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Turkish Stuffed Foods

Turkish Stuffed Foods

Turkish culture guides. Most popular Turkish foods. “Dolma”, Turkish stuffed foods.

Dolma (stuffed foods) is one the most favorable Turkish stuffed foods cooked in many different ways all over Turkey. The word dolma (filled, stuffed) comes from the verb dolmak (to be filled, stuffed) and it is used for stuffed food such as vegetables, fish, meat, fruit or even desserts.

The typical ingredient of a dolma recipe is rice, minced meat, onions, tomatos or tomato paste, pine nut and raisin (if it is olive-oiled), olive oil, sugar, mint or dill, parsley, salt and blackpepper. It can be consumed as either a meze cooked in olive oil and a hot meal cooked with minced meat.

The word dolma is also used in the neigbouring countries: dolmadaki in Greek, t’olma in Georgian, tolma in Armenian, dolmeh in Farsi, dolme in Arabic, sarmi in Bulgarian, sarma in Macedonian, şarma in Hungarian, sarma in Romanian.

If dolma does not contain meat, it is sometimes described as “yalanci (liar) dolma”meaning “fake” dolma.

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Turkish Stuffed Food Recipes: Vegetables

Yaprak Dolmasi or Sarma (Stuffed grape leaves) Yaprak means leaf (referring to grape leaves) and yaprak dolmasi means stuffed grape leaves. It is also called sarma, literally meaning “rolled”. Yaprak dolmasi is cooked in two ways: etli (with minced meat) yaprak dolması or sarma with minced meat as hot meal and served with garlic yoghurt and zeytinyagli yaprak dolmasi or sarma with olive oile as cold meal usually served as appetizer or meze. Zeytinyagli yaprak dolması or sarma is one of the typical kinds of foods when hosting guests or at a cilingir sofrasi.

Biber Dolmasi (Stuffed pepper) Biber dolmasi is another kind of dolma. It is prepared in the same same as both hot meal with minced meat and cold appetizer in olive oil. It is usually made with green pepper and red pepper.

Kabak Dolmasi(Zucchini, squash, pumpkin) Kabak is usually consumed as a simple hot meal or dolma. Kabak dolmasi is made in the same way as stuffed pepper. The inner part of the zucchini is used to make a deep-fried mixture called mucver. Kabak dolmasi is served with yoghurt and garlic sauce. Also there is a delicious dessert made from pumpkin (also called kabak) called kabak tatlısı. The pumpkin is boiled with sugar and served with syrup and walnuts.

There is also a kind of dolma made with squash blossoms in olive oil called kabakcicegi dolmasi.

Lahana (cabbage) Dolmasi Stuffed cabbage is made in the same way as yaprak dolmasi.

These are the most common types of dolma. There are also stuffed tomato, eggplant, leek, quince, onins cooked as dolma meal.

Turkish Stuffed Food Recipes: Fish & Seafood

Midye (Mussel) Midye, one of the most favourable fastfood for İstanbullu, is usually cooked in two ways: stuffed (midye dolmasi) and deep-fried (tava). Stuffed mussel is made from rice, pine nut, raisin, onions and various spices. It is boiled and served cold with lemon. It is sold both at restaurants and by street vendors. Midye tava is deep-fried mussels served in a sandwich or serving with tarator sauce.

Hamsi (Anchovy) Dolmasi Hamsi, a black sea fish, is also very popular in Istanbul. You can eat hamsi in many ways:  hamsi tava fried hamsi hamsi fırın roasted hamsi hamsi güveç/buğulama hamsi stew hamsi köftesi hamsi meatballs hamsi çorbası hamsi soup hamsi dolması stuffed hamsi sebzeli hamsi hamsi with vegetables hamsili pilav rice with hamsi etc.

Uskumru (Mackerel) Dolmasi Uskumru (mackerel) is one of the most popular fishes in Istanbul. You can eat uskumru in many ways like ciroz salted and dried thin mackerel uskumru dolmasi stuffed mackerel uskumru sis mackerel skewer uskumru tava fried mackerel uskumru pilakisi cold mackerel stew uskumru bugulama mackerel stew uskumru izgara grilled mackerel kagıtta uskumru grilled mackerel wrapped in paper

Other fish you can make dolma are istavrit horse mackerel kalamar calamary kefal striped, gray mullet levrek sea bass sardalya sardines mezgit whiting and many more.

Turkish Stuffed Food Recipes: Offal Meals

Mumbar Mumbar is the intestines of sheep filled with a mixture of rice, onions, minced meat, tomato paste, salt and pepper.

Ciger (Liver) SarmasiCiger sarmasi is prepared like mumbar but it is made with chopped liver, rice, parsley, dill, salt and pepper.

Kokoreç Kokorec, intestines, has no stuffing but it is also a kind of stuffed food.

Turkish Stuffed Food Recipes: Desserts


Kadayif Dolmasi Most Turkish desserts made with thin layers of pastry and syrup are usually stuffed with dried fruits, so we can add them to this list. The only dessert called “dolma” is Kadayif dolmasi. Kadayif is a pastry dessert with a texture similar to that of shredded wheat. Most common kadayif desserts are kadayıf dolması (stuffed with dried fruit) and künefe (a kind of kadayif baked with a kind of cheese and served with syrup).

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