The Turkish Cookbook

The definitive cookbook of hearty, healthy Turkish cuisine, from the leading authority on Turkey’s unique food traditions, Musa Dagdeviren, as featured in the Netflix docuseries Chef’s Table

Vibrant, bold, and aromatic, Turkish food – from grilled meats, salads, and gloriously sweet pastries to home-cooking family staples such as dips, pilafs, and stews – is beloved around the world. This is the first book to so thoroughly showcase the diversity of Turkish food, with 550 recipes for the home cook that celebrate Turkey’s remarkable European and Asian culinary heritage – from little-known regional dishes to those that are globally recognized and stand the test of time, be they lamb kofte, chicken kebabs, tahini halva, or pistachio baklava.

Musa Daĝdeviren is a well-known and acclaimed chef in Istanbul, where he has three restaurants – the first, Çiya, opened in 1987. His foundation, which he runs with his wife, is devoted to rediscovering Turkish culinary heritage, and he publishes his findings in a quarterly journal. He has been featured in international press and regularly lectures at food conferences and culinary schools.

“From a country rich in culinary traditions comes an exhaustively researched, written and photographed book.”—The Sunday Times

“A whopping 550 recipes for Turkish food… All made accessible to the home cook.”—Epicurious

“Full of hearty, healthy cuisine, this book truly celebrates Turkey’s unique blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary heritage. But ultimately, The Turkish Cookbook is more than a collection of recipes – it’s a journey deeper into a diverse culture with a rich history.”—Life Extension Magazine

“Impressive [and] comprehensive… The breadth of the work is astonishing… This outstanding, deeply researched investigation works as both a cookbook and guide.”—Publishers Weekly

“An encyclopaedic look at Turkish cooking.”—Olive Magazine

“There are many cookbooks that explore Turkish food, but Musa Daĝdeviren… Takes it a step further… This is clearly a definitive guide to Turkish cuisine.”—Eater

“The definitive cookbook of hearty, healthy Turkish cuisine… Thoroughly showcases the diversity of Turkish food.”—Edible Hawaiian Islands

“We’ve referred to Daĝdeviren as “Master Chef of Turkey”, and now… you’ll be able to try 550 of his recipes.”—Food & Wine Online

“…A brilliant new cookbook.”—Vancouver Sun







Region: Sinop, all regions 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4 

A summer dish, traditionally made after making stuffed courgettes (zucchini), so that the leftover courgette flesh does not go to waste. Some versions add 50 g/2 oz feta cheese to the recipe below.


  • 500 g/3⅓ cup/1 lb 2 oz courgettes (zucchini)
  • 1 (120 g)/(¾ cup/4oz) medium onion
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 fresh garlic
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch dill
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 5 eggs
  • 50 g/⅓ cup/2 oz plain (all-purpose) flour

For the sauce:

  • 400 g/2 cups/14 oz yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 dill sprig, leaves picked


Peel the courgettes (zucchini) and grate into a bowl. Finely slice the onion, spring onions (scallions), garlic, parsley and dill. Add to the courgette flesh. Add the dried mint, then season with ¼ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Knead for 3 minutes, until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and flour. Add the whisked egg mixture to the other ingredients and knead for a further 2 minutes to combine.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat to 155°C/310°F. Place a ¼ cup of the fritter mixture into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove to paper towels while you prepare the rest, until all the mixture is used up.

To make the sauce:

Mix the yogurt and garlic in a separate bowl, then season with ¼ teaspoon salt and garnish with dill. Arrange the fritters on a platter and serve with the yogurt sauce.



Region: Istanbul, Marmara Region 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes 

Serves: 4 

Some cooks like adding grated kaŞar cheese to the prawns (shrimps) in the final baking of this dish.


  • 150 g/⅔cup/5 oz butter
  • 1 (120 g)/(¾ cup/4oz) medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 200 g/2⅔cups/7 oz procini mushrooms, finely diced
  • 30 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chilli (red pepper) flakes
  • 600 g/1 lb 5 oz prawns (shrimps), shelled, de-veined


Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and red and green bell peppers and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the dried oregano, sweet paprika and dried chili (red pepper) flakes with ½ teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté for a further 1 minute.

Warm a baking dish over medium heat for 3 minutes, then pour the contents of the saucepan into the warmed dish. Bake in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the prawns (shrimps), mix through and return to the oven for a final 5 minutes.

Serve immediately in the baking dish.


Region: Afyon, all regions

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 4 hours resting 

Serves: 4 

This is made in the summer months when fresh sour cherries are abundant. The winter version uses molasses or sugar syrup.


  • 1 (15-cm/6-inch) round loaf of whole-meal bread, crust only

For the syrup:

  • 300g/1½ cups/11 oz sugar
  • 350 ml/1½ cups/12 fl oz sour cherry juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 100g/1 cup/3½ oz walnuts, crushed
  • 200 g/1 cup/7 oz clotted cream (or lor, fresh curd cheese, see p. 485)


Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark ½.

Put the bread crust on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for 1 hour.

To make the syrup:

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, sour cherry juice and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 87°C (188°F) on a cooking thermometer.

Add the cloves. Reduce the heat, add the bread and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Remove from the heat and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours.

Cut into 4 pieces, sprinkle with walnuts and serve with clotted cream.


Adapted from THE TURKISH COOKBOOK by Musa Dagdeviren (Phaidon, April 1, 2019)


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