Ottoman Cuisine is like a magic world. The Ottoman Palace Cuisine, which is the accumulation of great geography, commercial and cultural heritage, consists of three main kitchens lined up in an area of 7000 m2 and the Harem section to the left of them.
In the Ottoman Empire, the kitchen was called “matbah”. The cook working in the matbah was called “Tabbah”. The kitchen prepared specially for the sultan in the palace was known as Matbah-ı Beray-i Hassa. Meat is the most basic element of Ottoman food culture.
Eating meat is a tradition from the Central Asian Turks. Sheep, lamb, goat, and game are the preferred meats. In the Ottoman Cuisine, there are kebabs from the Middle East Cuisine, stews from the Persian Cuisine, fish from the Aegean Cuisine, pastries from the Central Asian culture, rice and ravioli dishes. As can be seen, dishes from many different cultures and cuisines influenced Ottoman Cuisine. In this respect, it is a rich cuisine.
For example, one of the types of very cooked dishes is sweetmeats. In the 15th and 16th centuries, most meat dishes were sour-sweet dishes. “Mutancana” (pot dish) is an example. Wash the lamb and add enough water to cover it. The meat is cooked for about an hour on medium heat until it becomes soft. As the water in the pot boils, the foam that accumulates is removed. Plum and apricot kernels are removed and left for a while to soften in water. Some almonds are boiled and their shells are peeled. The meat that has softened in the pot is roasted in a different pot. While this process is being done, some of the previous boiling water is added. In addition, honey, black pepper, salt, almonds, apricots, and prunes are added. All ingredients are cooked on low heat.