Turkey is renowned for its rich tasting cuisine, culminated through a mix of flavours and spices influenced by the different cultures ingrained in their history. With favourite ingredients including tender lamb and an abundance of olive oil, the authentic dishes have regional touches depending on where you are. However, you are always guaranteed a plateful of passion when enjoying the satisfying tastes of Turkey – especially when dining out in ‘ev yemekleri’, or ‘mama-run’ places! Here we look at our favourite traditional Tasty Turkish dinners and Treats..
Moussaka – Similar to their Greek neighbour, Turkey cook up a delicious layered aubergine and beef casserole. The Turkish personalise their version by adding a layer of chopped peppers and tomatoes to the top and this hearty meal is guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied. This tasty dish can also be easily made at home with an abundance of different recipes online, so you can tweak it to your taste!
Iskender Kebab – This can be made with lamb & sliced in a spicy tomato sauce over pieces of pitta bread. To cool down the spice, Turkey’s traditional yogurt cacik can be served alongside. However, this is only one of many classic Turkish kebab to try – have a taste of Adana Kebab (a grilled skewer of lamb) and Patlican kebab (skewers of aubergine, beef and veg).
Hünkar Beğendi, or the “Sultan’s Delight”, is a lamb stew over creamy aubergine puree. This dish is best with high quality lamb to compliment the rich tomato stew, and the aubergine puree is made with tasty béchamel sauce – sometimes the aubergines are even softened by barbecuing to add a smoky element to the flavour.
Baklava – Sweet pastry with thin layers of dough and nuts held together with syrup and honey is a characteristic dessert dish of countries from the Ottoman Empire. This is the perfect nibble to pair with some traditional Turkish coffee or after a feast of meze, but be aware that this dish is very sweet, so a little can go a long way
Kadayif is similar to Baklava, but the dough is made string like. While the dough is half-baked, crushed nuts are spread throughout before oven baking the tasty treat. Lastly, buttery syrup is poured over for that final sweet touch.