Turkish Vegan Food
To mark World Vegan day on 1st November, here’s a quick intro to some delicious Turkish street food that also happens to be Vegan.
Turkish food is so much more than kebabs, in fact kebabs are a just a small part of the range of Turkish cuisine and the most common dishes you will find all over Turkey are often vegetable based dishes, served warm or cold and cooked with olive oil.
Here’s a few of my favourite Turkish foods that are also great dishes suitable for vegans.
Cooked and enjoyed all over Turkey are Gözleme. It’s an unleavened flat bread freshly made to order and filled with spinach or potato. Sometimes, cheese and spinach are used, so if you are vegan be careful to check when ordering, the Turkish word for cheese is ‘peynir’.
In Istanbul, you’ll hear vendors shouting out ‘Simit, Simit’ as they wander around with their mobile bakery stalls announcing they have freshly available goods for sale. Simit is a ring-shaped bread made without dairy or eggs and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I remember the smell of these wafting past us when we were on the ferry boat travelling across the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia to visit family. Lots of people spent this time enjoying their tea, Simit and taking in the views.
Also known as vegetarian meatballs, this is another mainstream street food. It’s made from very fine bulgur wheat, onion, tomato paste, spicy pepper paste, fresh herbs and other spices. Yes, it can be spicy, try it with pomegranate sauce (nar ekşisi).
I love this dish, its very simple but very tasty. It’s essentially green beans, cooked with fresh tomatoes, onions, seasoned with salt and finished off with olive oil. It’s usually left to cool before serving as this lets the olive oil and the vegetables become flavoursome.
This is a dish I make at home, again its very easy to make and it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make it the day before and let it chill. It’s a combination of aubergines, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic, little onion, tomato paste, seasoning and olive oil. Its delicious warm or cold.
Even if you are not Vegan, why not try a Gozleme, Simit or Cig Kofte next time you are on holiday in Turkey. Even better still, as November is World Vegan month, why not have a go and try the Zeytinyağlı Fasülye or Soslu Patlican at home…. just browse for recipes online!
1st November is World Vegan Day and kicks off a month long campaign of awareness and activities supporting and inspiring vegans round the world. If you are not a vegan but interested in finding out more about veganism check out the Vegan Society website. https://www.vegansociety.com/news/news/world-vegan-day
Visit www.kargibay.co.uk for gorgeous vegan friendly ceramics that will bring colour and warmth to your home this Autumn.