I have arrived into Istanbul and settled in a comfortable one bed apartment in Sultanahmet House. I am planning the travel itinerary and alongside I have put together a list of 15 must eats in Istanbul that I will try out:
- Kebabs - this is the land of Kebabs - Doner, Kofte, Shawarma, lamb chops- the list is long and my appetite is huge
- Simit - a snack between doughnut and pretzel
- Wet burger - yes, a burger filled with meat and then wet in garlic tomato sauce...heading tomorrow night to Taksim square for a bite into this one
- Firin Sutlac - Oven baked rice pudding sounds like Indian kheer. Let's see what they got.
- Hummus - this tahini chick pea delight is alchemy. I have spent days dipping my carrots into it for lunch. I feel fortunate to come to a land where it is a traditional and not exotic food.
- Lahmacun - referred to as Turkish pizza, it is flat bread with minced meat
- Pilav rice - Pulao is a big part of Indian cuisine. I want to eat Pilav in Istanbul to compare it to the Indian variety I was brought up on
- Aubergine mezze- Aubergine is much disliked in India but egg plant seems to be to Middle East what potatoes are to British isles. I am waiting to dip my breads into smoked egg plant salads, egg plant with yogurt, fried egg plant!
- Baklava - Come on, who am I kidding! That is one of the key reasons for going to Istanbul - to have some fresh Baklava. It is a pastry dessert.
- Tea: They say, tea is inescapable in Istanbul and I am going to plunge right into its arms! Prices look affordable so between much walking small tea stops will be perfect!
- Tavuk Gogsu - milk pudding with chicken breast. (To be honest, I will not seek it out but if it comes my way, I will order it! )
- Turkish coffee - Very bitter and very sweet coffee. This will mark the perfect end to all my great meals
- Raki - Local Alcohol. I do not hope to return from Turkey without trying Raki
- Knick knacks - there is a lot to pick on the stalls and vendors on the streets - Pomegrante juice, Fried Chestnuts, ayran etc.
- Stuffed mussels: Classified as street food, rice stuffed mussels is an Istanbul treat
I will be posting soon what I think of about these dishes. Time to catch up on sleep.
Here is an awesome food blog with great descriptions and pictures of Istanbul food. Visit it for absolute delight.