Turkish Boza is a smoothie like fermented drink that is mainly based on bulgur and yeast. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that everyone finds addictive!
Boza is in between a drink and a pudding. It is one of those very special Turkish desserts that are sold on the street. Small local shops always have the best boza.
Turkish Boza is a pudding-like fermented drink, so you need to have enough time to make and wait it. It is made from bulgur, rice, sugar, yeast and water. As it is a drink people in Turkey have in fall and winter, I wanted to update this post with some new photos (see them below) so that you can notice this amazing drink and hopefully try it yourself. Believe me you're missing a lot if you haven't tasted it yet.
Don’t get surprised when you hear the voice of a street vendor selling boza in cold evenings in Turkey. I feel like I’m in a time machine travelling to old days, to Ottoman Empire times whenever I hear his voice on our street. It was known as a great drink to warm and strengthen your body, so it was one of the ultimate foods for the Ottoman army. You don’t feel cold and you get stronger as you drink Turkish boza! What’s more, it is suggested to new moms since it increases breastmilk quite lot.
What is Boza Drink?
Boza is a malt drink made from bulgur wheat and it’s so rich in carbs. It is one of the unique bulgur recipes in Turkey. It’s almost as thick as a pudding with a sweet and tart flavor. You might find it weird when you first try it, but then you easily become addicted before you realize!
You don't need many ingredients to make Turkish boza. Plus, I think you won't have any difficulty in finding the ingredients although it is a traditional recipe.
Turkish Boza is one of those very traditional drinks and it’s typically sold in winter although it’s not a hot drink. It’s associated with cold days and snow because it has a warming effect, but I think it would be a great summer drink too since it’s served cold.
There are some very famous boza producers in Turkey and the most famous one is Vefa around the country. Although it’s not as famous, there is a local shop in Eskisehir called Karakedi Bozacisi and I find their boza even better! You should see how that tiny shop gets full in winter. There are no chairs or tables in this shop, people just stop by and grab one of glasses filled with this amazing pudding like drink on the counter. They don’t even need to give order, vendors prepare the glasses beforehand so that the customers can easily take one and enjoy their drink standing.
How to Serve Turkish Boza
Turkish Boza is traditionally served in typical Turkish water glasses with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas on the top. A dessert spoon is just dipped into it and you can either drink it or eat it or do both depending on your craving. Not something traditional, but I love to garnish my boza with mint sprigs or sometimes with fruit like pomegranate or persimmon.
We don’t prefer making boza at home since we have a great producer in our town and it’s even sold at most of the supermarkets in Turkey, but I’m going to share the recipe of it for those who are away from Turkey and don’t have chance to buy it prepared.
Love Turkish food and drink and want to learn more? Check out our Turkish category in the recipe index above. A suggestion: Start by learning How To Make Turkish Coffee, especially if you are a coffee lover.
More Turkish Recipes
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A perfect smoothie-like Turkish drink made from bulgur and rice.
- Prep Time: 22 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 22 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: About 1 liter 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Cooking and Fermenting
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 and ½ cups bulgur
- ½ cup rice
- 15 cups water
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 and ½ cups extra sugar
- Cinnamon and roasted chickpeas for topping
- Fill a large and deep pot with 14 cups water.
- Wash bulgur and rice very well, add them into the post and boil until mushy.
- Strain them using a fine strainer and pressing with a spatula. Throw the dregs away.
- Let it sit uncovered away from the sun for about 2 hours.
- Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast with 1 cup water and add into the pot. Cover it with the lid.
- Let it sit in a cool place for about 20 hours stirring every once in a while.
- Add the rest of the sugar after 20 hours and stir well.
- Keep it in refrigerator.
- Serving Size: About 1 liter
- Calories: 4253
- Sugar: 14 g
- Sodium: 202.8 mg
- Fat: 341 g
- Carbohydrates: 305.6 g
- Protein: 46 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: boza recipe, Turkish boza
Jakob Mayer says
Easy to do and delicious! Lots of thanks.
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Glad you liked it. Cheers!
I would love to try the recipe. My friend told me about it and it sounds so yummy. I was wonder if I could use sourdough starter for the yeast? And how much should I use . If it’s possible to use.
Thank you for your help!
We never tried it with sourdough starter, but heard that it is possible to use when making boza.
Hi ! I just read in another blog that using sourdough smell kind of funny acid smell …😐
“ you want to make box’s , not bread “” it’s a read 😉
Sorry , my comment before is not box “”” you want to make BOZA not bread “””it is what I read …
I suspect it is a winter drink because in summer yeasts would be overactive and it would turn sour quickly.
I'm from Eskişehir and loved Karakedi's boza - much sweeter than Vefa's probably because it's so fresh.
I was thinking of boza because I made some water kefir and was thinking how there is a similarity in taste - might try this in winter with water kefir. Thank you for the recipe!