Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (2024)

Published:· Modified:by

Jump to Recipe·Print Recipe

Crushingis a traditional Turkish salad or meze, known for its fresh, spicy and tangy flavors. It is typically served as an appetizer or sauce on the side of kebabs, but it is not limited to this. You can even enjoy it as a dip with some bread.

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (1)

The best companion forTurkish kebabsis always thisspicy paste. It is a staple at kebab restaurants. And we can never havechicken shish kabobswithout this simple ezme sauce.

Jump to:
  • What Is Ezme?
  • Why You Will Like This Recipe
  • About The Ingredients
  • Optional Add-Ins
  • How to Make This Recipe
  • Expert Tips
  • Want A Thicker Consistency?
  • Serving Suggestions
  • Storage
  • FAQs
  • More Turkish Salads
  • More Turkish Recipes
  • 📖 Recipe

What Is Ezme?

Ezme is a Turkish word that means "crushed" or "mashed", which perfectly describes how this dish is traditionally prepared. The fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, are finely chopped with a sharp knife, almost to a paste-like consistency, hence the name.

The dish gets its spicy kick from hot chili peppers, red pepper flakes or pepper paste. It's also tangy due to lemon juice or pomegranate molasses. It's usually left to rest before serving, so that all the flavors can meld together nicely.

It is traditionally served as a meze, a kind of appetizer commonly found inTurkishcuisine. It's often enjoyed with fresh, crusty bread or as one of thekebabside dishes. However, its vibrant flavors make it a versatile companion to many other dishes as well.

Spicy ezme salad orspicy pasteas we say in Turkish, is one of those scrumptious sides similar to chilli salsa. So it won't be wrong to call itTurkish salsa.

Why You Will Like This Recipe

Here are some reasons why you will get addicted to this Turkish ezme recipe:

  • Full of Flavor:It is spicy, tangy, and packed with fresh tastes. It's a fantastic blend of different flavors that can really wake up your taste buds!
  • Versatile:While it's traditionally served with kebabs, ezme can accompany many different dishes. It's a great way to add a burst of flavor to any meal.
  • Easy to Make:With a few fresh ingredients and simple steps, you can prepare ezme at home. It's an easy recipe, but the result is impressive.
  • Perfect for Sharing:It's a perfect dish for sharing with friends or family at gatherings.
  • Make ahead:You can make it ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you serve. It keeps well for 3-4 days.

About The Ingredients

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (2)

Vegetables:

  • Tomatoes:Just like in ourTurkish shepherd salad recipe, use thetastiest tomatoesyou can find to get the best result. Any type would work fine as long as it is tasty and juicy. We find heirloom tomatoes and beef tomatoes are the best options but plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes are great too.
  • Onion:One small onion would be enough for this salad. Use any type you can find.
  • Garlic:This isoptionaland many people make ezme without garlic. But traditional kebab restaurants, especially in the southern and southeastern parts of Turkey, always use a little garlic.
  • Green peppers:Traditionally,green pepperis used in Turkey for this ezme sauce. These peppers are thin, long and crunchy. They might be very hot or mild. It is better to taste and then decide how much to use. You can substitute green bell peppers or padron peppers for it. If you like your salad hot and spicy, you can usechili or jalapeno pepperstoo.
  • Parsley:Don't substitute another herb for parsley in this salad. The result won't be the same.

Condiments:

  • Lemon juice:Use fresh lemon juice. The amount here might be reduced or increased depending on how tangy you'd like your salad to be.
  • Pomegranate molasses:Try to find a Turkish product if you can. There are online markets selling it. If you can't find it anywhere, leave it out and use more lemon juice instead. Check out our guide abouthow to make pomegranate molassesif you want to make it at home andsubstitutes forpomegranate molasses.
  • Tomato paste:It increases the richness of the ezme as it is a concentrated form of tomatoes. Check out our guide abouthow to maketomato pasteif you want to make it at home.
  • Red pepper paste (pepper paste):This is another special Turkish ingredient that gives this salad its amazing flavor. However, we are aware that it is not very easy to find. So you cansubstitute a mixture of tomato paste a little paprika for red pepper paste.

