God created man, man created Turkey and Turkey created cuisines for which gluttony can’t be a sin. Rich and savory, not spicy particularly – the delicacies among the Turkish foods have been littering the menus of restaurants all over the world. Heritage of the Ottoman cuisine, a traditional Turkish food item is infamous for its meat-full skewers, but there is a lot more to it. Hence, from the whole big world of Turkish delicacies, we bring to you a complete menu for everyone’s choice.
For The Meat Cravers And Chicken Lovers
Here’s a list of the top Turkish cuisines that are perfect for hardcore non-vegetarians. Take a look to see what all awaits you there!
Imagine meat-stuffed miniature raviolis! That’s what Mantı is– boiled or fried beef/lamb dumplings accompanied by a various range of spices. It is the Turkish version of Italian dishes that you will definitely find pleasing to your taste buds. the spiced ground meat will just melt in your mouth and the garlic tomota sauce just tastes so good with the raviolis. It is a traditional Turksih dish that is made in every household with love.
Must Try: With yogurt or butter
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If Italians have got meatballs, Turks have got kofte. The Turkish version of meatballs, köfte are balls or patties made of lightly cooked ground beef or lamb. It is often sold in wraps with salad and some pita bread. You can even have it in a vegetarian version made with chickpeas and vegetables. Kofte is an important part of every Turkish household. So, you will find it at every street deli and house.
Must Try: Stewed, in sandwiches, over salads or plain with yogurt
Flat and crispy, Lahmacun is like a pizza served with a topping of minced meat, salad and lemon juice on bread and can be wrapped, folded in half, or pulled apart to eat. The Turkish counterpart of pizza is full of flavors. The minced lamb and Mediterranean spices doing a party in your mouth. It is a famous street food all over the country. So, you ought to try this on your next trip to Turkey.
Must Try: With tomatoes, lettuce, parsley; try adding some lemon on it
Less seen on a restaurant menu, Menemen can be a quick breakfast item of scrambled eggs cooked in sautéed vegetables. If you want to taste how Turkish like their eggs, Menemen is the answer. It is basically scrambled eggs cooked softly with onions, peppers, paprika, and oregano. It is similar to Shakshouka the only difference being that eggs in this dish are beaten.
Must Try: With fresh bread, spoon it up with some homegrown olives
5. Şiş Kebap
Did you know that your seek kebab originated in Turkey? Add lamb to the list of chicken or fish being served on a wooden or metal rod and you are relishing Şiş Kebap. Your mouth will start watering as soon as you smell and see the skewered meats when served hot out of charcoal. Turkey is the country that introduced the world with the skewered meat or kebabs. It is another popular street food in turkey that you won’t have neough of on your trip to Turkey.
Must Try: With yogurt
Must Read: 23 Reasons Why You Should NEVER VISIT Turkey
If you like subs and sandwiches, you are definitely going to love döners. Try kebab sandwich prepared with slow cooked chicken, lamb, or beef meat served with vegetables, spices, and garlic yogurt. It is goodness and fresh flavors packed inside the pita bread. try it with hummus or traditional Turkey dips to elevate the taste. The meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and is full of flavors. The sliced shavings are filled inside the doner stacked along fresh veggies and dressing.
7. İskender Kebab
Iskender kebab is long strips of lamb cooked in tomato sauce and served over rice and pita bread with yogurt. It is named after Master Alexander (Iskender Efendi) from Ottoman Empire who lived in Busra. It is made from stripped doner meat topped with spicy flavorful tomato sauce and butter melted on top. It is a popular food in Turkey that is best have along pita bread.
A simple soup dish – choices are lentil or tomato. Go adventurous with your culinary preferences and try it with sheep brain or tongue soup. Turkish are crazy about their soups. So you ought to try this once while you are on your holiday in Turkey. This will become your comfort food in no time since soup is all about cozy and warm feeling in your mouth.
Veggie Delights And Experiments With Rice
Turkey also has a great array of options for vegetarians, which is why it never disappoints anyone. Take a look to find out vegan friendly meals.
9. Çiğ köfte
Çiğ köfte are spicy balls made with bulgur, onion, pepper and tomato pastes, spices and herbs – all kneaded together and cooked. It’s sold from takeaway places in a lettuce leaf. Try this Turkish-style steak tartar which is made from fat-free minced beef. Originated in the southern part of Turkey where it is most popular, it has a lot of history behind it. You can also opt for vegetarian version dish which might be available at only a few places in Turkey.
10. Pilav (Pilaf)
Delicious, buttery toasted! Plain rice cooked in water with butter/vegetable oil and noodle is Pilav. It is also cooked with eggplants, chickpeas, meat or liver slices with thyme, pepper, cinnamon cumin and almonds. While we Indian have pulao, you will find it as pilaf in Turkey. If you are a strict vegetarian, this is one dish you will definitely like and you must try. Notice how rice gets its golden color from being sauteed in oil and is full of flavours.
11. Yaprak Sarma
Vine leaves wrapped around a filling of rice and onion flavored with mint, currant, pepper and cinnamon are steamed to prepare what is an exquisitely healthy Yaprak Sarma. It is a traditional food in Turkey that is packed with enormous amount of flavours. This dish has an influence of ottoman Empire and is famous from Middle East to South Eastern Europe. The preparation of thiss dish is a bit time-consuming but it is all worth it.
