Food

Ottoman palace dishes to enjoy spotlight at Turkish Cuisine Week

EDIRNE (AA): The flavors of Ottoman palace cuisine that have survived to this day are set to be introduced to the world in Turkey’s Edirne with several events planned as part of the “Turkish Cuisine Week,” with national celebrations in every city and embassy with the participation of international guests.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Kemal Soytürk told Anadolu Agency (AA) that many events will take place between May 21 and 27 in Edirne during “Turkish Cuisine Week,” which will be celebrated under the leadership of first lady Emine Erdoğan and has been 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 cooking and healthy preservation techniques throughout the week through interviews, food presentations and street food.

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

“We will introduce our street delicacies, especially important dishes of Turkish cuisine, which are left to be forgotten. We will explain their recipes. We will draw attention to Turkish cuisine and gastronomy with different events,” he said.

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

Feverish work is being carried out in the kitchen of the Devecihan Cultural Center’s Rumeli Culture and Art Academy, where the palace dishes being 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 sherbet.

A chef prepares mahmudiye, an Ottoman palace dish, at the Devecihan Cultural Center, in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)
Mahmudiye, an Ottoman palace dish can be seen at the Devecihan Cultural Center, in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)
Several food items with mahmudiye, an Ottoman palace dish can be seen at the Devecihan Cultural Center, in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)
Mahmudiye, an Ottoman palace dish can be seen at the Devecihan Cultural Center, in Edirne, Turkey, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

Emel Güler, the chef of the kitchen, underlined the importance of promoting centuries-old tastes.

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

Söğüt stated that mahmudiye with honey, a favorite in the winter 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 of centuries-old tastes among the palace cuisine that are set to be prepared at the event are mutancana, mahmudiye and zirva.

For mutancana, a kilogram of lamb meat is added to two tablespoons of butter melted 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 5 more minutes. Warm water is added and it is cooked on low heat for about 40 to 45 minutes. Next, 50 grams of grapes, damson 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 sauteed. Then they are served together.

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

In order to prepare zirva, half a kilogram of lamb or chicken meat is added to half a tea 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 a separate side, 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 together added to the meat with starchy water and mixed until it thickens. After the cooked food is removed from the fire, poppy seeds are sprinkled on it. It is served after resting for about 10 minutes.

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