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These five Turkish dishes that everyone should try

News Agencies | Updated on: 17 October 2019, 14:44 IST

Turkish cuisine is fast making its name on the worldwide culinary platform for its wide variety of vegetable dishes.

The combination of flavours and ingredients are blended together to form dishes that can be enjoyed by all, especially the vegans.

The highlights of Turkish vegetarian and vegan cuisine are dolma and sarma, in which just about everything can be stuffed. The cuisine tends to be olive oil-based, giving an extra light flavour to so many delicious fresh veggies.

Here are five delicious Turkish vegan dishes that you should surely savour -


These are zucchini fritters with feta cheese, onion, and dill. The zucchini is either shredded or finely chopped and then fried in olive oil, typically with a touch of red pepper flakes sprinkled on top to give it just the lightest hint of a kick to it.

Eggs are used in some recipes but are only used to make them stick together more easily, making them without egg is just as easy and doesn't take away anything from the flavour.

Mucver just means fritters in general, so in some villages, they'll be made with carrots or potatoes, but zucchini mucver are certainly the most common and the most classic.


Imambayildi (the dish's name means literally "the imam fainted") is essentially a large flat eggplant stuffed with all kinds of yummy goodies and drenched in olive oil.

The stuffing is an onion and garlic with tomatoes and herbs and spices. The name supposedly comes from an imam, whose wife told him that she'd used all the olive oil for just one dish. He fainted first at the cost of this one dish, and then after trying it imam fainted again at how delicious it was!

Lentil Kofte

Lentil Kofte, or lentil balls, are made using cooked red lentils and bulgur to form balls and then stuffed with herbs and spices. Different recipes call for rice, onions, currants, and pine nuts, and it's often eaten around a piece of lettuce, cabbage, or vine leaves.

Veggies can be thrown in as well, like peppers, zucchini, tomatoes or eggplants. But traditionally it's just a load of herbs and spices with possibly some tomato and pepper paste for a real burst of flavour with every bite.

These are amongst the most common dishes and an excellent source of protein for vegans looking around for something new to try!


Kisir is a very similar dish to Tabbouleh salad. It's a bulgur-based salad made with tomato paste, finely diced tomatoes, parsley, and garlic. Dry onions or spring onions are both fairly common, and so are cucumbers chopped as finely as the tomatoes.

Lemon and olive oil are usually used as dressings, though many regions use pomegranate syrup (nar eksisi). It's a very common food in the regions of Osmaniye, Adana, Mersin, Antalya, Karaman, Konya, Gaziantep, Kilis and Antakya, despite those regions being known often for their meat dishes.

It's served often for celebratory occasions and always with a cup of Turkish tea as well.

Stuffed Vine Leaves

This is the most obvious one on the list but we just couldn't not put it on. Vine leaves are usually stuffed using rice, onions, currants and pine nuts. This same essential stuffing can also be used to stuff vegetables.

Stuffed peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and stuffed onions are all relatively common and the stuffing is often more or less the same.

As rolling out the stuffed vine leaves can be difficult, it's often a rite of passage for children or a bonding experience as all the family gets together and stuffs their food together before devouring the delicious food.


First published: 17 October 2019, 14:44 IST