Çiğ köfte, one of the spiciest Turkish foods, means ‘raw meatballs’ and is usually prepared with the leanest meat, bulghur, tomato paste and spices and kneaded for hours to get the right consistency. On my hunt for heat in Istanbul I found Adıyaman Ciğ Köftecisi a place that not only specializes in the dish but makes it without meat (et siz).
I’m not a vegetarian but I do often act like one so I’m almost as appreciative of a vegetarian restaurant as a real meat avoider. I very rarely cook meat at home and go for weeks without really noticing I haven’t had any. Despite Turkish food being a very meat orientated cuisine, I don’t think vegetarians do too badly on the whole as mezes are largely vegetable based and often don’t leave room for a main course. That might be why Zencefil doesn’t try as hard as it could. Continue reading