Turkish cuisine is fast making its name on the worldwide culinary platform for its wide variety of vegetable dishes. The combination of flavours and ingredients are blended together to form dishes that can be enjoyed by all, especially the vegans.
The highlights of Turkish vegetarian and vegan cuisine are dolma and sarma, in which just about everything can be stuffed. The cuisine tends to be olive oil-based, giving an extra light flavour to so many delicious fresh veggies.
Here are five delicious Turkish vegan dishes that you should surely savour:
These are zucchini fritters with feta cheese, onion, and dill. The zucchini is either shredded or finely chopped and then fried in olive oil, typically with a touch of red pepper flakes sprinkled on top to give it just the lightest hint of a kick to it. Eggs are used in some recipes but are only used to make them stick together more easily.
Essentially a large flat eggplant stuffed with all kinds of yummy goodies and drenched in olive oil. The stuffing is an onion and garlic with tomatoes and herbs and spices. The name supposedly comes from an imam, whose wife told him that she had used all the olive oil for just one dish. He fainted first at the cost of this one dish, and then after trying it, he fainted again at how delicious it was!
Lentil Kofte, or lentil balls, are made using cooked red lentils and bulgur to form balls and then stuffed with herbs and spices. Different recipes call for rice, onions, currants, and pine nuts, and it’s often eaten around a piece of lettuce, cabbage, or vine leaves. Veggies can be thrown in as well, like peppers, zucchini, tomatoes or eggplants.
Kisir is very similar to Tabbouleh salad. It’s a bulgur-based salad made with tomato paste, finely-diced tomatoes, parsley, and garlic. Dry onions or spring onions are both fairly common, and so are cucumbers chopped as finely as the tomatoes. Lemon and olive oil are usually used as dressings, though many regions use pomegranate syrup (nar eksisi).
Stuffed vine leaves
This is the most obvious one on the list but we just couldn’t not put it on. Vine leaves are usually stuffed using rice, onions, currants and pine nuts. Stuffed peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and stuffed onions are all relatively common and the stuffing is often more or less the same.