Ezme Recipe – Spicy Antep Ezmesi

Antep Ezmesi: what can we say? We’re fully aware that we’re always saying different Turkish dishes are favourites for us…but then another food always springs to mind…and that’s a favourite, too.

But Antep Ezmesi is one of the originals. An old faithful that’s always been on our meze table and, because we loved it so much when we tasted it, an Antep Ezmesi recipe was one of the first Turkish recipes we learned.

We’re sure if you make spicy ezme at home – or if you’ve never tasted it yourself and you try it in a Turkish restaurant – you’ll love it, too. If you’re a fan of spicy food, that is. Antep ezmesi is spicy and zingy, yet crisp and refreshing, all at the same time.

And when any friends come out to visit us in Fethiye and we go to the fish market or other restaurants around town, they’ll go to the meze fridges and their first choice of meze is always Antep ezmesi. No discussion between any of us. It’s only afterwards that we discuss further choices.  Everyone loves Antep ezmesi.

What is Antep Ezmesi?

‘Ezme’ is a Turkish word that means ‘crushed’. You’ll also see the word used to describe any other Turkish food that involves a bit of crushing, smashing up or grinding. Fasulye ezmesi, for example, is another tasty white bean meze dish.

Antep Ezmesi is from the southeast of Turkey (Gaziantep) and, like a lot of other Eastern Turkish dishes, is supposed to be spicy. It’s always going to appeal to us as spicy food addicts.

It’s basically a spicy tomato salad dip and the nearest thing we can think of to describe it to you is a hot salsa dip made with the freshest of ingredients.

How To Make Spicy Ezme

A tempting serving of our homemade spicy Antep Ezmesi

You’ll see spicy ezme in any Turkish restaurant or lokanta that serves mezeler (starters) from their fridges. It’s a staple. If there’s none there, it more than likely means it’s all been bought up.

Homemade Is The Best

This, and the types of homemade ezme recipe you’ll find in Turkish cookery books, is much much better quality and far more tasty than the product you can buy from the supermarket deli counters in Fethiye.

Antep Ezmesi bought from the deli counters is still tasty but it’s a completely different dish. For us, too much tomato puree is used rather than fresh, chopped tomato and you don’t get the same texture or the refreshing flavours on your tongue.

It’s more of a paste than a salad and the taste is different, too. You can compare for yourself which you prefer.

Homemade Is Worth The Effort

Now, we need to tell you this; if you make spicy ezme, we’d be misleading you if we said making your own Antep ezmesi recipe takes no effort. However, now we have told you that, we can also tell you the taste sensation afterwards is definitely worth your labours.

If you’re desperate to make spicy ezme and you’re in a bit of a rush – or you just can’t be bothered to stand there chopping – you can use a food processor/mixer to chop most of your ingredients. Except your tomatoes!

Acılı Antep ezmesi is still amazingly good when you’ve used a food processor…but it’s just not quite as a good as when you decide to do some good old chopping by hand. Texture is the key difference here, and, if you use the food processor, be careful not whizz everything into a pulp.

Anyway, let’s get the chopping board out and make spicy Antep Ezmesi.

Ezme Recipe – How To Make Spicy Antep Ezmesi

How To Make Spicy Ezme
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5 from 2 votes

Ezme Recipe - Spicy Antep Ezmesi

This Turkish ezme recipe uses light, healthy ingredients and the end result is a delicious spicy tomato salad.
Course Meze
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author Turkey's For Life


  • 3 large ripe beef tomatoes
  • 5 fresh chillies
  • 1 large red capsicum pepper seeds removed
  • 1 medium cucumber quartered lengthways and centre removed
  • 1 large onion peeled
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salça tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt for seasoning


  • Place a pan of water on the hob and bring to the boil.
  • Plunge your tomatoes into the water for just under 1 minute and then remove them and place in cold water.
  • Now remove the skin from the tomatoes - it should peel away easily because of the boiling water.
  • Cut your tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard the seeds.
  • Chop your tomatoes as finely as you can without them turning to pulp and add them to a large bowl.
  • Now chop the onion, pepper, chillies and cucumber as finely as you can and add those to the tomatoes.
  • Remove the stalks from your parsley and finely chop this before adding that to your other ingredients.
  • Now add the mint, oil, vinegar, tomato puree and salt.
  • Give everything a good mix and do a taste test.
  • Add more chillies if necessary (Antep ezmesi is supposed to be spicy) and, if it seems too loose, add more salça (tomato puree), too.
  • Place in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.


This Turkish ezme recipe is a base for you to follow and over time, you will add more of, or use less of certain ingredients depending on your taste.
There is no cook time in this Antep Ezmesi recipe. The boiling water is merely an aid to peeling your tomatoes. All ingredients are raw.
We have said our ezme recipe serves 6 people. Antep ezmesi is a meze that you can just put out on the table for people to help themselves so '6 people' is just a rough guide.

And that’s it. You should now have before you a bowl of bright red loveliness, waiting to be eaten by your guests. Because Antep ezmesi is great as part of a fabulous summer meze table, with fresh Turkish bread, or, as part of a main meal. It’s a great side to köfte.

