Known as the city of civilizations, Hatay is an ancient geography that has held many different cultures together in its past. It manages to maintain the same tradition today. This cosmopolitan structure also plays a very important role in the cultural development of the city. The culinary culture of the region was naturally influenced by this structure. Some of the dishes that stand out in Hatay cuisine with their local flavours that go beyond borders…
One of the most special flavours of Hatay culinary culture is tray kebab. There are many tourists who come here to taste the famous tray kebab. As in local restaurants, it frequently decorates the tables in home kitchens. It’s made from ingredients such as minced meat, capia pepper, green pepper, onion, potato slices and tomatoes. An amazing flavour emerges from the kebab, which is cooked in its own oil in the tray. Its appearance is also mouth-watering. When it’s ready to serve with its fragrant smell, just dip the lavash into it to be fascinated by its taste even more.
Fellah Meatballs (Bulgur Meatballs)
Bulgur is the main ingredient of fellah meatballs, which is one of the best flavours unique to Hatay and its surroundings. After fine bulgur is kneaded, it is rolled into tiny pieces and then boiled. It’s ready to serve after garnished with garlic, tomato sauce, yogurt and parsley. It’s especially recommended to be consumed with garlic sauce. You can find fellah meatballs at the restaurants in the old settlement area mostly. In addition to its peerless taste, it’s also very filling. It’s suitable for consumption as a main dish in the middle of the day as well.
Belen Tava, a flavour originating from the Belen district of Hatay, is a taste you should definitely give it a try. It’s prepared with lamb, onion, capia pepper, green pepper, garlic and butter. The addition of chili pepper and thyme adds a different flavour to this dish. Belen Tava, which is frequently eaten with bread, is a filling dish. You can find it almost at every restaurant in Hatay. This flavour that comes from the Amanos Mountains is a delicious dish that you should not leave Hatay without tasting.
Ekşi Aşı (A Sour Soup)
Ekşi aşı soup, which has a special place in Hatay’s traditional cuisine, is one of the wonderful flavours. It can be chosen as the main dish or as a starter or after the main dish according to your preferences. It’s very filling thanks to the bulgur in it. The meatballs in the ekşi aşı soup are made from bulgur. After soaking and aging, bulgur is kneaded and rolled into balls. While the meatballs are left to shallow fry, the soup liquid with pomegranate syrup, tomato paste and mint is left to boil. The meatballs that are ready are thrown into this liquid and all that remains is to taste this delicious flavour. Served hot, Ekşi Aşı Soup is a flavour recommended alone or with kibbeh.
Hatay paper-clad kebab is a flavour that is distinguished from other kebabs. It takes its place in the culinary culture of Antakya as a synthesis of the unique tastes of this environment. What makes this kebab special is that the meat is minced with a cleaver and does not go through the machine in the process. The meat, which becomes minced meat only by hand, is cooked on paper with pepper, parsley, garlic, spices and tomatoes. Paper-clad kebab, which is served with lavash, is one of the favourite flavours of the region.
Katıklı Ekmek (Flatbread with Pepper)
One of the most beautiful flavours of Antakya cuisine, katıklı ekmek is a feast for those who love spicy foods. The flavour, which is also served in the mornings of Hatay, is consumed like a normal bread. In many restaurants with local flavours, It’s served as a treat alongside the main course. A mixture of hot pepper paste and spicy cottage cheese is placed on the thin dough and put in the oven. It’s consumed as an additive along with other flavours unique to Hatay cuisine. Those who don’t like hot and spicy foods can burn a little!
Kumbursiye soup, one of the unique flavours of Hatay cuisine, is one of the tastes that are not heard outside of Hatay. Having an important place in Hatay’s culinary culture, this soup is a meal that local people also cook at home. A filling soup that is made with diced lamb, potatoes, shallots, dried mint, strained yogurt and butter. You may not find this flavour in every restaurant in Hatay. Kumbursiye soup is a flavour that is mostly found in street corner restaurants.
Since we’re talking about Hatay, we cannot forget to mention knafeh, so let’s make a closure with this delicious dessert. Knafeh is a very popular taste that originated from this region and spread all over the country. Each ingredient is carefully prepared and cooked on low heat to increase its flavour. One of the most important points in the preparation of Hatay knafeh is the selection of cheese. The cheeses specially prepared for this dessert are brought to a suitable consistency for stretching in the ‘’tel kadayif’’. It’s served in special knafeh trays plenty of peanuts and cream.
There are countless delicious flavours in the Hatay cuisine. You can spend a few days in this gastronomic city and plan a trip that includes the various beauties around it. The most suitable Hatay hotels await you for a trip full of historical, cultural and natural beauties!