FOODS OF TURKEY

 
 

Ingredients:


2 eggplant/aubergines

5-6 long green peppers

Sunflower oil for frying


For the sauces:

2 cups of yogurt

2 cloves of garlic

2 ripe tomatoes

(diced, canned tomatoes are ok)

Salt to taste

1 tbsp of sugar

1/4 tbsp of red pepper flakes

Eggplant in Turkish Cooking:

As the world’s fourth largest producer of eggplant or aubergine, Turkey also uses this vegetable extensively in its own cuisine. Common types of eggplant called “patlıcan” (read as paath-lih-jon) in Turkish, are known as “Kemer” (thin/slender) or “Bostan” (larger, meatier ones). The most common variety is the eggplant also known as Italian eggplant (similar to Kemer) as the typical Turkish cook prefers one without seeds.


Eggplant was introduced to Europe after the 13th century and into the US even later thanks to Asian immigrants and also to Thomas Jefferson who brought it to the US and experimented with it in his own garden in Virginia. However, there is no doubt that the Turkish cuisine is one cuisine that truly takes the shy eggplant into the light, out of its shell for the world cooks and eating enthusiasts to better appreciate and enjoy.

Tips and Tricks:

Did you notice that eggplants start turning darker as soon as you slice them? Do you want to keep their beautiful white color? Do you wonder how you can pick better and more fresh eggplants when you are shopping?  Here are some eggplant tips from Gulenden:

  1. When shopping for fresh eggplants, avoid bruised or spotted eggplants. Look for shiny and firmer ones.

  2. To keep the whiteness of the flesh of your eggplants and avoid darkening of slices or cubes upon cutting, prepare a bowl of cool lemon water before you start cutting and place your eggplant pieces in lemon water as soon as you cut them.

  3. When making many of the Turkish dishes featured here, try to use thinner eggplants also known as Kemer,  aubergine or Italian eggplant when possible as they are likely to be seedless.

  4. If you roast eggplants in their skin in a broiler, you can use the roasted vegetable in many recipes. But make sure to scoop out the seeds before using.

Want to explore more Eggplant Recipes?

This recipe is part of a recipe series on EAT where you can find more recipes you will enjoy and more coming soon. Here is a sampling of our features:

  1. An Eggplant Kofteh, from Chef Bulent Metin of the Istanbul Culinary Institute, on EAT

  2. Famous Hünkar Beğendi with its legendary story on EAT

  3. Aubergine Borek/Savory Pastry from one of our readers, from our Börek series on EAT

  4. An Eggplant dessert? Yes, surely.. coming soon also on EAT!

Similar Eggplant Dishes from Other Cuisines?

Tumbet from the Spanish cuisine or Ratatouille from the French cuisine both pursue the winning combination of eggplants and tomatoes for their version of a classic dish.