Do you plan to cook some authentic Turkish dishes at the comforts of your San Francisco home, but you have no idea where to get the ingredients you need? Say goodbye to your worries because this guide to all the basic ingredients used in Turkish cuisine is a great place you can use as a reference for your next San Francisco Turkish grocery shopping.
Sesame paste, or tahini, is often used in Turkish dips and sauces. This is also combined with grape molasses as a form of sweet spread.
Rosewater is a common flavor not just in Turkish delight but also in other types of sweets. It has a floral and gentle scent that adds a touch of exotic note to rice pudding, custard, and yes, even ice cream.
Turkish cooking uses goat and sheep’ milk cheeses that are the same as the creamy and salty feta.
Burghul or cracked wheat is more common and popular than rice in certain regions of Turkey. This is steamed it capsicum paste, tomato, or onions, together with other types of ingredients to make a healthy and simple pilav that is best served with different sauced dishes.
Yogurt of continental style is central when it comes to Turkish cooking. This is used as the best pair for grilled meats and also serves as the base for all types of sauces and dips.
Even though fresh tomatoes are often the top choice, tomato paste is also typically used to add a fruity and strong taste to casseroles and stews.
Paprika is a type of red powder that is slightly spicy and adds an instant zing to most dishes in Turkey.
For sweet and savory pastries like baklava and börek, Turks often use filo pastry or its finer handmade version called yufka.
Almonds, Pistachios, and Walnuts
Nuts are often added to pilavs and sweet pastries as well as in tarator that is made with ground nuts, tahini, and yogurt.
Other Kitchen Staples
Now than you know more about the key ingredients used in Turkish cooking, there are also several staple ingredients that you might want to keep handy that you can use every time you want to prepare some traditional Turkish fare right in your own kitchen in San Francisco.
For instance, fresh parsley, mint, and dill are served with the popular Turkish pizzas called lahmacun. There are also many fresh herbs that are also used in salads and dips and are also staples on the mezze platter.
Eggplants, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, garlic, and zucchini are the key vegetables used in Turkish cooking. These are used in everything from salads and dips to casseroles and fritters. Zucchini and eggplants are also frequently stuffed and grilled.
Another vegetable that is used on a regular basis in Turkish cuisine is none other than capsicum. This is added to casseroles then stuffed and grilled. It can also be used when making biber salca, which is a type of hot roast capsicum paste that is a vital ingredient in pilavs and sauces.