Spices:

We use three spices that are very common in Turkish cuisine:

  • Hot red pepper flakes (chili pepper): If you can't find red pepper flakes, use crushed chili pepper.
  • Sumac: It increases the sourness of ezme sauce and gives it a subtle earthy flavor.
  • Dried mint:It gives a little refreshment and balances the sour and hot flavors in the salad.
Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (3)

Optional Add-Ins

  • Walnuts:The traditional Turkish ezme salad recipe doesn't have walnuts, but it is a good addition that makes this dip salad even richer. We recommend that you top the salad with roughly chopped walnuts instead of mixing it with the other ingredients.
  • Cucumber:Although it is not traditional to add cucumbers in an ezme dip, you can add some if you want. Make sure to deseed it before chopping it.
  • Red pepper:You can use finely chopped red bell pepper or Turkish kapya pepper (Romano pepper).

How to Make This Recipe

Making Turkish ezme salad is a straightforward process that can be made with two methods: The easy food processor method for a quick preparation, and the traditional method for a more authentic experience. Here's a step-by-step guide for each:

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (4)

Easy Food Processor Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables:Chop tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and chili pepper into chunks. Grate 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the parsley.
  2. Blend everything:Put the prepared vegetables in a food processor. Add tomato paste, pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, sumac, and dried mint over the vegetables. Run the food processor for about 15 seconds, or until everything is finely chopped but still chunky. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
  3. Serve:Transfer the ezme dip onto a plate, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over it, and serve.

Traditional Method

  1. Chop the vegetables:On a cutting board, chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, green peppers, and parsley very finely. Keep them all on the board and continue chopping them altogether. This helps the flavors combine well. Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing:In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, tomato paste, and pepper paste until smooth. Add in salt, red pepper flakes (pul biber or Aleppo pepper), sumac, and dried mint.
  3. Mix everything:Pour the dressing into the bowl with the mashed vegetables and give it a good stir.
  4. Serve:Drizzle extra olive oil and pomegranate molasses over the ezme when serving, if desired.
Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (5)

Expert Tips

  • Making Turkish ezme is an easy process, but there are some important tips you should keep in mind to ensure your dish is as delicious as possible:
  • Seeding the Tomatoes:To avoid a watery ezme, you can de-seed the tomatoes before chopping them. We often skip this as we don't mind the juice in our Turkish style salsa.
  • Fineness of Chopping:Vegetables should be finely chopped, but not completely pureed. The texture should be a little chunky. If you're using a food processor, be careful not to over-process.
  • Adjust to Taste:The spiciness and tanginess of ezme can be adjusted according to your preference. Feel free to tweak the amount of chili peppers, pomegranate molasses, or lemon juice to suit your taste.
  • Rest Before Serving:The flavor develops nicely when it's allowed to rest for a bit before serving. If you have time, let it sit for an hour or so in the refrigerator.

Want A Thicker Consistency?

If you prefer your tomato ezme with a thicker consistency, using a food processor for chopping and then straining the vegetables can help. Here's how:

  1. Chop in a Food Processor:Begin by preparing your vegetables as usual - chopping into chunks. Then, place them into a food processor. Pulse until they are finely chopped but still a bit chunky.
  2. Strain the Vegetables:After processing, transfer the chopped vegetables to a fine-mesh strainer. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow excess liquid to drain off. This will result in a thicker, less watery base for your ezme.
  3. Prepare the Dressing:While the vegetables are straining, you can prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice, tomato paste, pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and your spices (such as salt, red pepper flakes, sumac, and dried mint). Whisk until everything is well combined.
  4. Assemble the Ezme:Once the vegetables have drained, transfer them into the bowl with the dressing. Stir well to ensure all the vegetables are coated with the dressing.

By following these steps, you'll end up with a thicker, heartier ezme dip that's packed with flavor yet has a more substantial texture.

Serving Suggestions

bitter paste(spicy ezme), with its vibrant, tangy flavor, makes a versatile companion to many Turkish food. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (6)
  1. With Bread:TraditionalTurkishpide bread, pita,flatbreadorlavash breadfor scooping up this flavorful dip.
  2. With Kebabs or Grilled Meats:It is often served as a side dish with kebabs or other grilled meats. Its fresh, spicy flavor complements the smoky taste of the grilled meat beautifully. We often enjoy it withcardigan,Döner kebab,lahmacun,koftakebaborshish lamb kebab.
  3. As Part of a Meze Platter:Include this ezme sauce in a meze platter with other dips and appetizers, such asTurkish hummus,baba ganoush, andstuffed grape leaves.
  4. In Wraps or Sandwiches:Add a spoonful of spicy ezme in your wraps withchicken doneror sandwiches for a burst of flavor.
  5. On Baked Potatoes:Belive it or not, we love it even as a topping onTurkish baked potato kumpir.

