The highly nutritious pot dishes that combine a variety of flavors in one pot, are also good alternative for a well-balanced healthy diet. Vegetables or legumes are the basis of one pot dishes; a little diced or minced meat is also added to the pot. In this respect, pot dishes are both rich and very nourishing.
Making pot dishes is not technically that complicated. Onions are sautéed in a saucepan, then tomatoes or tomato paste, a small amount of diced or minced meat and vegetables are added and cooked with a small amount of water. Pot dishes can also be cooked without meat. The cooking techniques used for pot dishes, although these may differ slightly, are given different names in Turkish cuisine such as bastı, kalye, silkme, türlü or musakka. All the ingredients are slow-cooked so that the flavors of the vegetables, legumes and meat are absorbed in the broth. In view of this, the cooking juices are extremely delicious and one pot dishes are known as “sulu yemek” by the Turkish people. The pleasure of dipping a piece of bread in the juice of these pot meals is something quite different. So bread baskets stacked high on the tables of the tradesmen’s restaurants that mainly serve pot dishes are inevitable.
The rice group is another accompaniment to the pot dishes. Sometimes pot dishes are accompanied by plain rice pilaf cooked in butter, sometimes pilaf rice with vermicelli or tomatoes. Occasionally, bulgur pilaf is also an option. Generally, the pot dish-rice combination is completed with compote. Compote is refreshing; it cleanses the palate, balances the flavors of the meal and increases the appetite. Unfortunately, the tradition of compote that has been replaced by soft drinks, has almost disappeared today.