change of climatic conditions that affect the production of wine. A range of grape varieties are grown in Turkey. For the production of red wine, the following types of grapes are mainly used; in Marmara Region, Pinot noir, Adakaras, Papazkaras, Semillion,Kuntra, Gamay, Cinsault; in Aegean Region, Carignane, alkaras, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante Bouschet; in Black Sea Region and eastern part of the country, kzgz, Boazkere; in Central Anatolia, Kalecik Karas, Papazkaras, Dimrit; in Mediterranean Region, Sergi Karas, Dimrit. As for white wine, the grapes can be listed as follows; in Marmara Region, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillion, Beylerce, Yapncak; in Aegean Region, muscat and semillion; in Black Sea Region, Narince; in Central Anatolia, Emir, Hasandede (for further info In addition to mass production, it is quite popular to produce wine in private farms and sell them in the locality. Visitors can find different "home made" wines in Central Anatolia (Kapadokya/Cappadocia region - Nevehir), Aegean coast (Seluk and Bozcaada (an island in the Aegean Sea)).

Non-alcoholic beverages[edit]

Turkish tea; ay, served in Kyrenia,Northern Cyprus.

A cup of Turkish coffee; kahve, served in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.

At breakfast and all day long Turkish people drink black tea. Tea is made with two teapots in Turkey. Strong bitter tea made in the upper pot is diluted by adding boiling water from the lower. Ayran (salty yogurt drink) is the most common cold beverage, which may accompany almost all dishes in Turkey, except those with fish and seafood. algam suyu (mild or hot turnip juice) is another important non-alcoholic beverage which is usually combined with kebabs or served together with rak. Boza is a traditional winter drink, which is also known as millet wine (served cold with cinnamon and sometimes with leblebi). Sahlep is another favorite in winter (served hot with cinnamon). Sahlep is extracted from the roots of wild orchids and may be used in Turkish ice cream as well. This was a popular drink in western Europe before coffee was brought from Africa and came to be known. Sherbet (Turkish erbet, pronounced [ebet]) is a syrup which can be made from any of a wide variety of ingredients, especially fruits, flowers, or herbs. Examples include pear, quince, strawberry, apple, cornelian cherry, pomegranate, orange, rose petals, rose hips, or licorice and spices. Sherbet is drunk diluted with cold water. In classical Turkish cuisine, hoaf (from the Persian "Khosh-ab", meaning "fresh water") alternatively accompanies meat dishes and pilav(pilaf).

See also[edit]
Food portal

Baklava Gzleme Kadaif Kumpir Mangal Mant Pilaki Piyaz Turkish coffee Turkish rak

Turkish tea Piruhi

Related cuisines[edit]

Iranian cuisine Greek cuisine Balkan cuisine Central Asian cuisine Levantine cuisine Middle Eastern cuisine Mongolian cuisine Ottoman cuisine Caucasian cuisine

1. 2. ^ Nur lkin -i Taste of Turkish cuisine ^ Aarssen, Jeroen; Backus, Ad (2000). Colloquial Turkish. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-415-15746-9. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 3. 4. ^
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Ethnic Cuisine - Turkey by Terrie Wright Chrones

^ Whiting, Dominic (2000). Turkey Handbook. Footprint Handbooks. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-900949-85-9. Retrieved 2009-04-15.

5. 6.

^ ^

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"Turkish Cheeses". 06-02-2005. Retrieved 2007-12-07

Perry, Charles. "The Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central Asian Origins

of Baklava", in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper), 1994. p. 89. 7. 8. 9. ^ ^
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NTV MSNBC. "Charles Perry:Baklava Trk tatlsdr" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2009-03-31. Arab Studies Journal. Georgetown University. 2001. p. 115. Retrieved 2009-03-31.

^ Marianna Yerasimos - Ottoman cuisine

10. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Dolma 11. ^ 12. ^

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Turkish Cookery by M.Gnr ISBN 975-479-100-7

The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking, A.Algar (1985) ISBN 0-7103-0334-3

13. ^ English names for fish from Alan Davidson, Mediterranean Seafood, Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-046174-4 14. ^ Nevin Halc - Sufi cuisine 15. ^ Marianna Yerasimos, Ottoman cuisine


Budak, Sheyl, Antakya Mutfa, Hatay 2008, ISBN 9756058977

Antakya-cuisine with Sheyl Budak and 75 ladies

Grsoy, Deniz, Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective, Istanbul, 2006, ISBN 975-329-564-2. Halc, Nevin, Konya Yemek Kltr ve Konya Yemekleri, Istanbul 2005, ISBN 975-6021-16-0. Halc, Nevin, Sufi Cuisine, Saqi 2005. Lambraki, Mirsini & Akn, Engin, Ayn Sofrada ki lke, Trk ve Yunan Mutfa, Istanbul 2003, ISBN 975458-484-2.

Roden, Claudia, A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, 2000, ISBN 0-14-04658-8. avkay, Turgut, Halk Mutfamz Geleneksel Tatlarmzdan Semeler, Istanbul 2005, ISBN 975-98180-27.

avkay, Turgut, Turkish Cuisine, Istanbul 2003, ISBN 975-285-114-2 nsal, Artun & St, Uyuyunca, Trkiye Peynirleri, Istanbul, ISBN 975-363-755-1. nsal, Artun & Silivrim, Kaymak, Trkiye'nin Yourtlar, Istanbul 2007, ISBN 978-975-08-1276-7. Yerasimos, Marianna, Osmanl Mutfa, Istanbul 2002; published in English as 500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine.

Zubaida, Sami & Tapper, Richard, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4.

External links