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Turşu seller from Turkey
|Main ingredient(s)||Vegetables, garlic, brine or vinegar|
Torshi (Persian/Arabic: ترشى torshi; Turkish: turşu; Greek: τουρσί toursi; Bulgarian: туршия turshiya; Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian: turšija/туршија ; Albanian: turshi) are the pickled vegetables of the cuisines of many Balkan and Middle East countries. The word torshi comes from the Persian word torsh, which means 'sour'.
Torshi is common in Afghan, Persian, Pakistani, Mesopotamian, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Albanian, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Bosnian cuisine. Iran boasts a great variation of hundreds of different types of torshi according to regional customs and different events. In some families, no meal is considered complete without a bowl of torshi on the table. In Bulgarian cuisine the most popular types are tsarska turshiya 'king's pickle' and selska turshiya 'country pickle'. Toursi is a traditional appetizer (meze) to go with rakı, ouzo, tsipouro, and rakia. In some recipes the torshi water (turşu suyu) is also drinkable and very popular in Turkey
Making Torshi at home is still a widespread tradition during the autumn months, even in the big cities. Turşu is often served in restaurants or it can be bought prepared from large supermarkets.
Torshi is made with garlic, chili peppers, celery, cauliflower, carrots, beets, shallots, cabbage, aubergines (eggplant) and other vegetables, and dried aromatic herbs pickled in vinegar, salt, and different spice mixtures, which usually include whole black peppercorns, ginger, etc. Persian style torshi includes more vinegar, while Turkish style turşu includes more salt as an antibacterial agent.
Torshi liteh is made with eggplants and herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, tarragon, basil.) Eggplants are baked in the oven, put in a glass jar with herbs and vinegar, and stored in a cool, dry place for two to three months.
Tsarska turshiya is made with cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, and celery. The vegetables are mixed with some salt and sugar and left overnight. The next day the juice is mixed with vinegar and boiled for several minutes. The vegetables are put in glass jars and pressed down with cherry twigs and a round river stone, then the jars are filled with the cooled pickle marinade.
Selska turshiya is made with green peppers, green tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery. The vegetables are put in a container, pressed down with some twigs and a stone, and a marinade made of salt, vinegar and water is poured on. The pickles are left to ferment.