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Popular Ingredients Used in Turkish Cuisine

Here at Cappadocia we use only the finest ingredients in our traditional Turkish cuisine. Like most cuisines from around the world, staple ingredients make up the heart of many Turkish dishes. You will be amazed that so many dishes feature simple, inexpensive items that are easy to find. So here are a few of the stars of the Turkish pantry here at Cappadocia…


The humble tomato, known as ‘domates’ in Turkish, is one of the most popular ingredients in Turkish cooking. There’s even a famous Turkish saying that happiness is “a dish cooked in tomato paste by a woman with big hips”!

Tomatoes go well with the majority of chicken dishes. They’re also perfect for making our succulent sauces with, in a salad, or as a garnish.

We have so many dishes on our extensive menu that offer you the opportunity to try our juicy homemade tomato sauce. Our chicken casserole is just one of our popular dishes made with cubes of tender chicken, mushrooms, onions, aubergine, mixed peppers and tomatoes, all cooked in a traditional earthenware pot.


Turkey is famous for its endless variety of hot and cold aubergine, or ‘eggplant’, based dishes. It’s a popular ingredient in many of our dishes here at Cappadocia. It’s a staple ingredient in our mouth-watering veggie kebab. Made up of generous slices of aubergine, red and green peppers, mushrooms and onions cooked on a charcoal grill and topped with a beautiful garlicky tomato sauce – it’s just as good as our meaty kebabs. But it is also enjoyed on its own in the form of our extremely popular cold starter Baba Ganoush. This dish is simple and classic, but full of flavour. It’s made with roasted aubergine, tahini, yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice.


Turkey has a wealth of pomegranate trees and they are loved for their long-standing cultural meaning. Deep and delicious flavour and colour, as well as being good for you, we can’t get enough of it!

Here at Cappadocia, pomegranate is sprinkled over many dishes including our salads, sides, sharing platters and mains. Give our house salad or classic Greek salad a try – both equally delicious and not to mention, healthy! Plus, you’ll love the occasional little explosion of flavour and juice when you bite into the pomegranate gems sprinkled all over our mains, starters and sides. Who doesn’t love a sprinkle of edible rubies over their food?


A dish that is to be accompanied by yoghurt is a must on any traditional Turkish dinner table. For thousands of years, yoghurt has been an indispensable ingredient consumed plain or as a side dish.

At Cappadocia, one of our favourite cold starters is ‘Cacik’; a deliciously creamy, strained yoghurt made with cucumber, dill, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. It’s perfect served on its own or to share as one of our mixed cold mezze starters. You’ll also love our Yogurtlu Kuzu Kebab which combines two of our favourite traditional ingredients; tomatoes and a good helping of fresh yoghurt to accompany the delicious chunks of meat and bread.

Yoghurt is also used to make Turkey’s favourite drink ‘Ayran’, which is made with yoghurt, mineral water and salt. Served here at Cappadocia, Ayran is a refreshing savoury yoghurt drink and goes well with all of our succulent, charcoal-grilled Turkish kebabs.


Sumac is a common spice in the Mediterranean and the Middle East which gives foods a slightly tangy, lemony flavour. In Turkish cuisine and at Cappadocia, ground sumac is used mainly as a garnish. It’s sprinkled on grilled meats, dumplings, yoghurt, dips and over Turkish bread.


Dried oregano is most commonly used to season meat and poultry dishes, salads and soups to add that extra, herby depth of flavour. You’ll find it in our kebabs, guvec dishes and many of our sauce-based dishes. We also like to sprinkle it on some of our dips and our homemade bread.

Fun fact: ‘Oregano water’ is popular in Turkey. It’s made with steeped oregano leaves and is said to calm the stomach and aid in weight loss.

Why not join us here at Cappadocia where you can sample these ingredients in our delicious, traditional Turkish dishes. Our warm and welcoming restaurant is located in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

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