Turkish Food – Ekşili Patlıcan (Sour Aubergine)

Somebody asked us recently whether we actually make / cook all the food that we put on this blog. Apart from the fact that we fell in love with Turkey and Turkish food when we first came on holiday here, the next main reason for choosing to move to a place like Fethiye was so we could buy lovely, fresh ingredients and learn about different recipes. We both cook all the time and the variety of Turkish dishes means we’re always going to be discovering new ones to have a go at.

This blog is all about how we survive life abroad – and part of that survival is cooking. Whenever we happen to be making a different Turkish dish for tea, we’ll post the recipe here.So, the other day, the Fethiye weather was hot, hot, hot and we’ve discovered the perfect dish that kicks our dwindling appetite into gear; Ekşili Patlıcan.

We’ve mentioned before that we are readers of a blog called Almost Turkish Recipes. We’ve learnt (and am learning) a lot about Turkish food from this blog and Ekşili Patlıcan has become a regular on our mealtime menu – especially when the weather is so hot. The recipe is being gradually adapted each time I make it just to suit our tastes so this is how I’m making ekşili patlıcan at the moment.

Turkish Recipe For Ekşili Patlıcan

  • Cut two onions in half and slice them into half moons
  • Chop three aubergines into bite-sized chunks
  • Roughly chop 4 or 5 tomatoes. (If you’re in Turkey, two of the big meaty tomatoes will be enough.)
A Turkish recipe for ekşili patlıcan (sour aubergines)

You need a big pan

  • Throw all this into a big pan, add a good glug of olive oil, put on a medium heat and mix everything carefully. (If you’re like us, you won’t have a pan big enough and your aubergine will keep falling out. Bear with it because it will reduce quite a lot – or you can always buy a bigger pan. We’ll get round to it one day.)
  • Now add 2 teaspoons of honey, the juice of a lemon (we also add home made nar ekşisi – sour pomegranate sauce – for extra flavour), 3 cloves of grated / crushed garlic, salt, pepper and as much chilli powder as you can handle (quite a lot for us!).

As we said, the mixture will reduce and your tomatoes will break down to create the juice you need. You don’t need to add any water or stock.

Eksili patlican ingredients all mixed together

Your ingredients will reduce and look like this

Taste your sauce to check the flavours. If it’s missing anything, add more sweet / sour / chilli – whatever suits your taste.

After half an hour or so, check your aubergines are soft and if they are, remove the pan from the heat. If you’re wondering why this is what we eat when it’s so hot, this is where the summery bit comes in.

A serving of Turkish ekşili patlıcan topped with fresh parsley

Sprinkle your parsley at the last minute so you get it’s full flavour and texture

Put a serving of ekşili patlıcan onto a plate / into a bowl and leave it to go cold and sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley just before you eat it.

We usually prepare a portion of Turkish rice to go with it and we also let that go cold. Trust us, it’s somehow a refreshing, light dish, perfect for when we’re melting in the soaring temperatures. And if you’re thinking a chunk of lovely freshly baked bread would go well with it, you’re thinking right. It’s just that we’re trying not to think about that as we’re trying to reduce our bread intake – not easy living in Turkey where they bake the best bread in the world (in our opinion, of course) and you just want to devour loads of bread with every meal possible.

Afiyet Olsun!

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  1. Well.. I must say that sounds absoultely delicious! It’s a bit like a Turkish ratatouile, isn’t it? Although it sounds even better! I would love love love to try this out, especially as the weather here is now not so bad -but would it taste the same with supermarket tomatoes and cling-filmed aubergines (if you can get them at all!)Talk about rhetoical questions!:)

  2. I always think about the chances of reproducing these lovely recipes in Britain…and they’re not always going to be successful – or cheap for that matter! Aubergines full of water (you’d probably have to salt them beforehand) and hard, pink tomatoes. Hmmm, if you do give it a go Margit, let us know what happened.

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