Bearing great importance in the Ottoman culinary culture, kahvaltı (breakfast in Turkish) derived from the words kahve altı, meaning "the meal before coffee."
Believing in traditional medicine which claims that there is a correlation between dietary habits and health, the Ottomans would eat two meals a day and paid great attention to using seasonal ingredients in them.
The first meal was between morning and noon, and the second was between mid-afternoon and evening. The name of the morning meal, kahvaltı is still used in modern Turkish. Originally two words kahve altı, meaning “the meal before coffee,” signifying the important role of coffee in Ottoman cuisine, the phrase merged into one word over time.
It was recorded that, during the reign of Bayezid II, the residents of the palace would eat honey, clotted cream, and cheese after the fajr prayer. In the Ottoman period, breakfast varied in content between the wealthy and the general public. For the latter, it was customary to eat soup with pieces of bread inside for breakfast. They would also eat yogurt, melons, and cucumbers. The breakfast of the wealthy would include honey, clotted cream, jam, cheese, olives, pastries, börek, melons, etc. On cold winter mornings, people would drink hot palude in Istanbul. Available by street vendors or at coffeehouses, this beverage was served in cups topped with ginger, cinnamon, and rose water. It’s also known that since early times Turks would eat liver and grilled meat for breakfast –a tradition which can be observed as sucuk (sausage) and kavurma (fried meat) in modern Turkish breakfasts.
Noodle Soup with Purple Basil
5 cups meat broth / 150 g noodles / 3 tomatoes / 1.5 tbsp. butter / 1 tbsp. dried purple basil / 5 g black pepper / 5 g salt
Boil the meat broth in a deep pot. Add the noodles and cook. Melt the butter and add the dried purple basil. Grate the tomatoes, and add the salt and pepper. Add the tomato mix to the butter and cook to make a sauce. Stir the tomato sauce into the soup. Boil for another 2 minutes and serve.
2 tbsp. cornstarch / 5 cups water / 200 g peeled almonds / 1 tbsp. rose water / 3 tbsp. honey / 1 g cinnamon
Mix the cornstarch, peeled almonds, and water in a pot. Place on low heat and stir. When it starts to boil, stir for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. Add the rose water and honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.