Must-try Turkish Dishes!
Turkish cuisine has a long history History and represents the culinary tradition of the Turkic peoples by blending with Indian, Persian, Kurdish, Islamic-Arabic cuisine and culinary traditions of the Mediterranean and Caucasian peoples. The cosmopolitan aspect of the Ottoman court kitchen is celebrated again today. Over the centuries, this diversity of influences, particularly influenced by the Ottoman culture and way of life, has developed into today's distinctive Turkish cuisine.
The list is divided into Turkish Breakfast, bread, appetizers, side dishes, soups, salads, meat dishes, fish dishes, street food, Desserts, snacks, sweets and Drinks.
What is for breakfast in Turkey?
Turks prefer a hearty breakfast. A typical turkish breakfast includes cheese (beyaz peynir, kasar, etc.), butter, olives, tomato, cucumber, jam, honey, and kaymak, sucuk, pastırma, eggs, börek, simit, and poğaça.
What do Turks drink for breakfast?
Very easily! TEA! At breakfast, tea glasses are always filled with Çay, but Türk Kahvesi (Turkish coffee) offered.
- Kahvaltı tabağı (Spreading) breakfast plate: This is a combination of all the delicious Turkish breakfast dishes. In a good restaurant, breakfast includes many small bowls with different types of cheese, olives, sausages, salads, tomatoes, etc.
- molasses: Pekmez is a molasses-like syrup made after fruit juice, particularly grapes, is condensed and boiled with a coagulant such as wood ash or ground carob seeds. It is used as a syrup or mixed with tahini for breakfast.
- olives: Black olives are always part of the Turkish breakfast.
- Raw honey with honeycomb: For many Turks, honey is a must at breakfast.
- Asks: Pide are Turkish filled flatbreads in the shape of small ships. It is important to understand that this is not Pizza is! Popular pide variants:
- Kaşarlı Pide with Turkish Kaşar Cheese
- Karışık Pide is a mixture of vegetables, meat and sausage
- Mantarlı Pide is a combination of mushrooms and cheese
- Sucuklu Pide is topped with the famous Turkish garlic (hot pepper) sausage
- Kuşbaşılı Pide also called Etli Pide is topped with pieces of meat and cheese
- Kiymali Pide is topped with minced meat
- Ispanaklı pide is topped with spinach and egg
- Vejeteryan pide is the vegetarian version
- Simit: The sesame ring is a ring-shaped yeast dough with sesame seeds on the crust.
- Lahmacun: Lahmacun is a very thin flatbread coated in a mixture of ground beef, onions and tomatoes and baked in a brick oven until crispy.
- Pastry: in the Turkey they are called Pogaça, in Germany and Austria Pogatschen. It's about a delicious, hearty filled (with olives, sheep's cheese or minced meat) pastry made of yeast dough.
- Yufka: Yufka is a very thin flatbread, often also known as lavaş in the Turkish language, the food is (Rotary, Dürüm) rolled up or wrapped.
- Patty or Water Pastry: Börek is a Turkish strudel made from yufka dough with a flavorful filling of minced meat, sheep or goat cheese, spinach, potatoes or other vegetables and parsley.
- Trabzon Ekmegi (Vakfıkebir Taş Fırın Ekmeği): This is a special type of bread from Trabzon province.
- Observation: Gözleme is a thin, usually flavorful, filled flatbread made from yufka dough. They are a specialty of Turkish cuisine. Gözleme is baked on the sac without fat. Before serving, brush the top with melted butter. The most popular variant is Peynirli Gözleme with goat cheese (Beyaz Peynir, Feta), spinach and fresh herbs. All ingredients are raw and roughly used as fillings. Other fillings include potatoes or heavily seasoned ground lamb. There are also sweet Gözleme with Nutella or sugar.
- Menemen: Menemen (known as shakshuka (pronounced shakshuka) in the Middle East) is a Turkish egg dish that usually includes eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, peppers, and onions, along with spices such as salt pul biber, black and red pepper, and paprika powder. Menemen are usually prepared in a small pan, in which the dish is also served.
Turkish appetizers, side dishes, mezze
- Crushing: Ezme ("Mus" on türkisch), also known as hot spice paste, is a coarse dipping sauce that tastes great with grilled food - but also on its own with fresh flatbread.
