Ezme is considered as a salad or mezze in Turkish cuisine. It is the most common side dish served with kebabs at kebab restaurants. If you haven’t tried Turkish kebab yet, you’ve missed a lot! It is one of the foods you must taste at least once in your life! Once you try it, you will get addicted! Mezzes or side dishes served with kebab in Turkey are as tasty as kebab itself, so you must be careful not to fill your stomach just with sides! You should keep some room for kebab! And acili ezme, spicy ezme is one of those scrumptious sides.
Ezme as a word can be translated as mashed, so this is a kind of mashed salad. However, the method of its preperation is very significant for this salad. Genuine kebab restaurants make it with a big cleaver or with a special double handled knife. It’s absolutely easier to chop vegetables with a blender, but there is a remarkable difference between the flavors of ezme made by cleaver or double handled knife and the one made by blender or any other electrical device. It must be chopped by hand, otherwise it gets too juicy.
Besides tomatoes, onion, garlic and parsley, another must have ingredients in an ezme salad is pomegranate molasses. It gives a very nice sweet-sourish flavor and a darker color to the salad. If you can’t find pomegranate molasses in your area, you can increase the amount of lemon juice a little. As for the spices, hot chili powder is the main one. Another spice I personally love in ezme salad is sumac, which increases its sourness. You can add dried mint to add a little refreshment and to balance the sour and hot flavor of the salad.
The best bread to serve with ezme is Turkish lavash, which is similar to tortilla or Turkish pide. Kebabs are generally served with these two breads, so you can dip them into ezme as a bonus! And Ayran, which is a fabulous cold yogurt drink, is undoubtedly the best drink with these irresistible foods!
Since it’s a refreshing salad, ezme is a perfect choice to accompany any dish in summer! You know what? I can even have it at breakfast! Its spiciness helps me wake up and whets my appetite to eat more.
- 2 tomatoes, peeled
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 chili peppers
- ¼ bunch of parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp pepper paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp sumac
- A pinch of dried mint
- Chop peeled tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili peppers and parsley as finely as you can. The finer the better.
- Mix them in a bowl.
- Mix lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and pepper paste until smooth.
- Add this mixture into salad.
- Add salt and spices, mix well.
- Chill it in refrigerator for half an hour and serve!