These Turkish eggplant recipes will give you a taste of the country’s well-loved dishes!
Eggplant is locally grown and widely available in Turkey, so it’s unsurprising to know that it’s one of the key ingredients in different Turkish dishes.
But did you know that eggplants have been a Turkish kitchen staple for centuries?
Eggplant in Turkish cuisine dates back to ancient times, specifically during the Ottoman Empire.
Researchers found records of eggplant in the Ottoman palace kitchen registers.
Until now, eggplant has maintained its popularity in Turkish meals.
With its versatility and flavor, and over 40 varieties found in the country, eggplant dishes have become one of the culinary attractions in Turkey.
Turkish eggplant dishes range from stewed, baked, fried, smoked, mashed, stuffed, grilled, roasted, pickled, or preserved to casseroles.
These dishes are served from appetizers to side dishes and dips, from main courses to snacks and desserts.
Imam Bayildi, the classic dish that’s believed to have made an Imam faint, is a must-try for people going meatless.
The Eggplant Borek is interesting, especially if you haven’t heard of an eggplant pastry.
While some of these dishes are given a twist to suit the taste of people from different cultures or for commercial purposes, the classic and traditional recipes are still as popular and in demand as #5 and prepared the way they were generations ago.
Here are some of the most popular Turkish eggplant recipes for your everyday meals and party favorites.
Musakka is a traditional Turkish dish that’s also considered a traditional dish in other Mediterranean countries like Egypt and Greece.
These countries have different ways of cooking and serving this meal.
In Turkey, Musakka is an eggplant dish cooked as a stew.
Flavorful and filling, this dish is a meal on its own.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplant, tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers, olive oil, and parsley.
If you are a meatball and eggplant lover, you’re in for a treat!
There are two ways of cooking this Turkish Eggplant Kebab.
One way is on skewers and cooked over fire.
The smoky flavor adds to its delectable taste.
Another way to cook Patlican Kebap is on a dish baked in an oven.
It will be a delight to see and taste!
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplants, meatballs, tomato puree, green peppers, garlic, and olive oil.
This traditional Turkish eggplant dish is served as an appetizer, dip, or side dish.
It is a versatile dish you can prepare ahead of time.
You can add a variety of vegetables, especially those in season.
The most common vegetables used are eggplant and zucchini.
If you want a milder flavor, use green bell peppers, red bell peppers if you want it a little sweeter, or chili peppers if you want it to be spicier.
Ingredients include: Red onions, canned tomatoes, zucchini, garlic cloves, and sugar.
5. Islim Kebabi
This kebab is different from other kebabs.
This is a meatball wrapped in fried Turkish eggplant, skewered on a toothpick, and topped with a cherry tomato or quarters.
It has a tomato-based sauce and is baked in an oven until the tomato topper fries and sizzles.
Islim Kebabi is perfect with rice.
Ingredients include: Tomato puree, diced onions, Greek oregano, banana peppers, and cloves of garlic.
6. Ali Nazik
If you are looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, try this creamy dish from Turkey’s Gaziantep region.
It’s a bed of grilled Turkish eggplant puree mixed with yogurt, topped with lamb cubes or ground beef.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplants, lamb cubes, yogurt, olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice.
This Turkish eggplant salad is a beautiful mixture of colors and flavors.
It is light and perfect for non-meat eaters.
This eggplant salad can be eaten as is but can also be paired with bread, pita, or feta.
It’s also a great side dish to grilled meats!
This recipe calls for the use of sumac in the dressing.
It’s a staple of Middle Eastern Cuisine that adds a tangy flavor to the salad.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplants, tomato, bell peppers, sumac, onion, garlic, and olive oil.
This mouthwatering Turkish dip can also double as an appetizer or side dish.
What’s good about making this dish is that you can prepare it beforehand.
It’s creamy and tangy, with a tinge of citrus flavor from the lemon juice.
Serve this Smoky Eggplant Yogurt Dip with crackers, bread, and chips.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplant, yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, za’atar, and parsley.
Karniyarik is Turkish for “riven belly” or “split belly.”
This is fried or roasted Turkish eggplant stuffed with cooked minced or ground meat, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
Meat in Karniyarik can be beef or lamb.
Herbs and spices, such as cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, are added to the ground meat to make it more flavorful.
Some recipes add the sauce from tomato puree, while others use the sauce from the meat.
This dish is already a meal in itself but can also be served hot with rice or bread.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplants, minced beef, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and bell pepper.
10. Imam Bayildi
Prefer a meatless meal?
This Turkish stuffed eggplant dish is perfect for you.
Imam Bayildi, which means “the imam fainted,” is the vegetarian version of the Karniyarik.
It is one of the most delicious and widely popular Turkish dishes.
Legend has it that the flavor of this dish caused the Imam to faint in delight.
This dish is made from Turkish eggplants stuffed with a tomato mixture.
To make the tomato mixture, choose fresh and juicy tomatoes.
Ingredients include: Turkish eggplants, tomatoes, olive oil, tomato puree, onion, and garlic.
11. Eggplant Borek
Borek is a famous Turkish pastry made with phyllo sheets and stuffed with a filling mixture.
It has different types, shapes, and fillings.
Popular fillings include minced meat and cheese.
It is usually served at breakfast or as a snack.
The good thing about this pastry is that it’s freezer friendly, so you can freeze leftovers and reheat them when you want to eat them at any time.
Ingredients include: Turkish Eggplants, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and paprika.
The bottom line
These are but some of Turkey’s mouth-watering eggplant dishes.
Some of them have been around for a long time.
While others have been given new twists to adapt to the changes in people’s palates, the classics are still famous for their authentic taste.
With simple ingredients added to eggplant, you can undoubtedly make delicious meals one recipe at a time.
More About Eggplant
- How To Tell If An Eggplant Is Bad
- What to Serve With Eggplant Parmesan
- Eggplant Recipes
- What Does Eggplant Taste Like?
- How To Saute Eggplant
- Turkish Eggplant And Tomato Stew (Musakka)
- Turkish Lentil And Eggplant Stew
- Turkish Eggplant Kebab (Patlican Kebap)
- Eggplant And Vegetable Ragout (Saksuka)
- Islim Kebabi
- Ali Nazik
- Turkish Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Smoky Eggplant Yogurt Dip
- Imam Bayildi
- Eggplant Borek
- Skim through our Turkish Eggplant Recipes list.
- Select the recipe that looks good.
- Prep the ingredients as instructed.
- Be sure to share this list with your foodie friends!