When it comes to mystical events or curse there is perhaps no charm more recognised or renowned than the ‘evil eye’. The “evil eye”-also referred as “nazar”, which we see not only in Istanbul bazaars anymore but all over the world, was very common among the people in ancient times as an amulet that was believed to protect from black magic and evil. What is the history of evil eye? What are its counterparts in different cultures? Let’s find out!
Turkish red lentil soup, known as mercimek corbasi is one of the most popular soups in Turkish cuisine. This gluten-free and vegan soup is a simple dish made with a few ingredients and has a fresh taste thanks to the lemon. This lentil soup was always served as an appetizer in Turkey, often with some freshly-baked lavash on the side.
Pide is a wide variety of bread. It is one of the indispensable flavors of Turkish cuisine.
Pide, also known as boat-shaped Turkish pizza, is a wonderful fast food that nobody can refuse. My favorite filling is beef and onions. Although Lahmacun is considered as a Turkish style pizza by many non-Turkish people, pide matches the concept of pizza better because the dough for pizza and pide is the same. While lahmacun is made only with ground meat topping Pide can also be made in various toppings; some favorite toppings are ground meat & onion, Turkish mozzarella cheese, cheese, and pastrami (Turkish dried beef), cheese, and Turkish sucuk. The most popular two types of pide are Beef Pide and pide with ground meat.
When it comes to Turkish dishes, it’s kebab that is first to come to mind and it’s baklava for desserts. Baklava, that is made from forty thin layers of phyllo dough in large trays on special occasions, is a world-famous dessert. Its main ingredient is starch. After the fillings that are crushed with mortar and pestle or in various ways, the hot sherbet is added. Especially in the Middle East and Balkans, it is possible to find many varieties of it. It is prepared by putting walnut, pistachio, hazelnut or nut in between the thin layers of phyllo doughs. Its special sherbet is added when it’s the hottest and it is served after cooling. Baklava, that is recommended to be stored at room temperature, can be eaten after a little bit of heating in winter. It is made with forty layers of phyllo dough that are made by its chef. Ingredients may vary depending on the region and taste. It is served with cream or ice-cream, as well as alone. Its filling being generous and sherbet being thick, shows its high quality. It has a wide variety, being in the first place the dry and the wet baklavas. Pistachio, walnut, creamy, Sütlü Nuriye, Şöbiyet and Sarma are the firsts to come to mind. Not only are there varieties made with sherbet but also those made with milk or honey sherbet.
A promising reason to get out of the bed: Turkish Breakfast
Turkish-style breakfast is not an ordinary “meal”. The keyword is: “abundance”. Served in tiny plates are various cheese, egg, sujuk (fermented sausage), tomatoes, cucumbers, cream, honey, tahini, grape molasses, jams and pastrami… There’s even more… Do not forget the Turkish bread that is on the table.
Turkish cuisine is such a rich world cuisine when it comes to desserts. Turkish desserts vary a lot. Pastry-based desserts like baklava, kadayıf, lokma; milk based desserts like muhallebi, keşkül, kazandibi; fruit stew and compostes, semolina based desserts like Revani and Helva, Aşure and Kabak Tatlısı (pumpkin with syrup) constitutes a wide range of desserts.
Besides the universally liked carbonated drinks, beer and fruit juices; Turkish cuisine has its own collection of authentic beverages. Ayran, which is made by mixing yoghurt with water is completely unique to Turkey. Moreover, boza, turnip juice and sherbet are among the specialties of Turkey’s cold beverage culture.