What is Turkish food made of?
Next stop on our Mediterranean trip: Turkey! The country has a lot to offer in culinary terms. The Turkish cuisine is the clear proof that the most diverse national cuisines can be harmoniously combined with one another. It contains influences from the nomadic Turkic peoples, the Indian, Islamic and Mediterranean as well as the Balkan cuisine. The most famous indispensable recipes are the starters known as meze, bread that is served with every meal, the various kebab dishes, kofte and of course lahmacun, the Turkish pizza. Strong black tea and coffee are drunk.
If you feel like swinging the wooden spoon yourself and cooking typically Turkish, then get started with our top 12 ingredients of Turkish cuisine!
The golden-yellow grain “with a migration background” should not be missing as a side dish or filling in Turkish recipes. Bulgur is easy to prepare and, similar to pasta and rice, can be used in many ways - but keeps you full longer and is a lot healthier. By the way: Bulgur is not to be confused with couscous. The grain, which originates from North Africa, consists of moistened semolina made from durum wheat, ground into small balls, while the Asian bulgur consists of pre-cooked durum wheat or spelled. A particularly popular Turkish dish with bulgur: Kisir, or bulgur salad.
2. White beans
Legumes are simply essential in Turkish cuisine. In addition to white beans, the most important representatives are chickpeas and red lentils! Large white beans belong in many meze dishes with plenty of olive oil, and they can also be used in one of the Turkish national dishes, Kuru Fasulye (white bean stew), not missing.
A good salça belongs in every good Turkish kitchen. The tomato or paprika pulp should not be confused with normal, pure tomato paste, because it is elaborately cooked and refined with many spices. Sometimes it is spicy, sometimes mild, sometimes strongly or less strongly spiced. Every salça is a bit different and provides the typical Mediterranean note in Turkish recipes.
Just like in Italian cuisine, olive oil also plays a major role in Turkish dishes. But especially the pickled olives, in all their green and black color nuances, have an unmistakable taste in Turkey. And they are especially important for breakfast on every dining table!
Baklava, Börek, Gözleme - all these delicious dough specialties are made from what is known as Yufka dough. Yufka is similar to traditional puff pastry, but it is much thinner and less greasy. It is either freshly prepared and rolled out relatively laboriously, or bought ready-made and then processed with ingredients such as sheep's cheese or spinach.
Yogurt and pide, Turkish flatbread, are the basics of any Turkish meal. It is even said that the name “yogurt” takes its name from the Turkish “yoğurt”, which means “curdled milk”. In Turkey it is used in a wide variety of dishes and is also part of the national drink, the Ayran. The refreshing summer drink consists only of water, yoghurt and a little salt and can be prepared at home in no time at all.
My mom always says that Turkish tomatoes just taste different. And it's true - if you walk through a Turkish bazaar, the sliced tomatoes simply have a more intense color, a more aromatic smell, a more intense taste! Accordingly, Turkish cuisine is not complete without tomatoes. There are only a few recipes in which there is no place.
8. Pul Piber
Anyone who has ever ordered “kebab with spicy” is sure to enjoy the taste of Pul beavercame. The Turkish chilli flakes are on every Turkish spice rack and should be strong dark orange to red, smell like paprika and turn your fingers red when rubbed. The right seasoning only comes into play with aromatic Pul Biber!
9. Sheep cheese
It is safe to say that Turkish culture brought sheep cheese to Germany. Fortunately, because it is now a welcome addition to many German and international dishes! Turkish sheep cheese belongs in dumplings, börek and starters, but especially on the breakfast plate.
Turkish mint, Nane, denotes a spice made from dried mint leaves. Just like Pul Biber, you can get it on the spice shelves of all Turkish supermarkets. Nane has less menthol than the peppermint, which is widespread in Germany, and refines various salads or the popular cacik (tzatziki) in Turkish cuisine with a gentle mint aroma.
Karnıyarık consists of eggplant stuffed with ground beef and is one of the most popular dishes in Turkey. In addition to this classic, the aubergine can be found again and again in Turkish cuisine: pureed as an aubergine cream or with delicious starters, combined with yoghurt.
Last but not least: the onion. It is one of the most important ingredients in most Turkish dishes, and you can find it in all shapes and colors in the Turkish markets. You can find them in the meze dishes, in the Menemen, which is traditionally eaten for breakfast, together with tomatoes, peppers and eggs, and in the many delicious soups, stews and salads. The onion simply cannot be missing in Turkish cuisine!
Here are the recipes ...
If you want to start cooking typically Turkish with the ingredients right away, let yourself be inspired by the Turkish recipes in our recipe archive! Next week our Mediterranean trip goes into the last round and we will introduce you to the 12 most important ingredients of French cuisine.
Until then best regards,
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