And as a beverage, refreshingyogurt drink ayranis definitely the best drink to pair with all these irresistible foods!

Storage

Ezme should be stored in the refrigerator. Place it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing the flavors of other foods in your fridge. It will last for about 3-4 days.

When you are ready to serve, allow it to come to room temperature first. Give it a stir and then serve.

FAQs

Can I use canned tomatoes for ezme?

No, we don't recommend canned tomatoes. You have to use fresh tomatoes for this authentic dip.

I don't have pomegranate molasses. Can I still make ezme?

Yes, you can still make ezme without pomegranate molasses. If you can't find it in your area, substitute it with tamarind paste or lemon juice.

Can I use a blender instead of a food processor?

Yes, you can, but be careful not to over-blend the vegetables. We want the ezme to have a slightly chunky texture, not be a puree.

Can I add more vegetables in this recipe?

The only additional vegetables we recommend are cucumbers and green onions. Make sure to deseed them first to prevent the ezme from becoming watery.

More Turkish Salads

  • Turkish Eggplant Salad
  • Turkish Sumac Onions Recipe
  • Piyaz Recipe
  • Olive Salad

More Turkish Recipes

  • Bulgur Rice
  • Turkish Stuffed Eggplant
  • Kissir(Turkish Bulgur Salad)
  • Lentil soup(Turkish Lentil Soup)

As always:If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag@give_recipeso we can see!

Sign upfor theFREE GiveRecipe Newsletterto get the new recipes into your inbox! And stay in touch with us onFacebook,Pinterest,YouTubeandInstagramfor all the latest updates.

Print

📖 Recipe

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme)

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (7)

Print Recipe
★★★★★4.7 from 6 reviews

Ezme is a tasty Turkish dip made from fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and parsley. It's mixed with a tangy dressing that gives it a spicy kick. You can serve it with kebabs, bread, or grilled meats. It's simple to make and full of bright, fresh flavors. Whether you chop by hand or use a food processor, you're sure to love this easy and delicious dip!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale

  • 4medium sized tomatoes
  • 1onion
  • 2cloves garlic
  • 2Turkish green peppers or a small green bell pepper
  • 1red chili pepper
  • ¼ cupchopped parsley
  • 1and ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoontomato paste
  • 1 teaspoonpepper paste
  • 1 tablespoonpomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoonsolive oil
  • ½ teaspoonsalt
  • ½ teaspoonred pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoonsumac
  • 1 teaspoondried mint

Instructions

Easy Food Processor Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables:Chop tomatoes and the onion, green pepper and chili pepper in chunks. Grate 2 cloves of garlic. Chop the parsley roughly.
  2. Blend everything:Put the prepared vegetables in a food processor. Add tomato paste, pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, sumac, dried mint over the vegetables. Run the food processor for about 15 seconds or until everything is chopped finely but still chunky. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
  3. Serve:Transfer the ezme dip on a plate, drizzle extra olive oil over it and serve.

Traditional Method

  1. Chop the vegetables:On a cutting board, chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, green peppers, and parsley very finely. Keep them all on the board and continue chopping them altogether. This helps the flavors combine well. Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing:In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, tomato paste, and pepper paste until smooth. Add in salt, red pepper flakes (pul biber or Aleppo pepper), sumac, and dried mint.
  3. Mix everything:Pour the dressing into the bowl with the mashed vegetables and give it a good stir.
  4. Serve:Drizzle extra olive oil and pomegranate molasses over the ezme when serving, if desired.

Notes

For A Thicker Consistency:

  1. Chop in a Food Processor:Begin by preparing your vegetables as usual - chopping into chunks. Then, place them into a food processor. Pulse until they are finely chopped but still a bit chunky.
  2. Strain the Vegetables:After processing, transfer the chopped vegetables to a fine-mesh strainer. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow excess liquid to drain off. This will result in a thicker, less watery base for your ezme.
  3. Prepare the Dressing:While the vegetables are straining, you can prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice, tomato paste, pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and your spices (such as salt, red pepper flakes, sumac, and dried mint). Whisk until everything is well combined.
  4. Assemble the Ezme:Once the vegetables have drained, transfer them into the bowl with the dressing. Stir well to ensure all the vegetables are coated with the dressing.