Turkish Spicy Antep Ezmesi Recipe

If you’ve got guests to impress, you can serve your Antep ezmesi in portions

No Two The Same

Antep ezmesi is one of those dishes where no two look the same. You’ll know this if you order it from restaurants, regularly. The amount of ingredients used and the texture created is down to the preferences of the chefs making it.

We have some favourite go-to places when it comes to spicy ezme and will sometimes just order a portion with bread as nibbles to go with our beer. Boğaziçi Restaurant springs to mind. They do a mean ezme!

However you make your Turkish spicy ezme, it’s always guaranteed to impress your guests. and if you are looking for other light Turkish salad dishes, take a look at another famous Gaziantep dish, Gavurdağı Salatası, or the famous shepherd salad – also known as choban salad. Purslane and tomato salad is also light and fresh.

For loads more meze inspiration, take a look at our full Turkish recipe index.

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  1. Sounds great! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll give it a go sometime..

  2. Right now our tomatoes are in great need of some sunshine so, when I can pick up a tomato that actually tastes like a tomato, I will make this again.
    I think that this dish really is a comfort food. Such simple ingredients transformed into an amazing dish to present to your friends.

  3. kalkanchris says

    Sounds good – and there can’t be too many calories in it! I’ll be giving it a go!

  4. It is better with juicy red tomatoes – not rock hard pink ones. Hardly any calories at all Chris. The olive oil’s a bit naughty I suppose but it’s only a bit isn’t it!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. made the ezme which is really good, because i didn’t know how many chillis, i started with 2 fresh ones, because this was nowhere near enough, i then added pickled ones which worked a treat.Also i used a chopper for everything except the tomatoes, this made it really easy.

  7. Chopper is much easier, you’re right. The problem is, I dropped the lid to our mixer at Christmas and broke it so it’s back to chop chop chop till we get a new one!

  8. COK GUZEL…..I love “Antep Ezme”……my husband Dogan is from Izmir and when I go always order this with every dish. I can’t get enough of it. I’m going to try your recipe it looks very good. thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks Erica

    Ezme is always on our table as well when we go to restaurants. It’s the first one we choose and the others follow.

  10. yummy Julia, the addition of cucumber is refreshing, will try this version, we love ezme!!:) Ozlem

  11. @ Ozlem’s Turkish Tabkle: Really interesting about the cucumber. We just assumed all ezme had cucumber in it. It does make it refreshing in summer but we’ll have to try it without, too…preferably when we’re there. 🙂

  12. Hi

    I’d love to make this great recipe but i’m not an experienced cook, could you tell me how much is a ‘glug’ and what kind of vinegar should i use?

    I really don’t want to spoil such a great dish!

  13. hi have just returned from dalyan, and my hubby ate this every day!!!!!!!!!!!! he loves it. so i have just copied your recipe and he loves it!!!!!!!! thanks. what have i let myself in for .

  14. @ Phil81: Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. We’ve been away. A ‘glug’ of olive oil is however much you want it to be. It depends if you like oily food or not. Ezme looks and tastes different in every Turkish restaurant you go to. Start with a dessert spoonful and then you can always add some more if you wish. Same with the vinegar. Hope that kind of helps. 🙂

  15. @ peg. You’re welcome. So glad your husband enjoys this recipe. We always order ezme wherever we go, too. 🙂

  16. Hello sounds delicious. In Australia I dont see anything like this! Just wondering how Long this would last in the fridge?


  17. 5 stars
    Thankyou for this recipe I love it and have made it many times now. I find it better to chop by hand. I have kept mine in the chiller part of the fridge and it has been fine after about 5 days. We are in Turkey at the moment in Dalyan and enjoying many different meze, but we always ask for this one. Thankyou again. Regards Ann.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ann, and a big thank you for the 5 Star review. Much appreciated. Yes, we’ve been known to leave our Antep Ezmesi in the fridge for a good few days, too because we tend to make it in bulk. 🙂 Enjoy all your other meze in Dalyan – ezme always goes on our meze table, too. 🙂

  18. Hi
    Thanks so much for your recipe. My husband is from Antep so I want to surprise him with this dish. Please can you clarify what kind of vinegar I should use? I am living in the UK

    • Hi Amna, the commonly used vinegar in Turkey is grape vinegar. It’s slightly milder than malt vinegar. you should be okay with some type of apple or cider vinegar. We love antep Ezmesi. Hope your husband likes this recipe. 🙂

  19. David McCall says

    We have a house in Turkey and until this year go about four times a year. I’ve been looking for a recipe which replicates what we eat in Turkey and I think this is it. Will try it tomorrow.

  20. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times, so easy to do & tastes amazing, I made balloon bread & garlic butter to have with it… perfect! Thank you for this recipe

    • Hi Callie, so pleased you like the Antep Ezmesi recipe. And yeah, a perfect match to eat it with the balloon bread and garlic butter. Yummy! 🙂 Thanks for the review. Much apprerciated! 🙂

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