- yoghurt: A dish without bread or yoghurt on the table? Unimaginable for a Turk. No matter how many different dishes are served, if there is no bread or yoghurt, the Turk will not be “full”. Yoghurt is an indispensable part of Turkish cuisine.
- Kasar cheese: Kaşar ("Kashar") is a Turkish cheese with hard cheese. One of the most expensive varieties is the so-called Kars-Kaşar from the province of the same name in north-eastern Turkey. The cheese tastes very good on bread, toast or in sandwiches.
- Winding: Yaprak Sarması are made with rice and vegetables stuffed Grape leaves.
- tzatziki: Cacık, or Turkish version of Tsatsiki, is a Turkish cuisine preparation made from yoghurt, cream yoghurt (Süzme Yoğurt), cucumber, dill and garlic.
- Imam Fainted (İmambayıldı): İmam bayıldı is a vegetable dish made from stewed and stuffed aubergines that is very popular in Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. Legend has it that when an imam first tasted it, he fainted from the delight of its exceedingly delicious taste.
- Lentil Meatballs: Mercimek Köftesi is very popular in Turkish cuisine. Mercimek Köftesi (Lentil Meatballs) can be used as an appetizer or as a buffet snack, made into long balls and served on lettuce leaves. Traditionally, lemon juice is poured over it before consumption.
- Stuffed zucchini flowers: Stuffed zucchini blossoms or squash blossoms. It is one of the essential flavors of Turkish, Greek and Cypriot cuisine.
- Dolma beaver: Dolma is the Turkish version of stuffed peppers. For this typical Turkish dish, the peppers are stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, rice, garlic and onions and then stewed in the oven.
- Közlenmiş Patlıcan: Grilled aubergines with smoky flavor are a typical Turkish specialty.
- Spring Rolls: Sigara Böreği are finger-thick stuffed (usually with cheese) and fried dough rolls in Turkish cuisine, which are eaten as a side dish or small snack.
- Pickle: Turşu is a vegetable pickled in salt and vinegar - often with garlic. Typical ingredients are white cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, eggplant, peppers, chili peppers, green tomatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, ginger, cucumber and pumpkin. It is a traditional appetizer or meze.
- Raw Meatballs: Çiğ Köfte are mostly seasoned, raw meatballs. Traditionally, they are made from chopped, low-fat beef. The vegetarian version consists of wheat, tomato paste, ground chili and other spices.
- Bacon: Turkish pastırma (Turkish beef ham) is a meat specialty, especially in the countries that belonged to the Ottoman Empire. It is primarily a heavily seasoned beef jerky that serves as a cold appetizer.
- pilaf: Pilaf is an originally oriental rice dish. It is traditionally made with long grain rice, onions, broth and possibly meat, fish or vegetables.
- hummus: Hummus is an oriental specialty made from pureed chickpeas or broad beans, sesame butter, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and spices such as garlic and cumin.
- Zeytinyagli Domates Dolmasi: Stuffed tomatoes with rice, pine nuts and currants.
- Olive Oil Kidney Beans: Red beans prepared with olive oil.
- Heydari: Haydari is a type of yoghurt dish resembling a thick cacık, made with certain herbs such as mint and spices combined with garlic and yoghurt. It differs from cacık in that there is no cucumber in the recipe.
- Sucuk: Sucuk is a heavily seasoned garlic raw sausage made from beef, veal and lamb. Sucuk can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, basically anytime.
- Topical: Topik or Topig is a dish sometimes referred to as a vegetarian meatball, consisting of a chickpea-based paste usually mixed with potatoes or flour, surrounding a filling of onions, nuts and currants, and prepared with herbs, spices and tahini .
- bean: A kind of puree of broad broad beans sprinkled with dill.
- Midye Dolma: Is a mussel stuffed with rice with various spices (pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc.). It's usually topped with a little lemon juice.
- Shakshuka: Salad of aubergines, potatoes, carrots, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes, served with yoghurt and garlic.
- Karides Güveç: Prawns baked in a clay bowl with tomatoes, garlic, spices and butter.
- mücver: Vegetable fritters with zucchini and dill.
