Afiyet olsun! Turkish food vocabulary

A vocabulary of Turkish food … part 1

ayran   drink made with yogurt, water and a pinch of salt – refreshing and delicious with meat dishes, especially in summer

balık   fish – Turkish cuisine is famous for its variety of fish dishes

Üskümrü - mackerel

beyaz peynir    soft white cheese (like Feta) – this is a staple of the breakfast table, eaten with fresh bread, olives, cucumber and tomatoes

börek   various types of pastry dishes, either savoury –tuzlu or sweet – tatlı

cacık   a side dish made with yogurt, cucumber, and garlic – good with rice, kebabs or other meat dishes

çay   tea

dolma    stuffed vine leaves or cabbage leaves –can be made with minced meat (lamb) or often vegetarian, stuffed with rice, pine nuts, currants, and cooked slowly in olive oil

Etli biber dolması, yaprak sarma

domates   tomato 

ekmek   bread – a Turkish meal is not complete without it!

elma   apple

fasulye   beans  – try the dish Kuru Fasulye – a staple dish of white beans, garlic and carrot in a tomato sauce,  eaten cold with a squeeze of lemon juice

helva    sweet made from honey and sesame seeds – good with Turkish coffee

jambon   ham (although it is usually made from meat other than pork)

kaşar peyniri   firm cheese – similar to mild cheddar

kayısı   apricot – find them in huge piles, fresh from the farm, in street markets

kaymak   thick clotted cream – eaten at breakfast, with honey or jam and fresh bread – a real treat!

kebab   kebab – comes in many varieties, eg Iskender kebab, Adana kebab, Şiş kebab 

Döner kebabı

leblebi   roasted chick peas – eaten as a snack

limon   lemon – a vital part of Turkish salads, fish dishes and soups

makarna   pasta

mantar   mushroom

muz   banana

pasta   cake 

to be continued …


About turkishtutor

Experienced and Cambridge certified teacher of English and Turkish. Lived and worked in Turkey and New Zealand, now back in the UK and teaching online for the past 5 years.
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