Leisure – Turkish Delight: Sampling Turkish dishes in their original and authentic versions

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A celebration of Turkish cuisine around the world was held last week around the globe. Held for the first time this year from May 21 to 27, Turkish Cuisine Week aims to showcase Turkish dishes in their original and authentic versions. The event was celebrated with promotional events in Turkey and cities across the world.

In India, the Oberoi, New Delhi, hosted the event, which concludes today, where chef Erdal Agat brought to the table unique and legendary flavours at 360° restaurant. Recipes of the special menu originate from Turkish Cuisine With Timeless Recipes, the gastronomy book published under the leadership of First Lady Emine Erdogan and under the auspices of the Presidency.

The menu included a balance of meat and vegetarian dishes, starting with lentil soup and a beautifully balanced egg and lemon chicken soup. The Mezze comprised a vast selection, with the baby spinach and walnut tartar sauce standing out along with the carrots with yogurt. Eggplant moussaka, okra chicken stew and lamb eggplant stew were the one-pot dishes. Chicken shish kebab would resonate with Indian diners, while the Turkish style roast lamb is a celebration of fuss-free food big on flavours. A flavourful shrimp casserole balances the more placid stuffed peppers and zucchini and a saffron pilaf gives good company to red lentil kofta, served dry with a salad. A mild milk and fig pudding, a sweet semolina cake or walnut semolina cookies in syrup round off the flavours that say Turkey in bold.

Turkish cuisine is shaped by deep-rooted Anatolian history, and is a testament to good, healthy cooking. The flavours, a result of thousands of years of history and the Seljuk and Ottoman palaces, preserve the traditions to the present day. The cuisine is based on a culture of minimising waste, with meals utilising every element of a product, revealing an ecologically sustainable tradition of taste. The cuisine also offers countless options for vegetarian and vegan diets along with restorative pickles and vinegars, and has something for every palate.

During Turkish Cuisine Week, meals prepared with creative presentations by the country’s famous chefs were offered to diners in their countries, representing a celebration of cuisine and culture.