Dishes from Ottoman palaces take center stage at Turkish Cuisine Week

The flavors of cuisine from the Ottoman palaces that have survived to this day are set to be showcased to the world in Edirne, Turkey with several events planned as part of “Turkish Cuisine Week”, with nationwide celebrations in every city and embassy with the participation of international personalities. guests.

Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Kemal Soytürk told Anadolu Agency (AA) that many events will take place from May 21 to 27 in Edirne during the “Turkish Cuisine Week”, which will be celebrated under the leadership of First Lady Emine Erdoğan and was organized under the auspices of the Presidency in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Soytürk said attention will be drawn to the rich history of Turkish cuisine as well as healthy cooking and storage techniques throughout the week through interviews, dish presentations and street food.

Rose sorbet, a classic Ottoman drink, can be seen at the Devecihan Cultural Center, in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

“We will present our street food delicacies, especially the important dishes of Turkish cuisine, which remain to be forgotten. We will explain their recipes. We will draw attention to Turkish cuisine and gastronomy with different events,” he said. declared.

Soytürk noted that specialties served at the palace in Edirne, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for about a century, will also be promoted and invite local and foreign participants to the events.

Feverish work is underway in the kitchen of the Rumeli Academy of Culture and Arts at the Devecihan Cultural Center, where the palate dishes presented throughout the week will be prepared.

Among the delicacies are three dishes, zirva, mutancana and mahmudiye, a chicken dish made with apricots, almonds, honey and rose sorbet.

Emel Güler, the head chef, stressed the importance of promoting age-old tastes.

Rabia Söğüt, one of the kitchen staff, said the honey mahmudiye dish she will cook was first prepared in Matbah-ı Amire – the imperial kitchen – in 1539 and then added at banquet tables and served to guests.

Söğüt said honey mahmudiye, a winter favorite at Topkapı Palace, was Sultan Mahmud II’s favorite dish.

A chef prepares mutancana, an Ottoman palace dish, at the Devecihan Cultural Center in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

A chef prepares zirva, an Ottoman palace dish, at the Devecihan Cultural Center in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

Palatial recipes

The recipes with centuries-old tastes of palace cuisine that will be prepared during the event are mutancana, mahmudiye and zirva.

For mutancana, one kilogram of lamb meat is added to two tablespoons of melted butter in a saucepan. It is roasted – stirred occasionally – until the water is absorbed. Then 100 grams of finely chopped onions are added and fried for another 5 minutes. Warm water is added and it is cooked over low heat for about 40-45 minutes. Then 50 grams of grapes, Damask plums, two tablespoons of honey and a pinch of salt are added, mixed a little more and cooked. In another pan, 50 grams of boiled almonds, 50 grams of chopped figs and apricots are sautéed. Then they are served together.

For mahmudiye honey, half a kilogram of chicken breast is boiled, then the boiled water is separated. A tablespoon of butter is melted in a pan, a medium chopped onion is fried. Then boiled meat is added and lightly fried. Then 100 grams of almonds, 100 grams of dried apricots, 50 grams of raisins, a teaspoon of cinnamon and honey are added. It is served garnished with chopped dill and parsley.

To prepare zirva, half a kilogram of lamb or chicken meat is added to half a glass of water and placed on the fire. When it changes color, it is cooked by adding a glass of hot water and salt. In a bowl, starch is dissolved with water. On the other hand, 200 grams of peeled almonds and 10 finely chopped apricots are boiled. The seeds of five to six raisins are removed. Five dates and two figs are chopped. Heated honey, three plums and saffron are added to all these ingredients and added together to the meat with starchy water and mixed until they thicken. After the cooked food is removed from the heat, poppy seeds are sprinkled on it. It is served after resting for about 10 minutes.

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