The story about Turkish soups
In Turkish cuisine, soup is “drunk”. In Turkey, it is customary to eat soup, in Turkish Çorba, for breakfast. Every major village has a local soup kitchen “Çorbacı” that serves different soups throughout the day. Of course, only fresh white bread goes well with this. Since the soup is also very rich in ingredients, they fill you up and give you strength for the day.
- Lentil soup (Lentil soup): Lentil Corbası is everywhere. It is the undisputed king of all Turkish soups. Almost every restaurant, cafe, street vendor and of course every kitchen in Turkey offers this soup.
- Ezogelin Soup: Ezogelin Soup or Ezo Gelin Soup is a common soup in Turkish cuisine. The main ingredients are bulgur and red lentils. The origin of the soup is attributed to the bride Ezo from Gaziantep.
- Tarhana soup: Tarhana or trahanas are fermented and dried mixtures of flour, yogurt and vegetables used to make soups.
- Tripe soup(tripe soup): Turkish İşkembe Çorbası (Turkish from işkembe, "tripe" and Çorba, "soup") is one of the national dishes of Turkey. It is available at many snack bars and restaurants across the country and can be eaten as breakfast.
- Spring soup: Yayla Çorbası, Yoghurt Soup/Alm Soup, is a meal of Turkish cuisine. It's a yogurt soup made with a variety of herbs (mint, purslane, parsley, and others), rice, and (sometimes) chickpeas.
- Hanım Ağa Çorbası: Hanımağa soup is a very hearty and nutritious soup with lots of legumes. In addition, it also contains Şehriye rice noodles or Erişte strip noodles.
- Pumpkin Soup: Kabak soup is a Turkish pumpkin soup and tastes really good.
- Head and Trotter Soup: Literally means head and toe soup; it is a Turkish-style soup made from sheep's cheeks, tongue and/or brain.
- Tomato soup: Turkish tomato soup is a soup made with different tomatoes, but mostly red, not necessarily the same type of tomato.
- Balik Corbasi: Is a Turkish fish soup.
- Mantar Corbasi: A mushroom soup prepared according to Turkish tradition.
- Paca Corbasi: Literally means foot soup; includes lamb feet.
- Wedding soup: Turkish wedding soup.
The salads are usually prepared in a marinade of olive oil and lemon juice.
- Coban Salatasi ("Shepherd's Salad"): tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley. Variations with feta cheese and peppers can be found in both Turkish and Greek cuisine.
- Eggplant salad ("Eggplant Salad"): Fried or roasted eggplants, peeled and mashed into a puree, served with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and parsley.
- Onion Salad ("Onion Salad"): Onions are sliced in a crescent shape and infused with olive oil and sumac spice.
- Arugula salad: Arugula, usually with fried chicken breast slices or just lemon wedges.
- Zeytinyagli Taze Fasulye: This is a salad made with cooked green beans, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onions and salt.
- Kısır Salatası: Is a delicious bulgur salad. For a classic bulgur salad, ready-cooked bulgur is mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and spring onions.
- Dry Bean Salad: This is a white bean, tomato, onion and garlic salad.
- Tomato Salad: Turkish Tomato Salad.
Turkish cuisine with meat, fish and vegetarian food
Turkish cuisine is diverse. In restaurants, meat dishes are usually served with rice/bulgur, tomatoes, roasted peppers and lettuce. Kebab is probably the best-known Turkish dish and should not be confused with the doner kebab invented in Germany. Kebab or also kebab is a collective term for various meat dishes from lamb to beef to mutton - mainly grilled or served on a skewer (şiş). There are many kebab versions in Turkey.
- Iskender kebab: Iskender Kebap or Turkish İskender Kebap, also known as Bursa Kebap, Hacıbey kebap, Uludağ kebap or Yoğurtlu kebap, is a meat dish in Turkish cuisine and a variant of the doner kebap. İskender kebap is thinly spit-sliced veal or lamb served with flatbread, yogurt, roasted peppers, tomatoes and melted butter.
- Adana kebab: Adana Kebap is a meat dish of Turkish cuisine, a specialty of the Turkish province of Adana. It consists mainly of minced meat grilled on a charcoal skewer, a spicy version of kofte.
