10 Essential Turkish Foods To Try

10 Essential Turkish Foods To Try

Rich and diverse with a deep-rooted history, Turkish cuisine is the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which is best described as a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines.

Blessed with a varied climate, fertile lands and access to the sea, the country can source the majority of its ingredients locally. From the many variations of delicious kebabs to melt-in-your-mouth sweet desserts, Turkey has some tasty dishes to shout about. Here is a selection of essential Turkish foods to try on your next visit:

1. Simit

Crusty on the outside yet soft on the inside, Simit is a circular bread coated with molasses and encrusted with sesame seeds. Typically consumed for breakfast with fruit preserves and Turkish tea or for lunch with cheese and meats, these doughy delights are often served hot from the street vendors in Istanbul, or any Turkish city.

2. Shish Kebab

Turkey has many different types of kebab, but the most famous is the skewered shish kebab. Traditionally prepared with beef or lamb, you will now find many Turkish restaurants serving fish and chicken varieties. Marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, yoghurt and spices, the meat is grilled over hot charcoals and served on metal or wooden skewers.

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Lamb Şiş Kebab. Monday night is the new Kebab night, because is it even Monday?! These were so good tonight. Marinated overnight, the yoghurt based marinade tenderises the lamb beautifully and reminded me of our favourite Turkish restaurant. This serves two, as the kids ate earlier than us tonight: INGREDIENTS 500g lamb leg or shoulder, sinew removed (if not done already), cut into 4cm pieces 1 tbsp thick set / natural yoghurt 1 tbsp sweet turkish red pepper paste (you can use tomato purée if you don’t have any) 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp pul biber / (Turkish / Aleppo) red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp summak (sumac) 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1/4 tsp ground cumin METHOD Mix everything other than the lamb, together in a bowl. Coat all of the lamb pieces in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hrs, best overnight. Take the lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking to bring to room temp. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 mins. Thread the lamb onto 4 skewers, sprinkle a little salt over the kebabs, put your grill onto a medium to high heat and grill / BBQ for 10-12 mins turning once or twice. Brush the kebabs with a little olive oil and lemon juice mix to serve, and sprinkle with pul biber, summak, fresh parsley and thyme / dried oregano. We had ours with a garlic and lemon tahini dip and sautéed spinach with brown rice. #melizcooks #f52community #melizcooksbbq

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3. Doner Kebab

Very well-known across Europe, especially in the UK, a doner kebab is a typical fast food to grab on the go, but there’s no better place to try it than the country it originated. This popular Turkish meat dish cooks on a vertical skewer that rotates to a hot grill. The meat is usually prepared as a mixture of lamb and beef, but it can also be found with chicken or beef only.

4. Köfte

These Turkish meatballs are made from ground beef or lamb and served as a main course in a stew, with rice and warm flatbread, over salads or just as they are with yoghurt. You will find hundreds of different varieties of Köfte across the country but you certainly won’t have to travel far to find it!

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Köftesi. Köfte the term used in Turkish cuisine for meatballs. It is a ball shaped ground beef dish. In a basic kofte recipe, ground beef is combined with bread crumbs, onion, garlic and spices. Then shaped in balls and cooked over grill, stove or in oven❤ Baked Turkish meatballs (köfte) 450g/minced ground meat lamb or beef 1 medium onion, grated 2slices if stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry 1egg beaten 1bunch of finely chopped flat leaf parsley 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or chilli flakes 5ml/1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste Small bowl of water for kneading kofte and for getting your hands. METHOD Preheat oven to 180 degree C/350 degree F/Gas Mark 4 Discard the crusts of the bread, soak in the water and squeeze dry. Then crumble them in a large bowl. Add all the kofte, meatballs, ingredients except the meat and knead well. This will soften the onions and unable the spices to blend in the mixture evenly. Add the minced meat and knead well again until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Wet hands take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a large finger shape about one each thick continue until all the mixture is used. The meatballs can now be covered and stored in the fridge until required. This recipe is my contribution to #turkishcollab ❤ Hosted by @diet_a_might💓 Please do follow my fellow bloggers for more amazing turkish recipes💞 @dietwithdietengage @diet_a_might @life.homemade @arshiaz_kitchenette @foodieinkhobar #dietwithdietengage #daffbakes #addapinchwithnaaz #thelostmugs #behindthemeals #kitchenbliz_withshai #healthynibbling #turkishfood #turkishbreafast #turkishdelight #turkishplatter #turkishkofte #turkishkabab