Pro Tips:

  1. Seeding the Tomatoes:To avoid a watery ezme, you can de-seed the tomatoes before chopping them. We often skip this as we don't mind the juice in our Turkish style salsa.
  2. Fineness of Chopping:Vegetables should be finely chopped, but not completely pureed. The texture should be a little chunky. If you're using a food processor, be careful not to over-process.
  3. Adjust to Taste:The spiciness and tanginess of ezme can be adjusted according to your preference. Feel free to tweak the amount of chili peppers, pomegranate molasses, or lemon juice to suit your taste.
  4. Rest Before Serving:The flavor develops nicely when it's allowed to rest for a bit before serving. If you have time, let it sit for an hour or so in the refrigerator.

Storing:

Ezme should be stored in the refrigerator. Place it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing the flavors of other foods in your fridge. It will last for about 3-4 days.

When you are ready to serve, allow it to come to room temperature first. Give it a stir and then serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 122
  • Sugar: 7.6 g
  • Sodium: 316.5 mg
  • Fat: 7.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords:crush, crush

You might also like:

  • Chicken Doner Kebab
  • Traditional Turkish Breakfast Foods (Kahvalti)
  • Best Turkish Desserts
  • Menemen Recipe

«Cold Lentil Salad with Peaches

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich»

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Ernest says

    Hi there, I really want to make this, but not sure what pepper paste to use, as there are so many different one, could you please suggest? Many thanks.

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Ernesta,

      Pepper paste in Turkish is called biber salcasi and the most popular brands are Öncü, Burcu and Bodrum. You might find them at online stores or Middle Eastern markets.

      Reply

  2. Thick says

    Hi Zerrin! I am eating at a Turkish restaurant in Florida and just had this dish. Yours looks delicious!

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Kalyn! Nice to see your message 🙂 Ezme is our favorite. It is so tasty, right?

      Reply

  3. Erika says

    I LOVE love love this stuff - especially just with some great crusty (GF) bread... this recipe is spot on!

    Reply

  4. Sue R says

    Gorgeous it was. Whole family enjoyed it.

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Sue, glad your family liked it!

      Reply

  5. Olivia L Yehling says

    My Husband & I lived on Incirlik AFB for 51/2 years. It was my job that took us there. We loved everything about Turkey. One of my favorites was ezme. At least once a week we ordered lunch from one of the local restaurants. I always ordered ezme and a side of Turkish style rice. I would put the ezme over rice, delicious. The ezme at Incirlik was not spicy just wonderful. I took your recipe base and added finely chopped cucumber and zucchini.. Always have pom molasses and turk kimizibiber on hand. I order from Amazon. Came back from Turkey with sumac that I keep in the freezer. The salad was a little different because of the veggie adds but was still delish

    Reply

    • Yusuf says

      Hi Olivia! Glad you like ezme! It makes us eat even more, so appetizing, isn't it? Incirlik is very close to my wife Zerrin's hometown, Tarsus/Mersin. So great to hear from you about it! Never tried ezme over rice. Sounds so intriguing! Have to give it a try!
      All the best!

      Reply

  6. Jane says

    Loved this. Tasted just like you get in a restaurant. My daughter are it straight from the bowl

    Reply

  7. Atika Sumarsono says

    I made this salad without pomegranate molasses but I still love it...so fresh and delicious.

    Reply

  8. Kylie says

    Can you recommend a good or alternative to pepper paste and also which pepper flakes I could use for this? I am based in Scotland and would love to make this.

    Reply

  9. fg says

    Hi There, What type of green peppers would you suggest using?

    Reply

    • Zerrin says

      You can use any green pepper you like.

      Reply

  10. Sun says

    I made it last night and was great . Thank you so much

    Reply

    • Zerrin says

      Glad you loved it Soly!

      Reply

  11. Halima says

    I’ve been looking for an wand salad recipe since trying this anazinb salaam at numerous Turkish restaurants. Thank you gif sharing.

    Reply

« Older Comments

Ezme Recipe (Turkish Spicy Ezme) (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated:

Views: 6100

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.