Turkey woos Indians with mouthwatering kebaps, shorbaApril 20th, 2012 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Turkey, which attracted around 65,000 Indian tourists last year, is hoping to woo more travellers from India with its food and culture. And it has laid out some delectable Turkish delights like meze, shorba and baklava at a weeklong festival here.
The food festival was inaugurated by Turkish Ambassador Burak Akcapar and Culture and Tourism Counselor Özgür Aytürk at the Le Meridien hotel Thursday and will go on till April 25.
“We want to increase the people to people interaction between the two countries and want to familiarise Indians with our culture and food and this festival is one of the many steps in that direction,” Akcapar told IANS.
“Turkey as a tourist destination offers a mix of everything that a traveller, especially an Indian traveller, looks for. It was our culture that produced the Mughals and Lodhis, so the similarity between our history and yours is a major draw,” he said.
The ambassador said Turkey has been called the fastest emerging tourist destination by several Indian media and travel organisations.
“We receive around 31 million tourists every year and in 2011, 65,000 Indians visited us. We are expecting that figure to rise substantially this year,” he said.
According to Akcapar, a number of initiatives have been taken by Turkey to popularize itself in India, including the first ever Turkish trade fair that was held in December 2011 followed by another cultural festival last month.
Aytürk said the festival aims to integrate the cultures of Turkey and India that have co-existed for centuries together.
“It will provide an opportunity to the Indian food lovers to experience the Turkish cuisine that is renowned the world over,” he said.
The festival has been organised by Turkey’s ministry of culture and tourism.
Some of the must-have dishes at the food festival are the shorba (soup); the meze, which is a variety of small cold and hot starters consumed along with wine or more likely with raki, the anise-flavoured national drink of Turkey.
In the main course, there is lamb meat prepared in a variety of ways, including kebap and kofte, which are like small lamb burgers. With the addition of spices and hot pepper, the adana kebap is for those who like hot food.
The health conscious can savour the charcoal grilled fish with some delicious variety on offer like levrek (sea bass), çupra (sea brfeam) and kalkan (turbot).
The desserts consist of baklava which are paper-thin pastry sheets brushed with butter and folded, layered or rolled after being filled with ground pistachios, walnuts or heavy cream, and then baked, with a syrup poured over them.
There is also the lokma made by frying soft pieces of yeast dough in oil and dipping them in syrup. Helva is made by pan-sauteeing flour or semolina and pine nuts in butter before adding sugar and milk or water, then briefly cooking until these are absorbed.
- Turkey wants more tourism, cultural exchanges with India - Jan 09, 2012
- Focus on cinema, culture to mark 60 yrs of India-Turkey treaty - Aug 05, 2012
- Turkey sees huge potential in ties with India - Mar 24, 2012
- Chubritza to lokum, delightfully Turkish - in Kolkata! (Eating Out With IANS) - Jun 12, 2011
- Indian chef becomes Turkey's brand ambassador to Malaysia - Sep 12, 2010
- 98 Russians fall ill in Turkey after eating food - Jul 28, 2011
- Bengali-Islamic fusion food debuts in Delhi (Eating Out With IANS) - Feb 16, 2011
- Mumbai, a city that never stops eating! - May 21, 2012
- Turkish folk dances, music, movies to mark national day - Oct 27, 2010
- Chandigarh Rose Festival gets underway - Feb 24, 2012
- Turkey keen on FTA, more tourists from India - May 09, 2010
- Feast on yam leaf, jungle asparagus when in Himachal (Feature with images) - Jun 08, 2011
- Celebrating India at cultural festival in Berlin - Jul 02, 2011
- Palak paneer to tandoori - Indian food a hit in Helsinki (Feature) (With Images) - Jun 28, 2012
- Chomping on cheese and chilli delights in Bhutan - Apr 29, 2011
Tags: 31 million, baklava, food and culture, food festival, food lovers, indian food, indian tourists, le meridien hotel, ministry of culture, ministry of culture and tourism, mouthwatering, mughals, shorba, tourist destination, travel organisations, turkish ambassador, turkish cuisine, turkish delights, turkish trade, weeklong festival