Best Turkish foods delicious dishes
Inegol Kofte — grilled meatballs made using ground beef or lamb, breadcrumbs and onions.
Meatballs are so much more than just balls of meat in Turkish cuisine. Each style brings its own unique serve of history.
One of the best known is Inegol kofte, invented by one Mustafa Efendi. Originally from Bulgaria, he migrated to Inegol in northwest Turkey in the 19th century.
Unlike other Turkish kofte his mix uses only ground beef or lamb and breadcrumbs, seasoned with onions.
Iskender kebab is named after İskender Efendi, the man who invented the dish.
Located in northwest Turkey, Bursa is famous for three things — silk, the ski fields of Uludag and a type of kebab called Iskender.
Apparently a gentleman of the same name first cooked this dish for workers in the city’s Kayhan Bazaar back in 1867.
Thin slices of doner meat are reverently laid over pieces of plump pide bread, smothered in freshly made tomato sauce, baptized with a dash of sizzling melted butter and served with a portion of tangy yoghurt, grilled tomato and green peppers.
To prepare this dish, marinated lamb meat is roasted on a horizontal rotating spit and cooked over a wood fire.
The people of Erzurum take their meat very seriously. So much so, they’re prepared to wait more than 12 hours for a sliver of hot and tasty lamb cag kebab.
First the meat is smeared with a mix of onions, salt and black pepper and left to marinate for half a day. Then it’s fed onto a long skewer and cooked horizontally over a wood fire.
Divine on its own, cag kebab is also served wrapped in flat lavas bread with slices of tomato, white onion and long thin green peppers called sivri.
Hamsili pilav — an oven baked rice dish with a layer of fresh anchovies on top.
Hamsi, aka European anchovy, is a staple in Turkish Black Sea kitchen. In the city of Rize, the slender fishes are prepared with rice to make Hamsili Pilav.
This dish is cooked in a stock made from fried onions, butter, peanuts, Turkish allspice and raisins, which is mixed with fresh parsley and dill. Then filleted anchovies are arranged over the rice and the whole lot is cooked in the oven.
Perde pilav — a buttery dough filled with rice, chicken, currants, almonds, pine nuts and butter.
The town of Siirt is home to perde pilav, or curtain rice, a rice-based dish wrapped in a lush buttery dough, baked in an oven and served up hot.
Usually served at weddings, perde pilav is cooked with chicken, currants, almonds, pine nuts and butter, and seasoned with salt, oregano and pepper.
The shape of the dish is thought to represent the creation of a new home — the rice symbolizes fertility and the currants are for future children.
The most coveted version of these tasty Turkish dumplings are made in Kayseri, Central Anatolia.
The most popular type of manti, small squares of dough with various fillings, are those made in Kayseri.
This central Anatolian version contains a spoonful of mince sealed into a small parcel, but they use cheese elsewhere. The manti are dropped into boiling water and topped with yoghurt and pul biber (chili flakes).
Legend has it, a good Turkish housewife can make them so small that 40 fit onto one spoon.
Testi kebab — a meat and vegetable dish that needs to be broken open before it’s eaten.
This specialty of the Nevsehir region features pottery made in Avanos, using red clay from the famous Kizilirmak River.
First the clay jug is filled with beef, tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic and a knob of butter. Its opening is then sealed with a peeled slice of potato and covered in alfoil, before the jug is placed in a wood-burning oven.
Once the contents are ready, the cook must hold the alfoil covered top in one hand and a small hammer in the other to break open the meal.
The trick is to aim for the thin line circling the body of the vessel three quarters of the way up.