- Beiti Kebab: Beyti is a Turkish dish of minced beef or lamb, grilled on a skewer and wrapped in lavash, served with tomato sauce and yogurt.
- Talaş Kebab: Minced meat wrapped in puff pastry and baked after steaming.
- Tavuk Şiş: Tavuk Şiş is a traditional marinated chicken skewer from Ottoman cuisine. In Turkish cuisine, it is usually served with rice, yogurt and vegetables roasted on a skewer.
- Hair Roasting: This dish consists of pieces of lamb fried in a Turkish pan (saç) with onions, peppers and hot peppers, bulgur and salad are often served as accompaniments, and fresh bread to be dipped in the oil in the sac. Saç Kavurma is one of the traditional Turkish specialties.
- Bonfile Sarma: The Bonfile Sarma is the Turkish beef roulade.
- Steak: A beef steak for example at Nusr-Et in and Istanbul.
- Sucuk: Sucuk is a seasoned garlic raw sausage made from beef, veal and lamb
- Izgara Kofte: Grilled beef or veal meatballs.
- Ciğer (liver): Fried liver.
- Pasty: Small stuffed dumplings, first covered in yoghurt and then served with a sauce of melted butter and beaver pots.
- But Nazik: Ali Nazik is an aubergine filled with puree made from yoghurt, garlic, spices and beef or lamb, topped with melted butter and chilli powder.
- Guvec: Clay stew with meat, garlic, onions, aubergines and mushrooms
- Kiremitte Tavuk: A chicken baked in a clay pot.
- Hunkar Liked: Hünkârbeğendi or simply beğendi (the name means that the sultan liked it) is a dish of Ottoman cuisine. It is made with smoked and spiced aubergines that are grilled, then mashed and stirred with milk, melted butter, and toasted flour. Finally, the mixture is topped with roasted lamb cubes.
- Karniyarik: Karnıyarık is a Turkish dish consisting of eggplant stuffed with a mixture of fried minced onion, garlic, black pepper, tomato, green pepper, parsley and minced meat.
- The fish (Fish): On the coasts, fish and seafood from sea bass, anchovies, turbot to tuna dominate the menu and dishes of Turkish cuisine. Turkey's most famous fish dish: Balik Ekmek.
- Inegol Kofte: Roll-shaped meatballs based on a local recipe from Inegöl County in Bursa Province.
- Stuffed meatballs: Widespread in the Middle East, the Turkish version of kibbeh is hand-sized, stuffed with seared, seasoned ground beef. In the Adana-Mersin region, they are formed into a hemisphere and cooked. In south-eastern Turkey, the İçli köfte are shaped like a football and are stuffed and fried in boiling fat.
- Çınarcık Usulü Balık: Turkish fish pan Marmara style.
- Stuffed Quince: Stuffed quinces consist of quinces stuffed with meat and rice.
- Kilis Tava: The dish comes from the Turkish city of Kilis.
Turkish street food - more than just doner kebabs
- Situation: Dürüm is a wrap-like roll made of yufka flatbread with a varied filling. Common fillings include lettuce, gravy, and sliced chicken, lamb, or beef.
- Doner Ekmek: Turkish kebab is called “ekmek arasi Döner”, literally translated “kebab between bread”.
- Et Tantuni: Tantuni are pastry rolls filled with meat and vegetables, a kind of wrap. In contrast to Dürüm or other kebab dishes, the meat in Tantuni is not fried or grilled, but steamed.
- Et doner kebab: This is kebab meat without bread (Dönerteller, as in Germany), sometimes served with rice, fries or salad.
- Balik Ekmek: This is a typical street food in Istanbul. You can get it from the small fishing boat next to Galata Bridge.
- Kokorec: Kokoreç is a Turkish specialty consisting of chopped, grilled or roasted lamb intestines. Kokoreç is known and loved all over Turkey.
- Kumpir: Kumpir is a dish of large, powdery potatoes. Kumpir is loosened with a fork, and the insides of the potatoes are mixed with butter and grated cheese and topped as desired.
- corncob: Stands with fresh corn can be seen almost as often as Simit stands.
