Served as a sauce on kebabs or as a salsa with some pita, Turkish ezme is a treat nobody can resist. I’m sure you’ll become addicted and want to pair this terrific condiment with a zillion things once you try it .
The original post was published in 2013 and we’re updating it today with new pictures and some additional info.
Although the ingredients look simple, there is one thing I must warn you about. Just like in our Turkish Shepherd Salad Recipe, you should use top quality tomatoes in this recipe so that you have the most flavorful result. That’s why we make it only in summer because you know, tomatoes are terribly tasteless when they are not in season.
What makes this recipe that tasty and mouthwatering? The way of chopping the veggies and spices we use in it.
How to Make Ezme
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 using a big cleaver or a special double handled knife or a super sharp chef knife. It’s absolutely easier to chop vegetables using a food processor, but there is a remarkable difference between the flavors. It must be chopped by hand not in a device, otherwise it gets too juicy and loses flavors.
Must Have Ingredients for Turkish Ezme
Besides tomatoes, onion, garlic and parsley, another must have ingredient 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 pepper flakes (aci pul biber) is the main one. Another spice I personally love in ezme salad is sumac, which increases its sourness and gives a subtle earthy flavor. You can add dried mint for a little refreshment and to balance the sour and hot flavors of the salad.
How to Serve Ezme
The best bread to serve with ezme is pita (pide) or Turkish lavash, which is similar to tortilla. 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 even more.
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/hot ezme) is one of those scrumptious sides.
Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad
A refreshing spicy salad you can pair especially with grilled meat or chicken.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Side
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 tomatoes, peeled
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 green peppers
- ¼ bunch of parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp pepper paste, optional
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp sumac
- A pinch of dried mint
- Chop peeled tomatoes, onion, garlic, green 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. Taste and make any adjustments you like.
- Chill it in refrigerator for half an hour and serve!