Manisa Cizlemeli Kebap / Manisa Style Cizlemeli Kebab

Aegean Region

Meat baked with pastry. Dough, called Çizleme in Turkish, made with flour, egg and water is rolled flat and placed on a metal sheet. Roasted veal with fresh herbs is then rolled into the dough. The quality of this dish is often judged not only by flavour, but by presentation, the exterior should be a golden brown color (difficult to achieve when baking such thin dough.) An important food, both to the kitchen, and culture of the city Manisa.Used as a test of a young woman’s culinary prowess, It is considered that one who can cook a good Manisa Çizlemeli Kebap is prepared to be a housewife.

Ingredients: Beef flank, flour, eggs, yeast, milk, carrot, peppers.

Cazlak Kebap / Cazlak Kebab

East & South Anatolia

Beef and vegetable stew. Traditionally prepared during the religious festivals in the South and Eastern Anatolian regions of Turkey. Çazlak kebap is a group effort achieved only by the participation of an entire village. While one group prepares a tandır, an in-ground clay oven, the other scavenges the countryside for fresh edible mushrooms and firewood. A fıre is built to heat the oven and cook the meat, vegetables, and mushrooms. Meanwhile, the citizens gather in the town square (often inviting neighbouring villages to join in) to enjoy the warmth of the blaze, play instruments, dance, and sing, in anticipation of the feast.

Ingredients: Beef tenderloin, potatoes, carrots, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms.

Şevket-i Bostan / Baked Lamb Leg

Mediterranean Zone

Lamb leg, flavoured with fresh herbs and Şevket-i Bostan (a form of wild thistle plant.) As a guest visiting your hometown after an extended period abroad, your family may welcome you with this complex but delicious dish. A lamb leg is slow roasted over low heat until succulent and tender. It is then lightly braised with freshly collected wild thistle and pine nuts. During the Ottoman Empire people living in the small villages tended to host their official home cleaning and visitors from the royal palace with this or similar foods.

Ingredients: Lamb Leg, fresh herbs, regional bitter thistle, pine nuts.

Mantarlı Köfte / Meatballs Stuffed With Mushrooms

Black Sea Region

Meatballs stuffed with Porcini and Sarıkız mushrooms. Originally made from naturally gathered mushrooms picked along the mountain peaks which rise above the Black Sea on Turkey’s Northern coast, this delicate and aromatic meal is as delicious as it is heart-warming. It is said that mushroom meatballs are cooked under the influence of Cupid’s arrow by young village girls. The presence of this meal at the dinner table is a good indication the daughter of the family may be in love.

Ingredients: Veal, lamb, cheese, Porcini and Sarıkız mushrooms, onion.

Piliç Pirzola / Chicken Cutlet

Central Anatolian Region

Grilled chicken drumsticks with sweet and sour almond sauce. As the end of the wheat harvest in Central Anatolia, the completion of the reaping process is celebrated with large family meals, at which, thanks is given to God for the plentiful harvest. As autumn approaches, and the animals are fat from the summer deluge of food, the women cook meals which incorporate the fruits and meats of the season. This dish, including grilled chicken meat, fruits, and fresh cream, would be a likely sight atop the post-harvest table.

Ingredients: Chicken legs. almond, apricot, apple, cream.

Bademli Kayısı Dolması / Stuffed Dry Apricot

Malatya Region

Baked apricots with nuts. Central and south Turkey is renowned for its production of dried fruits and nuts. This recipe, originating from Malatya in Central Anatolia, uses fresh fruit when available or the dried variety in winter. The apricots are pitted then stuffed with almonds or other nuts. It is then baked in simple syrup, and served cold. Generally offered at weddings or other family celebrations, nuts inside fruit are symbolic of fertility.

Ingredients: Apricots, almonds, sugar.