Foods and Breads of the Selçuk Period
Ottoman Cuisine
Ottoman Palace Cuisine
Neighboring Cuisines on Ottoman Lands
Historical Sources on Turkish Cuisine
Food-Related Literature in Turkey

As these lists show, just as mkvaneyi can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, it can be made with the same quality with a limited amount of ingredients as well. According to the tastes of household, it may have crushed walnuts and green hot peppers. But everyone may not always use walnuts in mkvaneyi.

Whatever vegetables are chosen, care is taken in picking them that they are very fresh and have not hardened off. Peas are preferred in late spring to the beginning of summer, as they have a very short season.

However mkvaneyi will be made, the kale is first removed from its stems. After being washed well, it is cooked in a wide (a copper pot or ½’uk’ali), and drained. It must be well drained or the bitterness left in the water will spoil the flavor of the dish. The drained kale is cooked in new water with the green beans, peas or kale according to season. A few medium potatoes may be added. After the mixed vegetables are cooked, they are drained and put into a wooden trough, the sarğa.. If a wooden trough is not available, a copper pot will do. The mixture is mashed with the wooden k’orza. Before the beating begins, 10-15 cloves of garlic are peeled. They are mashed with a smooth stone and added to the mixture. The beating continues until all the ingredients are well-blended. At this point olive oil and suet are mixed in a pan and heated. When it is heated, the beaten mixture is added and stirred. Melted butter may also be added, as well as crushed green hot pepper. If crushed walnuts are to be used, they are added at this point. It is said to be ready when it can be smelled from 500 meters away. The mk’vaneyi must be eaten as soon as possible.

Mk’vaneyi/dudeyi may also be prepared without the beans, peas and chard. In this case, pinto beans are cooked separately. If the pinto beans are dry, they must be soaked a day before. They are boiled and drained, and then cooked together with the boiled kale, garlic, suet and butter and the dish is finished as described above.

2. Fried cheese / Müvzli Geûzğzneyi

(Serves 4)


150 gr fresh cheese,
100 gr fresh butter

Cut cheese in slices 2-3 mm thick. Melt 100 gr of butter in a shallow pan. As soon as the butter begins to brown, add the cheese. You may add half a cup of water if you wish. Cook for one minute, then remove from heat and serve hot.

3. Pickle sauté / Turşi Tağaneyi

Even though the Laz do not prepare a wide variety of pickles, they do use a lot of the ones they do make. Pickled beans are the most popular. In the autumn, kettles of beans for pickling were boiled and put into earthen vessels. Some with different tastes prefer pickled chard. Pickled kaldırık (a local herb) is a special favorite.


Green beans, pickled chard or burği, onion, vegetable oil, parsley

Whichever pickle is chosen, it is washed well, and diced finely. The onions are prepared separately, four medium onions for a large plate of pickles. The onions are finely chopped and sautéed in vegetable oil. When they are transparent, the pickles are added, a big of parsley is added, and the mixture is fried for 5-6 minutes more. It is eaten with hot corn bread.

4. Hamsi Pilaf


Hamsi, rice, onion, parsley, tomato paste, potatoes, dried currants, pine nuts, olive oil, tomatoes, black pepper.

The hamsi should be very fresh and fat. Wash and remove the backbones/ribs. Wash again in plenty of water, and let drain well. Finely chop the onion and parsley, and wash the rice. Heat some olive oil in a pan, sauté the onion for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook the vegetables with the rice until the vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes. Add pepper and salt to taste.

Lightly oil a baking pan and heat in the oven. Arrange the cleaned hamsi so as to cover the bottom and leave no open spaces. After the bottom is covered, move on to the sides. The hamsi are arranged in a single row on the sides of the pan such that the tail portion is on the bottom of the pan. This is very important and should be done carefully. The top half of the hamsis should hang over the edge of the pan. After this is done, add the pilaf mixture to the pan and spread evenly; then fold the outer ends of the hamsi over the rice mixture. Arrange the remaining hamsi over the rice, to completely cover it; in other words, the rice should be completely enclosed in hamsi. If it is not completely covered, the rice on the edges especially will dry and become hard in the oven, and spoil the flavor on the edges as well. Finish off with a drizzling of olive oil over the top. Bake in a hot oven for 45 minutes and serve hot.

5. Termoni / Laz Aşure

Saying about termoni: Lazlar yapar termoni / Musliman yemez oni (The Laz make termoni / Muslims don’t eat it). This saying provides a clue that termoni entered Laz cuisine before Islam.


600 gr Grape/mulberry molasses
200 gr corn
100 gr bulgur
100 gr hulled wheat
½ c rice
300 gr pinto beans
150 gr hazelnuts
8-10 bay leaves
1 c sugar
1-2 litres water
2-3 T flour

The day before, soak the pinto beans. On the second day, boil and drain them, and place into a single pot and bring to a boil. After the ingredients have boiled for 15-20 minutes, put a few tablespoons of flour into a sifter and sprinkle over the mixture, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. When all the ingredients have cooked well, add the bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes more. Empty into serving bowls. May be served hot or cold.

6. Kapça Mç’k’udi (kapçoni gyayi) / Hamsi Bread


Salt-cured hamsi, corn meal, onion, chard, parsley, green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, vegetable oil

The original hamsi bread is only made with salt-cured hamsi, corn meal and olive oil. As the hamsi may be very salty, they must be soaked in water. Bones may be removed but if they are left in, it doesn’t much affect the dish. After finely chopping the vegetables; they are kneaded with the corn meal and hamsi in a sarğa. A cup of oil may be added during the kneading, it both adds flavor and softens the dough. After it is well kneaded, it is poured into a well oiled pan, then baked until brown in a hot oven.

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