8 Turkish Foods No Pakistani Should Miss Out In Turkey
The people who don’t live in Turkey can be divided into two categories. Those who have been to Turkey and those who wish to do so. There is no third category. As I, like many of you, belong to the second category, I got pretty excited when Amber Zulfiqar (@cheese_pakora), who has recently come back after a trip to Turkey, agreed to talk to me about her experience of visiting that mystical place.
There is nothing we Pakistanis love more than food. Which is why I requested Amber to tell me about the Turkish food she had tried and loved. Complying with my request, Amber sent me a list of food items that every Pakistani should try in Turkey. These food items cater to the needs of every South Asian’s taste buds. Well then, enough with my babbling and let’s move on to Amber’s list.
Chicken and Lamb Doner:
Doner or Doner kebabs are a Turkish specialty. A sliced piece of seasoned chicken or lamb is stuffed in bread (either pita or any other kind of bread) and served as a sandwich. The sandwich also has vegetables and sauces. The amazing thing about Turkish food is that they don’t overcook their vegetables like us. The crunchy texture of vegetables gives that little extra flavor to these doners. Both the chicken and lamb doners are worth trying. (Price: 4-11 lira)
Grilled Prawn With Chili Sauce and Rice from Galata Sanat:
On the Galata bridge (Istanbul), there are a bunch of restaurants where you can eat and enjoy the view simultaneously. This particular dish was very unique. The grilled prawns were crunchy and not overcooked. They were served with a really spicy green chili sauce and rice called pilav (boiled white rice with a dash of brown rice). (Price: 25 lira)
Kofte from Sedef Restaurant, Goreme (Cappadocia):
Turkish kofte are different from ours as they are softer and served with a sauce that you have to pour on them like curry. The kofte themselves are bland in taste but they are sprinkled with spices and have a thick layer of cheese on the top that adds all the taste in the dish. (Price: 30 lira) The restaurant serves complimentary bread and cheese before the main course.
Although the food in Cappadocia is heavenly, the people are reserved and don’t like it if you offer some suggestions about their food.
Kiymali Karisik from Tasfirin:
Kiymali Karisik is like a very tasty pizza laden with extra cheese but without any pizza sauce. This is another Turkish food item that a Pakistani will love because of our obsession with pizza. Tasfirin, the place that serves this delicious food, is situated on the Buyukada Island, the biggest of the three Prince’s Islands. (Price: 18 lira)<
Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara from Esmer Chef:
As you pass Sirkeci, you will get hypnotized by the aroma of the most exotic kinds of pasta being made. Every person exiting Esmer Chef has a satisfactory smile on their face. The place serves as many kinds of pasta as there are available in the world. Which is why Esmer Chef is famous all over the world and a favorite among travelers. (Price ranges from 20 lira to 40 lira)
Chicken and Rice with Fries in Pammukale, Travertines:
This is the kind of food setting a Pakistani can relate to the most. Well marinated, juicy and spicy chicken on top of rice and served with fries. Now, this is a place you must go to and enjoy the food of home away from home. Run by a hospitable couple, this place is situated on the right side of the north gate of Pammukale. (Price: 14 lira)
Gozleme – Street Food Outside Duden Waterfalls, Antalya:
Available almost everywhere, Gozleme is like the Turkish version of our alu ke parathay. It contains potatoes and spinach. But you can also ask them to add cheese in your Gozleme. Our spicy taste buds may find it tasteless. That problem can be solved by asking them to sprinkle red chili on top of your dish.
Priced at 10 lira, it is a perfect vegetarian dish.
Available at every restaurant, this Kahva is a must have after enjoying the amazing Turkish food. Many restaurants serve it for free as a gesture of goodwill. But even if you have to pay for it, it’s not that expensive (2 lira) and totally worth it. It has extraordinary metabolic properties and it also helps in quick digestion.
Nothing like watching the sunset on the Bosphorus cruise with a nice cup of kahva in your hand.
I bet after reading this list you are craving different kinds of food. I know I am.
To learn about her trips to other beautiful places and the awesome food she gets to enjoy on these trips, you can follow her accounts on Instagram at @TheTraveluster.