Turkish Cookbooks We Like
Get familiar with the flavors of Turkey
These books helped immensely with our research into Turkish cuisine, and got us thinking about the next recipes we’d want to try.
Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen
Turkish-born cookbook author Ayla Algar is first and foremost a food historian. Her introduction delves into Turkey’s history and the influence of places like Central Asia and Europe. A section covering the food markets of Turkey, like Istanbul’s Egyptian Spice Bazaar, gives a glimpse of the ingredients used to prepare a typical meal. The recipes are mostly traditional, basic preparations, with some excursions into the more exotic like a dessert pudding made with chicken breast. Though visually unexciting (there are no photos), Algar’s book is packed with informative recipe introductions, a small ingredient chapter, and a comprehensive glossary, making it a good intro to Turkish cuisine.
The Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook
The chef-owner of the Sultan’s Kitchen in Boston shares his experience growing up in Turkey and cooking his native food. He briefly lays out the fundamentals of Turkish cuisine, and then offers very accessible recipes. Helpful preparation tips keep the processes approachable. Quirky, colorful pages and enticing recipe shots inspire excitement for the flavors of Turkey.
Turquoise: A Chef’s Travels in Turkey
Melbourne-based chef Greg Malouf and his wife, writer Lucy Malouf, present Turkish culture and cuisine through artistic photos and an eloquent personal narrative. The combination of Turkish-inspired recipes and evocative anecdotes makes this book—impressive in both appearance and content—feel more like a friend’s delicious travel scrapbook than a cookbook. From the intriguing historical references to the stunning photos of dishes and Turkish life, Turquoise will inspire readers to not only cook Turkish food, but also experience Turkey firsthand.
This book feels like a paint-by-numbers kit for Turkish cuisine, with tons of step-by-step photos to quell beginners’ fears. An outline of Turkish eating etiquette, food history, and celebrations is followed by a roundup of traditional ingredients. Clearly numbered steps and concise overviews of the dishes make the recipes nearly foolproof. Plus, the nutritional information of each is listed at the bottom. This flashy yet slim collection is a good start, though it may leave people wanting more.