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5. Dürüm

Slow cooked beef, lamb or chicken is wrapped in Lavash, a thin Turkish flat bread, alongside salad, tomato and onion. The sauce, usually yoghurt based, binds all the ingredients into one very tasty meal. Basically, a Turkish burrito!

6. Pide

Commonly known as the ‘Turkish pizza’, pide is a boat shaped flatbread topped with a variety of ingredients, but most commonly minced meat or cheese and onion. Readily available from street vendors, pide is the perfect snack to keep you going whilst sightseeing!

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Evde neler yapabiliyormuşuz da haberimiz yokmuş😄ben mesela ilkdefa evdeki fırında #pide yaptım oldumu oldu bence çocuklarda sevdi😊 Ama benim gönlümden geçen inşallah bu günler geçerde yine eskisi gibi mahalle fırınlarımizda yaptirabiliriz bu pideleri nasıl yaptığıma gelince 👉hamuru için 1.5 su bardağı ılık su 1su bardagi ılık sut 7gr toz maya 1tatli kasigi seker 1tatli kasigi tuz Yarim cay bardagi zeytinyag 1y.kasigi sirke Yaklasik 5su bardagi un Hamuru yogurun mayalansin Iç malzemesi icin 👉Kiymali , peynirli ve mantarli içler hazirladim Kiymali icin kiymasini onceden birazcik pisirdim hamur ince oldugu icin hamur cabuk piser ve kiyma çig kalir diye kiymayi onceden biraz pisirdim domates sogan ve biberi cigden robottan cektim ve kiymayla karistirdim pulbiber ve tuz birazda biber salcasi ekleyip karistirdim 👉Mantarli ic icin mantar domates peynir biber sucuk kullandim(1er tatlı kaşığı ketçap kekik ve salcayi karistirip malzemelerin en altina pizzada surdugumuz gibi sos surdum sonra iç harcini yerlestirdim) 👉Peynirli ic icin beyaz peynir ve kasar peynirleri rendeledim icine 1yumurta kirdim karistirdim Sonra mayalanan hamurlari 80 grlik bezelere ayirdim(yaklaşik 14 .15 tane beze )oklavayla uzunlamasina actim ve hazirladigim iclerden sirayla yerlestirip kenarlarini kapattim kenarlarina 1yumurta sarisina birazcik su ekledim ve surdum firini onceden en yuksrk ayarda isittim sonra isiyi 210 derrceye dusurup pisirdim #nice#cool#yemek#best #yum#food#sweet #happy#amazing#beautifil #yemekdeyemek#mutfakdamutfak #instamutfak#mukemmellezzetler #gulunsectikleri#cake#wonderful#kahve#coffe#breakfast#tea#delicious#cute#sweet#pide

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7. Meze

A selection of hot or cold delicacies usually served as an appetizer with drinks. A typical meze platter includes many different dishes, ranging from babaganoush, salads, dips and spreads and is served with Turkish bread.

8. Dolma

A traditional food popular across many neighbouring countries and as documented in Ottoman cookbooks, it is believed that this dish originated in the Ottoman Topkapi Palace. The word dolma is actually of Turkish origin meaning ‘stuffed thing’. There are many varieties, but it typically signifies any sort of vegetables or vine leaves stuffed with a mixture of meat and/or rice fillings.

9. Baklava

Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, baklava is one of Turkey’s most famous and well-loved desserts. Layered pastry filled with nuts, covered in sweet syrup and topped with ground pistachios. A must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth!

10. Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight, otherwise known as Lokum, is a sweet gel-like delicacy that comes in many different flavours. Made from corn starch and castor sugar, it is then cut into cubes and coated with powdered sugar.

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