Turkish Ezme

For many years, ezme has been one of my favourite side dishes when visiting the many Turkish restaurants of North London. A simple cold dish of chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and red peppers with lots of parsley and mint, ezme is the perfect foil to kebabs such as adana kofte, chicken and lamb cis, and grilled meat.

It’s a versatile dish that works well as a starter, a dip or salsa, a sauce or as a salad.

This recipe from Hasan Semay’s Big Has Home is a real winner, boosting the flavours of the vegetables and herbs with balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, chillies, paprika and sumac.

We loved it and will be making it again often.

EZME Salad from Big Has HOME

Read our full review of Big Has Home by Hasan Semay.


Another kebab-shop classic. I prefer a spicy ezme to bog-standard kebab-shop chilli sauce. I enjoy watching the chef get really pissed off when you order one on a busy night too. I know how you feel bro, I feel your pain. Also, when was the last time you sat down to eat in a kebab shop? The last time I went I was given a basket of bread and a little pot of garlic and chilli sauce – what the fuck’s that about? I don’t need this now. That’s for later ‘my fren’.
Servings 6
Author Hasan Semay


  • 2 sweet pointed peppers
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled
  • 4 spring onions
  • 6 g (1⁄8 oz) sea salt
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 20 g (¾ oz) flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 g (1⁄8 oz) mint leaves
  • 130 ml (4 fl oz) good-quality olive oil
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 60 ml (2¼ fl oz) pomegranate molasses
  • 4 (optional) Bullet chillies, super finely chopped


  • Basically, finely chop all the peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and spring onions individually, then run your knife over them until they are super fine. Add them all to a bowl. Add in the salt, sumac and smoked sweet paprika. Chop your herbs as fine as you can get them, then add them in next. Then add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses.
  • The Bullet chillies make the ezme pretty spicy, so feel free to leave them out and use it more as a salsa than a chilli sauce, otherwise mix them through and enjoy.

We found that the recipe made a lot of dressing, so you might want to chop up a few more vegetables than called for, or drop the volumes for the dressing a touch.

Ezme Salad

Made the recipe? Let us know how you got on in the comments.


Kavey Eats received a review copy of Big Has Home by Hasan Semay from publishers Pavilion. Book photography by Haarala Hamilton. Home cooking images by Kavita Favelle.

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4 Comments to "Turkish Ezme"

  1. Snigdha

    This looks different from the acili ezme in my local Turkish restaurant, but still worth trying out. Thanks for the recipe, Kavey!


    Yeah I loved the additional ingredients, they boosted a favourite salad to another level for me!


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