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Cuisine of Tokat



1 ½ kg lamb (shank and back, karakaya breed), cut into pieces
3 c water
2 T butter

Melt better and brown the meat. Add hot water to the meat, and bring to a boil. Cook for half an hour, add salt and simmer till meat is tender. Serve with rice pilaf with chickpeas.

Tokat Kebabı – Tokat-Style Kebab


1 ½ kg fresh lamb meat
500 gr tail fat
1 kg seedless eggplant
1 kg good ripe tomatoes
300 gr “sivri” peppers or green pepper
6 medium potatoes
10 small onions
6 heads garlic
10 long lavash breads

Cut the meat into matchbox-size pieces, and salt. Remove the stems from the eggplants and cut longwise in two (use the long thin type). Rub the cut surfaces with rock salt. Then cut crosswise into thumb-length pieces. Peel potatoes and cut into ½ cm thick circles. Rub the kebab skewer with a piece of tail fat, then put onto the skewer: a piece of meat, one piece of tail fat, one whole head of garlic, then a piece of meat, and a piece of eggplant with the cut side facing the meat. Altına patates olmak üzere sırasıyla takılır. Her şişte bir baş sarımsak kullanılır.

Cut tomatoes in half and arrange face up in a frying pan. On the other skewers, add a large piece of tail fat and the green peppers. Şişler ocağın içine pişme sırasıyla ve domateslerin içinde bulunduğu tavanın üstüne gelecek şekilde dizilir. Arrange the skewers over the tomatoes so that they will drip onto them in the fire.

This dish is cooked in special clay ovens in old Tokat houses made especially for this purpose. From its preparations to its cooking and serving, Tokat kebab is a ritual. Not lending itself to commercial production, it is a cultural treasure left by people who are passionate about the dish. The oven is an indispensable item in the gardens of Tokat, and the ability to make these ovens is considered a mark of special skillfulness. Each implement used in cooking Tokat kebab requires masterful craftsmanship. Contrary to what one might think, it is an easy-to-digest dish because of the dry heat in which it is cooked. Looking into the past, we see that Tokat kebab was made in ovens that were heated from the outside, and never had a fire inside them. Later on, as Tokat kebab gained commercial dimensions, it began to be cooked with oak wood, and this has continued to the present day. Tokat kebab is not really Tokat kebab without local tomatoes and peppers, Tokat lamb, and it cannot be made in a metal oven. Unfortunately it continues to fall from its former heights as it is made more and more commercially. Much can be written and said about Tokat kebab, but nothing short of tasting a well-made Tokat kebab prepared with quality ingredients.

Tokat Tavası


1 kg cubed lamb
150 cubed tail fat
4 medium potatoes
2 zucchinis
2 seedless eggplants
250 gr pearl onions
2 heads garlic
500 gr tomatoes
4 Tokat peppers
1 c water
1 t cumin
1 t red flake pepper
1 t kosher salt

Cube all the vegetables except the tomatoes and onions. Divide the garlic into cloves and peel. Peel the onions. In Tokat a special copper pot is used for this dish. Arrange the ingredients in this order, with cloves of garlic in between: Potatoes, onions, eggplant, green pepper, zucchini, meat and finally the tail fat. Add the spices and salt over the tail fat. Place into the oven. The goal is for the dish to cook from above in a stone oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours at medium heat, then remove from the oven and check to see if the tail fat has melted. If it has melted sufficiently, shake the pan lightly, not enough to mix up the ingredients, then put half the tomatoes, peeled and cut finely, over the top, followed by the remainder of the tomatoes cut into circular slices. Return to the oven and cook for 45 minutes at medium high. Remove from oven, mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon and serve hot.

Gül Baklava – Rose Baklava


3 eggs
2 c milk
1/3 c olive oil
Flour to make a medium-soft dough
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt

For filling:

For baking:

For syrup:
4 c sugar
4 c water

Prepare the syrup by boiling the sugar and water together, set aside. Meanwhile:

Make a dough out of the first group of ingredients and knead very well, divide into egg-size balls and let rest covered by a damp towel. Roll out each ball very thin with an oklava, first using flour, then wheat starch. After the dough dries slightly, spread with a generous amount of crushed walnuts. Cut into fourths, roll from the curved side, then form into a “rose” (spiral) shape. Arrange in a pan. Melt butter and pour over the top, then place into a medium hot oven and cook till browned. Pour the syrup over the baklava.



1 lt sheep’s milk
1 T wheat starch
1 T yogurt
1 C sugar

Combine the milk, corn starch, yogurt and sugar and mix well. Bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly. When it boils, cook 1-2 minutes, then serve with village (sourdough) bread.


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