Are you hosting your first Turkish dinner party and are not sure what to prepare yet? That´s not weird, the Turkish cuisine has so much to offer, there are so many delicious dishes to choose from. So, what do you pick and add to the menu for your guests?
Don´t despair, we have got you covered! Check out our recommendations for a great Turkish dinner party with starters, two main courses and a dessert.
- First dish: Meze
Meze is the Turkish version of the Spanish tapas or the Italian antipasti and is usually a combination of small servings before the main course. You can also make a lot of different meze as the entire meal, however, today we will discuss it as the starter. The good thing about meze is that you can prepare everything in advance, so you don´t have to miss part of your own dinner party because you´re in the kitchen. A great meze to prepare as a starter is caçik, a simple yoghurt and cucumber dip/dressing. Make sure to have some Turkish bread to dip with and olives and feta on the table and you have a great starter.
- Main course 1: Kebaps
This is probably one of the most well-known meat dishes of the Turkish cuisine and a guaranteed success for your dinner party. Kebap is the name for dishes where meat is placed around a skewer and grilled. Originally this was just beef or lamb, but these days there is also chicken kebap. For today´s menu, we are including şiş kebap where the cubes of meat (lamb, beef, chicken, or goat) are marinated in yoghurt, olive oil, onion and tomato paste and then grilled on skewers with dices of tomato and pepper in between the meat.
- Main course 2: Karnıyarık
This dish is a must at a Turkish dinner party and consists of fried eggplants with a filling of minced meat (beef or lamb), garlic, tomato, onion and parsley. If you want to serve one meat and one vegetarian main course instead, you can also choose for a vegetarian filling for the eggplants. A well-known vegetarian filling is with Quorn as a substitute for the minced meat.
- Dessert: Lokum
Lokum, or Turkish Delight, is probably one of the more well-known Turkish specialities. Originally there were just 3 flavors, however today there are many different flavors available such as hazelnut, clove and coffee, walnut, rose, pistachio, cinnamon, almond, mint, cinnamon, ginger, and fruit flavors like apricot, cherry, orange, strawberry and lemon. Lokum is usually served with Turkish coffee and makes for the perfect dessert. Serving Turkish coffee with the dessert is probably easier said than done because for one you would need a Turkish coffee pot to make real Turkish coffee. Furthermore, the coffee needs to be ground to a fine powder which can be done with special Turkish grinder or you can buy it readymade from Turkish stores. Don´t forget to serve a glass of water with the Turkish coffee.
Enjoy your dinner party!