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You will not have a day in Turkey without tasting some tasty dishes! Having a multinational cultural background helped Turkish people to create one of the best cuisines in the world. Turkish cuisine is well recognized and known around the world. I tried to compile a list of 10 Great Turkish Meat Dishes from the Turkish cuisine for you. I hope one day you will have a chance to taste all of them. You can always contact me to learn more about Turkey and Turkish cuisine. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.
Manti (Turkish Ravioli)
Manti is the Turkish interpretation of one of the most commonly found dishes around the world, ”Ravioli”. You steam cook ground beef and add some garlic while cooking. After you finish with the meat you take some bread dough and start making little squares. I mean really little ones. Imagine each is as little as one to two centimeters square little! Then you wrap meat pieces with these little dough. Later you sun dry them and your manti is ready! Boil them any time you wish and enjoy your Turkish ravioli best served with tomato sauce on it.
Inegol Kofte (Inegol Meatballs)
Meatballs mean everything to some Turkish people. You can see a different type of meatball in every Turkish town. Inegol city is famous for its ”kofte” (meatballs) which is made only by using lamb meat and seasoned with onions and grilled on charcoal.
Hamsili Pilav (Rice with Anchovy)
Anchovy is the most loved fish in the northern Black Sea region of Turkey. We can even say anchovy is the foundation of our Black Sea cuisine. You first cook rice for this dish. Rice is cooked mixed with fried onions, butter, and raisins. Then you add parsley and dill into the rice. You place the rice on a plate and cover it with cleaned anchovies. Then you bake it for ten minutes. Your ”Hamsili Pilav” is ready!
Keskek is the most iconic wedding dish in the western Turkish city of Aydin. I grew up looking forward for weddings in our village because it meant ”Keskek” for me 😊. You take one unit of boiled wheat, one unit of boiled lamb and one unit of boiled chickpeas. Pour them in a large bowl and add spices like cumin, onion and garlic powder. Later salt and black pepper should be added into the final mix. You mash all the ingredients at least for one hour. The final product will be a tasty meat paste you will love to eat.
Perde Pilav is one of the famous dishes in Siirt city in Eastern Turkey. First, you cook the rice and mixed it with some tasty ingredients. Such as chicken, currants, almonds, pine nuts and butter. After all you season the rice with salt, oregano and pepper. Then you pour your rice into a buttery dough cooked in the oven in the shape of an eating bowl. This is a very special dish especially served at the weddings in Siirt town.
Testi Kebap (Pottery Kebab)
The red clay obtained from the Kizil Irmak (red river) in Avanos town of the Cappadocia region is shaped into world-famous potteries. Some of these potteries are used to cook a unique dish called ”Pottery Kebab” Cooking this dish is fun and easy. You take a special pot made from red river clay and start stuffing it with ingredients. You can choose red meat or white meat depending on your wish. Later you add tomatoes, pepper, onion and spices such as cumin, red pepper, and salt. You seal the top of pottery with bread dough and you place it into the oven. The temperature should be low and kebab should be slowly cooked. You will love this tenderly cooked kebab!
Hunkar Begendi (Sultan’s Favorite)
The name of this is really fantastic! It means ”Sultan’s Favorite”. It was one of the dished cooked in the kitchen of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Grilled and mashed eggplants are fried in butter. Later you pour down precooked lamb stew on the eggplant paste bedding. This dish is a total feast for your senses!
Pide (Turkish Pizza)
Pide is best cooked in the Black Sea region of Turkey, especially in a city called Rize. Even though pide is made of wheat flour all around turkey, people of the north choose corn flour for cooking. You prepare corn flour dough with sweet yeast obtained from chickpeas. Then you make flat pieces looking like pizza dough. Later you decorate them with ground beef and spices or you use your imagination since there are mostly options of spinach, cheese, eggs and cheese for the topping too. Enjoy your pide as a main dish or as a side dish during your stay in Turkey.
Cig Kofte (Uncooked Meat Balls)
This one is definitely a unique dish and not for everyone. It literally has raw meat in it 😲! You take some ground meat and start mixing with bulgur rice. Later you add tomato paste, onions garlic, pepper and Turkish spices. It is believed that this meat will be cooked by forcefully mixing it and smashing it to other ingredients. Today it is very hard to get this original recipe since it created some health concern. There is a nice alternative using only bulgur and almonds instead of meat. You should try one of them in Turkey.
Doner Kebab (Turkish Shawarma / Gyros)
Doner Kebab is the biggest gift that the Ottoman Empire gave to the world cuisine. This kebab can be seen all around the old Ottoman geography and has different names. Such as ”Gyros” in Greece and ”Shawarma” in the Middle East. You need meat but I mean lots of meat for this kebab. You stack spice seasoned flat meat pieces on a stick and slowly roast it by the wood fire. You slice small and flat layers out of the roasted stack. These meat pieces are best served in bread buns or lavash bread.
Book Culinary Tour Guide in Turkey
I hope you like this list I compiled for tourists looking for the best dishes in Turkey. I tried to pick only meat dishes. I have another article for all vegetarian dishes and many more articles on my website telling about Turkey. I hope you will enjoy your time in Turkey. For all you need Hasan is here! 😉❤️🇹🇷