Central Asian
Examples from the Cuisine of Immigrants from West Turkistan
Notes on Azerbaijani Culinary Culture
Examples of the Foods of Kirkuk
Notes on the Culinary of Northern Cyprus
The Culinary Culture of the Crimean Tatars
Cuisine of the Cretan Turks: Wild Greens and Olive Oil
Notes on the Culinary Culture and Foods of the Turks of Bulgaria
The Culinary Culture of the Turks of Western Thrace, from Past to Present
Iranian Turkish Folk Cuisine
Kurdish Cuisine
Traditional Regional Dishes of Immigrants from Skopje
Armenian Cuisine
Greek Cuisine
Sephardic Jewish Cuisine
Assyrian Cuisine
Food Culture and Foods of the Northern Caucasus

Sephardic Jewish Cuisine

The Sephardim are Jews who left Spain in 1492 and took refuge in the Ottoman Empire. As they had many features of Mediterranean culture, they quickly integrated with Turkey and its culture. Living on both shores of the Mediterranean Sea for centuries, they adopted the common flavors of these lands, and this culture continues to survive today. For example, the Sephardim and other Jewish groups who lived in Turkey and surrounding areas until sixty years ago continue the same culinary traditions in Israil. Both vegetables and meats have an important place in Sephardic cuisine, as well as grain products that appear in unusual ways.

TaramaFish Roe Pate


150 gr. tarama (fish roe, available in Greek and Turkish food stores)
2 lemons
1.5 c olive oil
2 slices stale bread

Tarama is made mostly from trout roe, but also from that of pike and lake trout. The word tarama refers to both the roe and the meze made from this roe.

If you have bought whole dried tarama, remove the outer membrane, and mash with a wooden spoon or in the mixer. Moisten the dry bread and squeeze the extra water out, and mix with the mashed tarama, followed by the lemon juice. Add the oil a little at a time, until the tarama is an easy-to-spread consistency, similar to that of mashed potatoes.



2 eggs
1 T vinegar
4.5 c flour
Water to make a dough of “earlobe” consistency


500 gr medium fatty ground meat
2 medium onions, grated
1 kg tomatoes
1 chopped green peppers, to taste
1 medium onion, finelly chopped
5 springs parsley or to taste

For the filling, sauté the onion and meat in a frying pan. Add the spices, tomatoes, green pepper, onion and parsley, and mix well.

Break the egg into a large bowl, add the vinegar, flour and water, and knead to make a dough of “earlobe” consistency. Allow the dough to rest.

Take piece of the dough the size of walnuts, and open to about 4 inches. Take 1 T of the filling and place on one side of the circle, then fold over and seal the edges. Fry the half-moon shaped böreks in hot oil, and serve hot.

Leek Patties


1.5 kg leeks
250 gr ground meat
1 egg
½ t salt
½ t black pepper


2 eggs
4 T flour

Remove outer leaves from the leeks, wash well and chop finely. Place in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover and simmer. Strain and squeeze out excess water. Knead together with meat, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into small patties, roll in flour and then egg, and fry in hot oil.

Albondingas de Prasa (Leek Patties with Bread Crumbs or Potato)

(Serves 6)""


1.5 kg leeks
250 gr ground meat
1 large boiled potato, mashed
1 egg
Black pepper

Remove outer leaves from the leeks, wash well and chop finely. Place in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover and simmer. Strain and squeeze out excess water. Knead together with meat, egg, potato, salt and pepper. Shape into small patties, roll in flour and egg and fry.

The cuisine of the Turkish Jews, whose roots extend via Spain to Israel, is characterized by it great variety. Leek croquettes are one of the unique flavors of Turkish Sephardic cuisine. Leeks, which come onto the market in the autumn, coincide with the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana, and thus are identified with that festival.

Riz u Hamid (Chicken and Celeriac Soup)


2-3 large chicken thighs, or
2-3 chicken breasts (skinned and boned, and cut into cubes)
5 T oil
1 T tomato paste
1 large celeriac root, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, cubed
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
2 medium onions (to be added whole)
3 sweet yellow peppers, Anaheim type
8-10 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of three lemons
1 t salt
1 t powdered red pepper
1 t dry mint
2-3 cubes sugar

Place the chicken into a large pot, and add lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, spices and sugar. Add enough water to cover all the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to medium and allow to simmer until the chicken and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Çufletiko (Stuffed leeks)


1 kg leeks


½ kg ground meat
1 slice stale bread
½ t salt
½ t black pepper
1 T tomato paste

For breading and frying:
2 eggs
5-6 T flour
Vegetable oil


½ c beef broth
1 T tomato paste

For the filling, wet the bread and squeeze out excess water, and knead with remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Remove the outer tough one or two leaves from the leaks, and remove the green parts, and cut the white parts into pieces about 3” long. Wash well, then simmer in enough water to cover, drain. Cut the pieces longwise only to the center, and open. Fill these with the meat filling, roll in egg, then flour, and fry in hot oil.

Arrange the fried stuffed leeks in a baking dish.
Combine hot meat broth and tomato paste in a sauce pan, and pour evenly over the leeks. Bake for 5-10 minutes and serve hot.

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