Cerkes Tavugu – Circassian Chicken

The answer to what makes Ottoman cuisine so special lies in the wide variety of influences ranging from the Caucasus to the Balkans, from Niles to Euphrates… Even Chinese cuisine had an impact on the Ottomans, as Turks brought an over-1000-year-old heritage from the steppes of Central Asia where they were in close contact with the Chinese. Cuisines of the Caucasus region appear as one of the hundreds of influences within the Ottoman cuisine. Georgian, Laz and Circassian people (one might want to include Armenians and Azeris as well) and their unique ways of preparing food is quite distinctive. Circassian chicken, contrary to what its name suggests, has more likely originated from Georgian territories and is a widely-known dish in today’s Turkey.

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Sumakli Nar Eksili Semizotu Salatasi – Fresh Purslane Salad

I made this last weekend at my parents’ place and everybody loved it. Fresh Purslane Salad with walnuts is a regional recipe from South Eastern Turkey, I don’t know if Ottoman palace chefs made purslane this way, but I know that there is an extremely delicious meze recipe calling for purslane, yogurt and garlic. I’ll write about that later. This one is simple, delicious. Highly recommended if you like sour and nutty salads and if you have access to these ingredients.

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