Fresh vegetables or dried eggplants, peppers, tomatoes or zucchinis are stuffed with a mixture of rice and onion before cooking in water and butter. These are usually served at room temperature. It is a popular Mediterranean cuisine and is found in regions beyond Turkey. It is belived that this dhish was originated in the Ottoman Topkapi Palace back in the 17th century.
13. İmam Bayıldı
Stuffed with a tomato, onion and garlic mixture this aubergine entree is filled with rice, bulgur, and other veggies, this Turkish delicacy is baked in the oven and served with Pilaf. There is a funny anecdote related to its name that an Imam fainted when he heard the cost of ingredients that go into the making of this dish. There are also other funny anecdotes related to the history of name that will spice up the dish for you.
Straight From The Streets
Are you a street food lover? If yes, then worry not because Turkey also offers a lot of delicious street food cuisines to gorge on. Take a look.
Always flaky and delicious, this Turkish pastry is filled with minced meat or spinach and cheese. It can be rolled, served as puffs, or layered like lasagna. It is a famous dish found in the regions of Balkans, Levant, and Mediteranean. This flaky pastry can either be created as a whole in a pan or individual small pastries. The sesame seeds sprinkled on the top adds a nutty flabor to the dish. The dish dates back to the Classical Era and have most significant elements of a Turkish cuisine.
The Turkish version of a burrito, dürüm is slow cooked chicken, lamb, or beef served inside a wrap. It is made using lavash, a thin Turkish flatbread. the bread used in this wrap is way thinner than the bread used for Doners and other dishes. It has almost similar ingredients that are used in making doners like doner meat and veggies.
Another street food that is popular in the beach side resorts and cities. Made of jacket potato with a crisp outer skin and soft inside, it is available with a variety of toppings to choose among– cheese, sausage, pickles, and Russian salad.
Sweet Tooth? Time For Some Desserts
Got a sweet tooth or teeth? Irrespective, the Turkish delicacies have an amazing variety of desserts and sweets to soothe your taste buds. Find out!
Possibly the most popular Turkish desserts, Baklava finds its fan in anyone with a sweet tooth. It is made of layers of filo pastries stuffed with nuts.
Must Try: With ground pistachios. Must be eaten fresh
Also known as Turkish Delight, this nougaty dessert is a firm jelly-like cube flavoured with rosewater, lemon, or mastic, and dusted with powdered sugar, but there are many variations. It truly is a privilege to taste this dessert at the place where it was originated. People even bring back boxes of balaclava as a souvenir because that is how good it is.
Must Try: With pomegranate and pistachio flavor
The Turkish halva is made from tahini (crushed sesame paste) and sugar, sometimes with other ingredients added. This is nothing like what you have in India apart the name it shares. It tastes way different than over convential halva dish and the method of preparation is entirely different. You have got to try this on your vacation in Turkey. You might end up falling in love with this one over Indian version.
Must Try: With pistachio
20. Mozzaik Pasta
Fancy a chocolate cake with broken biscuits– that’s what Mozzaik Pasta is. Available in almost any café, it is artfully delicious. Every Turkish mom makes this dish for her children and nearly every pastry shop in Turkey has it on display. Therefore, you ought to taste what the hype is all about. You will endfallingin love with this no-bake dessert. That is a promise!
Amongst the top Turkish foods, Gullac is a traditional dessert, mostly served and relished during Ramadan. It is a uniquely textured treat that is made with dough, milk, rosewater, nuts, and pomegranate seeds. Even if you’re visiting sometime other than the month of Ramadan, try and scout for these desserts because they are surely nothing less than heaven.
Phew..did you just drool? It has been tough to keep it dry behind the teeth while compiling this list. And am I the only one to see a striking similarity with the Indian cuisine? Try all these food delicacies on your next trip to Turkey, a beautiful country to spend a vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turkish Foods
Q. What is traditional Turkish food?
A. Kebabs, Kofte, and Balaclava are two of the traditional Turkish dishes.
Q. What is Turkey’s national food?
A. Manti is Turkey’s national food.
Q. Is Turkish food spicy?
A. Some of the dishes are. But the flavors are not too strong for your palette, just full of flavors.
Q. Can you eat pork in Turkey?
A. You can but it is hard to find since it is not socially and conventionally acceptable.
Q. What kind of food do they eat in Turkey?
A. Turkish food comprises of meat, aubergine, fresh salads, olive oils, nuts, and Mediterranean spices.
Q. Do they eat turkey in Turkey?
A. It is not a common food. Lamb, buffalo, and chicken meat are widely consumed.
Q. Is there bacon in Turkey?
A. No, since pig meat is not socially acceptable.
Q. Is Turkish food healthy?
A. Consisting of stews, salad, low-fat cheese, freshly made bread, and more, Turkish cuisine has everything that defines a healthy diet. However, it depends on you, what you’re eating and from where you are eating.
Q . Is vegetarian food available in Turkey?
A. Turkey is a great place for vegetarians as most of the dishes are made with vegetarian bases. Almost every shop or restaurant sells vegetarian options for travelers who strictly don’t like meat or chicken in their meals.
Q. Is Turkish Delight vegetarian?
A. Also known as Real Lokum, Turkish Delight is amongst the best Turkish foods. These sugar cube sweets are mostly vegan since they are made with cornstarch.
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