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Turkish Pickles Recipe (Turşu)

Make a big batch of Turkish pickles and have them as a tangy side-serving to most dishes.
Course Meze
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Maturing Time 14 days
Total Time 14 days 30 minutes
Servings 20 small plates
Calories 50kcal
Author Turkey's For Life


  • Sterilised Jar(s)


For The Mixed Pickles

  • 5 small unripe melons washed & left whole
  • 4 medium green tomatoes washed & sliced
  • 3 large carrots washed & sliced
  • 3 large cucumbers washed & cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium aubergines washed & cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium red capsicum peppers washed, deseeded & cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium celeriac peeled & sliced
  • 1 bunch celeriac leaves & stems washed & roughly chopped
  • 10 hot chillies pricked with a knife
  • 2 bulbs garlic cloves separated & peeled

For The Pickle Vinegar

  • 1.5 litres grape vinegar
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper


For The Pickle Vinegar

  • First of all, add your vinegar and all the other vinegar ingredients to a large saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, add the garlic cloves and the chillies and leave to cool.

For The Mixed Pickles

  • Sterilise your jar by filling it with boiling water and leaving it to stand for a few minutes.
  • Empty the water from the jar and drop the melons to the bottom. These will take the longest to mature.
  • Now add your carrots over the top.
  • Sprinkle a few of the celeriac leaves and stems over the top and then add your celeriac slices.
  • Add your red peppers and green tomatoes and sprinkle more celeriac leaves and stems.
  • Now add your cucumbers and, finally, your aubergines.
  • If you have any left, sprinkle the rest of your celeriac leaves and stems over the top.

Adding Your Pickle Vinegar

  • When the pickle vinegar mixture has cooled, carefully pour it into the jar, over your vegetables.
  • Push the garlic and chillies down through any gaps.
  • If your grape vinegar doesn't fill the jar, you can top it up with water or a cold vinegar-water mix. Grape vinegar is quite strong so it can take a bit of water.
  • Seal your jar and leave for a minimum of two weeks before opening and eating.


  • There are no hard and fast rules as to what you can and cannot include in your Turkish pickles. Likewise with the amount you make. For reference, our jar that we use for mixed pickles is around 5 litres.
  • We add the garlic and chillies to the hot vinegar to prevent the garlic from discolouring and to soften the chillies a little whilst the heat infuses into the vinegar.
  • With our Turkish pickles recipe, the aubergine and cucumber will be ready to eat first. that's why we place them at the top. With the melon (kelek), we recommend you leave this for 6 weeks before eating.
  • If you don't want mixed pickles, you can simply choose your favourite vegetable and pickle that on its own. 
  • We love pickled red cabbage and pickled beetroot but we make these as standalone jars because they will colour and flavour your vinegar and other mixed pickles. 
  • We like strongly flavoured mixed pickles so we use grape vinegar. If you like, you can use a milder vinegar such as white vinegar.
  • If you want to make strong pickles and you can't get grape vinegar, malt vinegar is a good substitute.
  • In Turkey, it is possible to buy bottles of pickling brine. This is a salty pickle vinegar mix that is too salty for our taste. If we do use it, we make a 50/50 split with grape vinegar and omit the salt from our original recipe.
  • Homemade pickles are all about experimenting and choosing your favourite combination. Have fun exploring different vegetables, textures and vinegar strengths. 
  • Calories for this recipe are very approximate. It depends on how big your serving is, and which particular pickles you choose for each serving.