Recipes: My 5 Favorite Turkish Dishes

For a very long time I almost only went shopping in Middle Eastern food markets in and around Boston and almost only bought Turkish foods. I missed Turkish food that much. Over time I adapted more to the food culture around me and I would say that I now eat a mix of different cuisines, most nobably the East Coast, Middle European and Turkish ones. Whenever I don’t really know what to cook or if I get a little homesick for Turkey – yes, I still do – there are these five dishes I always come back to. I mean there are other dishes that I love love love, but I still haven’t tried to make çig köfte (spicy vegan “meat” balls) myself for instance or kürt böregi (sweet börek). Those are still on my recipe-to-try list.

1. Turkish açma

Açma is a kind of fluffy bagel, also made with yeast. I love it because it is lighter, not as dense as bagels. They are easy to make and, together with olive paste and feta cheese, remind me very much of great and long Turkish breakfasts.

Recipe: Turkish açma

2. Yayla Çorbası (Turkish yogurt soup)

You can eat this soup as a starter or main course. I love soups in general, but this one is particularly tasty because of the different flavors it combines. It is a little sweet due to the yogurt, fresh due to the mint and spicy due to some paprika powder. It is also satisfyingly filling thanks to rice. It is also very easy to make and the ingredients are so common that I always have them at home.

Recipe: Yayla Çorbası (Turkish yogurt soup)

3. Nohut – Kichererbseneintopf

Nohut is my favorite Turkish dish ever. It is one of those very simple, traditional dishes that everybody makes at home when they don’t have time. I could eat it every week (I guess at one point I even did this.) The main ingredients are chickpeas and tomatoes.

Nohut – Kichererbseneintopf

4. İmam bayıldı – or: The Imam Fainted

The name alone is just beautiful. And since I love eggplants so much, I enjoy this dish frequently. Thanks to spices like cinnamon it also smells divine. Just be careful that you don’t faint either when you try it!

5. Zweimal türkischer Nachtisch – Künefe und Quittendessert

Well, I guess I love dessert. So here are two favorites of mine. Since it is very difficult to find quinces in the U.S. (most people don’t even know this fruit at all), I have to be lucky to buy them and make this sweet dish. Künefe, in comparison, is a lot easier to make here. It is a wonderful mix of feta cheese and sugar syrup. You might not believe me that this flavor mix is tasty, but this dish should teach you better – the only condition is that you enjoy very sweet things.

Zweimal türkischer Nachtisch – Künefe und Quittendessert

© janavar

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