Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad

#Turkish #Ezme #Salad

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.

Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad | #turkish #ezme #spicy #salad #mezze | giverecipe.com

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.

Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad | #turkish #ezme #spicy #salad #mezze | giverecipe.com

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.

Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad | #turkish #ezme #spicy #salad #mezze | giverecipe.com

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.

Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad | #turkish #ezme #spicy #salad #mezze | giverecipe.com

5 from 1 reviews
Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad
Prep time
Total time
A refreshing spicy salad you can pair especially with grilled meat or chicken.
Serves: 2
  • 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
  1. Chop peeled tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili peppers and parsley as finely as you can. The finer the better.
  2. Mix them in a bowl.
  3. Mix lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and pepper paste until smooth.
  4. Add this mixture into salad.
  5. Add salt and spices, mix well.
  6. Chill it in refrigerator for half an hour and serve!


  1. says

    This salad is right up my alley. I’ve recently tried lavash bread for the first time, didn’t even know it is Turkish! Your post are so interesting and informative!

    • says

      Thank you Daniela! Lavash is a bread we mostly pair with kebab or other grilled meat. And I love to have it with this salad too! I’m sure you will love it this way too!

    • says

      Thanks Kalyn for stopping by! I remember that you love sumac, so I think this acili ezme is just for your taste.

  2. says

    I know exactly what you are saying when you talk about sacrificing the convenience of a blender and sticking with a knife:) It is much more tedious, but so well worth it!
    I love everything about this meze and cannot wait to try it (I even have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in the pantry!)

    • says

      Right Lana, if you are after good food, tedious methods are always worth! You will get addicted to this salad when you add pomegranate molasses in it.

  3. says

    Your Ezme reminds me so much of Mexican salsa. We also using it as a topping or eat it like in your photo. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic recipe. I love all Turkish food:)

    • says

      Wow! We have similar dishes then, great! I’ve never tried Mexican salsa, must search for its recipe!

  4. says

    Wonderful delicious ezme Zerrin :) I see you keep the juices of the tomatoes, and I can just imagine dipping the bread on that delicious juice!
    I am also drooling over the mini pizzas, they look amazing : ) eline saglik!

    • says

      Thank you Ozlem! I love my ezme juicy, so yes I don’t leave tomato juice out. It’s more refreshing this way. And I love to have it with spoon, not fork.

  5. says

    What chili powder do you like? On my last trip to Turkey the main souvenirs I bought were pepper flakes: Maras, Urfa and Adiyaman styles.

    • says

      Hi Faye, we call the pepper flakes from Urfa isot. It’s a bit different from others with its a little sweetness. Maras pepper is the best if you can find. I’m not familiar with Adiyaman pepper. Well, I use the one made by mom:) She grows her own hot chili peppers and dry them under sun and then grind. Hers is the best for me:) Her chili powder is so vibrant in color and really hot in taste, just the way I like!

  6. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says

    I love Turkish kebabs and have eaten a lot of them growing up! This salad makes my mouth water!

  7. says

    Thank you for this awesome acili ezme!! I was looking all over in the internet but didn’t find one I would like to try. I will definitly try yours though! I loved acili ezme very much when I was in Turkey! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kathrin! There are variations of Acili Ezme, but this one is my favorite. Hope you like it too!

  8. Soma says

    This is our favorite!!!! the very best. We always always get a plate of Acili Ezme when we go out and eat, esp. witht he lavash they serve. Yours sound very similar to the one we love. Bookmarked! I have to make this soon. Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hi Soma! So you can find Acili Ezme at restaurants in your area, great! I’m sure it will be a hit in your home when you make it!

  9. says

    This looks/sounds delicious. Kind of a cross between a salsa and tabouli. It’s not too wet for lavash? I’d be afraid I’d end up dripping all over the place. I’ll be more likely to scoop this with pita chips – or serve it over a steak salad. That would be awesome! :) And I’m with you – I rarely use the blender or food processor for this kind of thing. Aside from the visual appeal, I think it layers the flavors better.

    • says

      Thanks Chris! We make small bites with lavash and then have the juicy part with spoon. Using knife for this salad definitely makes difference!

  10. says

    I made this last night and served it today with lavaş and grilled lamb. I chopped everything by hand, which was not difficult as the recipe is very easy. For me, it has a little too much liquid, I prefer my ezme less wet, but the flavour was very nice! I love it with the sumac and pomegranate molasses. I took a picture for you, but I can’t add it… Anyway you know what it looks like 😀

    • says

      Katheryn, did you say grilled lamb, lavaş and ezme? Tell me your address, I will be there within minutes! That is the favorite of most Turkish people. Are your ancestors from Turkey? You can send the photo to my email if you like. Thanks for letting me know someone is making my recipe and loving it.

  11. says

    This is my first time on your blog and I already love it! Came here for that recipe because I was eating ezme at a restaurant just yesterday and I loved it so much! Now I just have to check out your version and other recipes as well. What I’m curious about is what kind of chili pepper are you using mostly in Turkish cuisine? In Poland people mostly do not know what they are selling and in most of the places they will just tell you that it’s chili pepper and that’s all :) in some places I’m able to find piri-piri, jalapeno or habanero, but that’s i if we are talking about fresh and more spicy ones. So I started growing my own and it’s getting better and better so… I world really love to know what kind should I use in your recipes, maybe I will be ale to grow it too :)
    Thanks a lot!


  1. […] For those looking for a different salad, try this: Slice a red onion quite thin. Chop up some flat leaf parsley and mix the onion and parsley together. Then squeeze some lemon (just a little bit) on them and drizzle them with some olive oil (again just a hint)… Then sprinkle sumac on it… Simple, light, refreshing and incredibly delicious… The sumac has a kind of sweet-peppery-lemony flavour that balances the onions perfectly. With spiced meat it was delicious! Another dish we’ve enjoyed is acili ezme  – basically a Turkish salsa eaten with bread or added as a condiment to doner or kebaps… There’s lots of different ways of making it and it can very from quite wet and runny to dry and pasty but it’s delicious and can have a fair bit of a kick (it’s usually made with a chili paste called harissa – which can be hard to find – but here’s a recipe that seems pretty close to what we’ve been eating http://www.giverecipe.com/turkish-spicy-ezme-salad.html […]

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