Acuka the Walnut Sauce


The first time I ate this sauce was  when I was studying at university. I was staying at a dormitory sharing the room with four people, all of whom were from a different city. I learnt several new foods special to their hometowns and their moms. Once a week, our moms would alternately send a package full of foods that we missed and couldn’t easily find there. We would look forward to getting the package on that day with a great excitement. Those packages would turn our dinners into great feasts for a few days. And it was then when all of us realized how talented our moms were at fitting so many things in a box.  We would get together and unpack the package together with a great excitement.

Acuka was in one of these packages sent by a roommate’s mom. It was in a glass jar and I thought that it was a kind of tomato or pepper paste. It was more than this. When I opened the jar and smelled, I was fascinated by the scent of the flavors. My friend said that they eat this sauce at breakfast by spreading it on bread slices or on toast. I  also love to place a cheese cube on it. We ate it not only at breakfast but also at nights when we got hungry while studying.  When you want to snack, acuka is a great solution for you. Also, this sauce might be served as an appetizer or savory food with Turkish raki. You can keep this sauce in jars for a long time, so when you have unexpected guests, you can spread acuka on bread slices and serve it with tea. I’m sure they will all love it  and ask for its recipe.

I’m so lucky to have homemade pepper and tomato paste and would like to thank to mom for this. She makes them every summer and brings some for us. As they are already salty, I don’t add any salt in this sauce. I’m planning to write about pepper paste soon as it has a very important role in Turkish cuisine.

–    3 tbsp pepper paste
–    1 tbsp tomato paste
–    ½ cup olive oil
–    1 cup walnut, crumbled
–    4 cloves garlic, mashed
–    2 tsp cumin
–    1 tsp black pepper
–    A pinch of dried thyme

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste it after they are mixed and if you think any of these ingredients is not enough, add some more of it.
You can increase the amounts and keep it in glass jars.

Acuka the Walnut Sauce


  1. Soma says

    Bookmarked Zerrin. I love this kinda spread that are so versatile and may be used anyplace with anything. Do you have a good traditional recipe for Acili? We had it in the restaurant and fell in love with it. Order it every single time we go.

  2. says

    and, this is also called muhamarra? it has similar ingredients. I really like this sauce very much.

  3. says

    Jenn- That’s why we always have some in the refrigerator. We love to snack at night.

    Sophie- This sauce absolutely makes breakfast more appealing to those who can not easily eat in the morning.

    Elra- As far as I know muhammara contains some crumb.But in some regions it doesn’t. So I think it’s possible to call it muhammara.

  4. touria says

    merhaba zerrin
    thnks for sharing this recipe it sounds so delicious

  5. says

    This sauce sounds delicious and I love it’s vibrant color! I think it would also be fantastic tossed with pasta!

  6. says

    Interesting. The walnuts would definitely give this body. Have you ever tried toasting them first?

    Could you share your recipes for homemade tomato and pepper pastes?

  7. says

    This is so unique! Sounds amazing.. I love the thought of the freshness of the veggies with garlic and the walnut texture. Can’t wait to try this!

  8. says

    Oh, I love this one! In fact I was going to make it one of these days and post it on my blog:))) This is almost like muhammara. Maybe 2 different names for the same thing.

  9. says

    Oh, I’m so excited to try this! Except for the pepper paste, I already have all the ingredients. It’s always great to get a reminder to try a savory breakfast rather than my usual sweetened foods. I think my husband, especially, would love this.

    As for your university days, receiving such packages from your mother must have been like having a birthday present each time! 😎

  10. says

    I am reminded of muhammara with this sauce; nice to see it used in a different fashion! Looks so good! I had the best one at an Armenian restaurant in Beirut.

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing this. Roasted peppers and walnuts, mmmmmm…I’d like to try and make it at home. Love your flavors. You always give my senses something new and different to ponder.

  12. says

    I’ve never mixed walnuts with tomato paste like that. Sounds like a new snack to try out.

  13. says

    Great idea! It will be interesting to make it without the spices. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. says

    i have never heard of acuka before. thank you for sharing. it sounds like something i’d like to try!


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