Turkish Delights Part 2- Memoirs of An Indian Health Forager

Continued Fromhttps://kajalbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/turkish-delights-part-1-memoirs-of-an-indian-health-forager/


  • Health Bites  : Get Street Smart in Turkey
  • Health Cab    : Healthy Turkish Vocab Tips
  • Recipe           : Dishy Dolmas
  • Turkish Street Smart Health Bites

Fruits and Dried Fruits  – Turkey is  famous for its Cherries (kiraz) Apricots (kayısı) Turkish watermelon (karpuz), dried sultana raisins, apricots and figs. Guven is the first dried nuts and fruits shop in Turkey with an official quality standard .They have recently opened a big flagship store in Kemerburgaz.

Orange juice – everywhere again. There is the sour turunç, a Turkish citrus variety, which is joined by the Seville and sweet Portuguese, or portakal oranges,

Traditional chai : a milk less tea ; healthier if you substitute the cube sugar or avoid it completely.(please note :Tea does contain tannins and is a stimulant. Use with care

Winter drinks are: cinnamon flavored sahlep, a drink made from powdered iris root, and boza, a  fermented barley drink.  Sour cherry juice, turnip juice, rose tea and elma çay, apple tea

Simit Turkish bread- I found very few eggless and doubtingly butter less versions

Pilaf– Rice and beans  look out for the veg one and chuck the yoghurt on the side

Olives–  over 50 in all.  Grown in the Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean and Southeast Anatolia regions. The key varieties are the Memeli, Donat, Ismir Sofralik, Ayvalik, Ekiste, Elebi, Erkence, Gemlik, Memecik, Trilya, and Uslu.

Pumpkin/sunflower seeds-The pumpkin seed is a treat to munch in the busy streets of Istanbul

 Gozleme The turkish crepe- My favorite the spinach.

Cig Kofte  : çiğ köfte is a spicy spread made of fine bulgur, tomatoes, and red pepper paste. To avoid meat version order as a durum (wrap ) instead.

Nuts-all especially hazelnuts and pistachios

  •  Healthcab Alert Like  the French the Turks are very proud of their mother language and very few speak English but Surprise Surprise  a lot of parallel words to Hindi as the origin is Urdu eg chai, hisaab, kitab, har, hafta, mehshur, dushman and more..

-No fish  :Balik siz

-No meat :Et siz

-No dairy:sutlu mammuler.  This  was a tough one even for the all veg breed so trust your instinct there- avoid creamy as most contain yogurt and order your own meal

-Little oil:az yag Though I was in olive country  I knew a lot more was coming on my plate than I bargained for so would have to say this often. –

-Little salt:az tuz  

  • Recipe

Traditional Turkish Dolmas : Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, ‘to be stuffed’,  It is  a vegetable that is hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to zucchini, tomato, pepper, eggplant, wine leaves and the like. This is a healthier version of a recipe my Turkish friend Hulya helped me source for our Dolma trial from Burcu’s Turkish blog. http://almostturkish.blogspot.in/2007/07/vegetarian-stuffed-peppers-zeytinyal.html. I have used date sugar instead of white and brown rice instead of  white.

pepper dolmas

Ingredients :

10 small green bell peppers

1 cup brown/unpolished rice

2 medium size onions, finely chopped (you can use a food processor)

3 tomatoes, grated

1 tomato (this one is for covering the tops of bell peppers after stuffing)

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup currants

1 tbsp all spice

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp mint flakes or ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped finely

½ tsp date/brown sugar(sulfur free)


juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup olives


-Mix well all the ingredients (except for peppers and 1 tomato) in a bowl.

-Wash peppers and take out the top part and the seeds.

-Stuff the peppers with the rice mix with a spoon or your hand.

-Cut small pieces from 1 tomato to cover the top part of peppers. Press the tomato slice down a bit so that it won’t come out.

-Place the dolmas in an oven dish which is as tall as dolmas. Pour on top 2 cups of boiling water.

-First let it boil for 5 minutes on stove. Then, bake it in a preheated oven at 400F for 35-40 minutes until rice is cooked and tops are browned. Check them regularly if you don’t want to burn the tops.

-Can be served warm or cold

Happy Healthy Cooking!!


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