Turkish desserts, desserts and sweets
- Baklava: Dessert soaked in thin batter syrup and contains pistachios or nuts. – Similar but different in shape and consistency are Söbiyet, Fistikli Dürüm, Kadayif or Künefe (the latter with cheese filling, served warm).
- Künefe: Baked dessert made from thin threads (kadayıf) stuffed with feta cheese, drenched in sugar syrup and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. Tastes especially good with Kaymak.
- Güllac: Dessert made with milk, rose water, rice puff pastry and pomegranate.
- Halvah: Very sweet, consisting of sesame and sugar, often with cocoa.
- Bite: Yeast dough balls fried in fat and covered with syrup.
- Turkish delight: (often mistakenly called Turkish honey): Cubes of sugar or honey and starch enriched with various ingredients such as nuts, pistachios, coconut flakes, dried fruit, chocolate or fruit or rose flavor.
- Maras Dondurması: Ice cream specialty made from goat and cow milk, mainly flavored with vanilla and chocolate, from Kahramanmaraş province.
- Cotton candy: A specialty of İzmit, a kind of sweet helva, thin strands of sugar slightly reminiscent of cotton candy.
- Rice pudding: Rice pudding, the surface is caramelized.
- Ashura: A sweet soup made from wheat grains, sugar, beans, chickpeas, chopped nuts, and dried fruit that can be served hot or cold.
- Walnut sausage: (also Maraş Sucuğu, Bandırma Sucuğu, Şeker Sucuk) is a specialty in different regions of the country. Shelled walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios are pulled on a string. This cord is then dipped several times in a liquid of sugar, water, pekmez.
- Compote: Hosaf is a dessert made in Turkish cuisine by boiling dried fruits with sugar water.
- Pumpkin dessert: A cooked pumpkin dessert with coarsely ground nuts or almonds that can also be served with tahini.
Turkish Snacks: Dried Fruits, Nuts and Seeds
- Dried apricots: Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit.
- Pumpkin seeds: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- leblebi: Roasted Chickpeas is a type of dried nut made by roasting the chickpeas.
- Nuts: Nuts like Antep fıstığı (pistachios), Ayçekirdeği (sunflower seeds), Badem (almonds), Ceviz (walnuts), Findik (hazelnuts), Yer fıstığı (peanuts) are very popular snack foods in Turkey.
- Cay: Cay is a typical Turkish black tea. Tea is everywhere in Turkey. Young people are seen delivering tea to vendors in the market or bazaar. All restaurants offer tea and there are even tea gardens.
- Ayran: Ayran is a drink made from yogurt, water and salt. It is the oldest drink in Turkish culture and was prepared by the nomadic Turks of Central Asia.
- Raki: Strong aniseed liquor has been Turkey's national alcoholic drink for centuries! Raki has an aniseed flavor and a milky color that comes from combining it with water. That's why raki is also called Aslan Sütü "Löwenmlich" in Turkey.
- Turkish wine: The wine "Wine' has a tradition going back thousands of years in Turkey. After all, the vines originally came from the Caucasus region. The earliest archaeological discovery of grapevines in Turkey has a history of more than 5.000 years. In Turkey, the wines fall out Cappadocia and the Aegean especially.
- Pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice is made from the fruit of the pomegranate.
- Turkish coffee: The Turkish mocha "Kahve" has a very long tradition. The first coffee house on European soil was in Istanbul in 1554.
- Ointment: Salep is a typical winter drink in Istanbul and on the Aegean coast of Turkey. The recipe with dried orchid powder, cinnamon and milk comes from Ottoman cuisine.
- Salgam: Şalgam, actually Şalgam Suyu, is a non-alcoholic, sour and spicy vegetable drink that is lightly salted. The drink is particularly popular in the city of Adana and in southern Turkey as an accompaniment to raki and spicy dishes.
- Boza: Boza is a slightly alcoholic, sweet, sparkling beer drunk in the Balkans and Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East.
- Andiz syrup: The sweet syrup is particularly popular on the southern coast of Turkey, especially in the provinces Antalya.
- Pickle juice: Tursu is actually the name of pickled food in vinegar brine. The resulting juice is a very popular drink in Turkey.
- Lemonade: Lemonade made from still water, sugar and lemon juice.