Few foods can quite capture the flavours of tradition and taste like Turkish pickles can when it comes to culinary delights. These colorful, and crunchy treats are one of the heavy stones of Turkish cuisine and are adored by both locals and tourists. In this article, we’ll dig into the world of Turkish pickles, learn about them, go over the essential ingredients, and, of course, share an excellent recipe for Mama Fatma‘s Turkish pickles.
What is Turkish Pickles?
The delightful mixture of fruits and vegetables known as “Tursu,” or Turkish pickles, is preserved in a brine solution. Contrary to popular belief, Turkish pickles include a wide variety of vegetables, including carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, and even unripe green tomatoes. Turkish pickles are a true feast for the senses thanks to the spectrum of colors and flavours created by the combination of vegetables. The following pickle varieties are available at Mama Fatma‘s:
Mixed Vegetable Pickles:
The mixed vegetable variety of Turkish pickles, which is a colorful medley of vegetables preserved in a tangy brine solution, is the most well-known and iconic type. Cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, white cabbage, and green tomatoes are typically included in this assortment, which offers a vibrant tapestry of tastes and textures. This varied mixture is a true representation of the varied Turkish culinary heritage because each vegetable contributes its distinctive flavour.
Cabbage Pickles (Lahana Tursusu):
Cabbage pickles, a popular variation, highlight the distinctive flavour and texture of finely chopped white cabbage. The natural juices in the cabbage are extracted during the pickling process, turning it into a delicious and tangy treat. The cabbage is layered in jars with salt. Pickled cabbage provides a tangy contrast to hearty Turkish dishes and is frequently eaten on its own or with them.
Beetroot Pickles (Pancar Tursusu):
Both the eyes and the taste buds enjoy beetroot pickles. Beetroot that has been cut into slices or quarters is pickled in vinegar- and spice-infused brine, producing vibrant red pickles. They not only add a splash of color to any table, but they also have a mildly sweet and tangy flavour that goes well with salads and sandwiches.
Green Tomato Pickles (Domates Tursusu):
Pickled unripe green tomatoes offer a delightful tartness that harmonizes beautifully with the other sweet and savory pickles on the plate. In order to create a zesty and tangy treat, these pickles are frequently cut into wedges or quarters and soaked in brine flavoured with garlic, herbs, and spices.
Hot Pepper Pickles (Acı Biber Tursusu):
Hot pepper pickles are the go-to option for those who are looking for a fiery kick. To produce a spicy flavour, various hot pepper varieties are pickled, including chilli peppers and horn peppers. For those who enjoy the strong flavours of Turkish cuisine, the spiciness and tanginess of this dish add an exciting element to any dish.
It’s crucial to gather the freshest and flavorful ingredients before starting your path to pickling mastery. The meticulous selection of each ingredient is Mama Fatma‘s secret to the most exquisite Turkish pickles. What you’ll need is as follows:
- 2 cups of fresh cucumbers
- 1 cup of carrots
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets
- 1 cup of green bell peppers
- 1 cup of white cabbage
- 1 cup of green tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch of fresh dill
- 4 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of salt
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
How to Make Turkish Pickles?
Vegetable Preparation: Wash all the vegetables thoroughly and cut them into spears, rounds, or quarters as desired. To ensure even pickling, make sure the pieces are all the same size.
Making the Brine:
Stir water and salt together in a large mixing bowl until the salt is completely dissolved. Make sure the vegetables are completely submerged before adding them to the brine. To allow the flavours to meld, cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave it out at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours.
Add some spice by draining and rinsing the vegetables in cold water after the brining period. Bring the vinegar, sugar, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds to a gentle boil in a different pan. Remove the mixture from the heat once the sugar has dissolved, then allow it to slightly cool.
In sterilized jars, arrange the vegetables, garlic, and fresh dill in layers to create an aesthetically pleasing composition. Make sure the vegetables are completely covered before adding the spiced vinegar mixture.
Mama Fatma‘s Touch:
To give each jar that extra something, Mama Fatma advises adding a few more dill sprigs before sealing it.
Tightly cap the jars and keep them in a cool, dark location for at least two weeks. Pickles that burst with delicious flavour are the result of this waiting period, which allows the flavours to develop fully.
How to Serve Turkish Pickles?
It’s time to consider the ideal serving now that your Turkish pickles are ready to grace your table. Turkish pickles are frequently served as a side dish to add zesty flavour to any meal and go well with a variety of dishes, including grilled meats and stews. Make a colorful meze platter with olives, cheese, and freshly baked bread and serve Mama Fatma’s Turkish pickles to your guests to enjoy.
How to Store Leftovers?
It’s important to store these delicious pickles properly to preserve their flavour and crunch if there are any leftovers (which may be unlikely given how well-liked they are). The remaining pickles should be put in a clean, airtight container and kept in the fridge. They can last for several weeks when stored properly, but Mama Fatma advises eating them within a month to preserve their quality.
Is Tursu Fermented?
Turkish pickles typically aren’t fermented, unlike some traditional pickles that are. Vinegar and brine are used in the pickling process to preserve the vegetables and add the distinctive tang. The process of lactic acid fermentation takes longer for fermented pickles, but Mama Fatma’s Turkish pickles are quick and simple to make so that you can enjoy their delicious flavour in a reasonable amount of time.
You will learn the magic of combining various vegetables with Mama Fatma’s special spice mixture as you delve into the art of making Turkish pickles. A symphony of flavours and colors emerges as a result, captivating the palate and bringing any meal to a whole new level of culinary delight. So don your apron, gather your ingredients, and start making Mama Fatma’s irresistible Turkish pickles to reach pickling perfection. Enjoy the results of your labor and indulge in a home-cooked meal that truly captures the flavour of Turkish cuisine!