Erişte are a type of noodle (or pasta) found in Turkey, Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan. The name has Persian origins, stemming from the word reshteh, meaning ‘strips’ – by which they’re still known in Iran today.
In Turkey, erişte are traditionally made in the autumn and eaten in the winter. Flour, oil, salt (and sometimes eggs too) are combined and made into a dough, which is then cut into strips and either dried in an oven or outside in the sun. More often than not, you’ll find the plain version – but varieties flavoured with spinach, nettle, pumpkin or artichoke can sometimes be seen too.
Erişte can either be used as a noodle (pilav) or as a pasta (makarna). They’re often added to soups, such as Tatar Dough Soup (Tatar Hamuru Çorbası) – which is made from green lentils, garlic and tomato paste. In some regions, like Artvin, they’re also made into a dessert, by coating them in a sugary syrup. However, one of the simplest and easiest ways to use them is as a pasta – most often topped with grated white cheese and chopped walnuts.
Recipe: Chopped Walnut Erişte
250g of erişte
A handful of chopped walnuts
1 dessert spoon of butter
Grated white cheese to garnish
- Melt the butter in a pan and then add the erişte, frying them for long enough to start turning brown.
- Once golden, pour over enough boiling water to just cover the erişte, simmer and cover with a lid.
- Once all the water has been absorbed by the dough and they have the texture and appearance of cooked pasta, take off the heat and serve.
- Mix the chopped walnuts throughout and garnish with grated white cheese. Chopped parsley and red pepper flakes (pul biber) also make good additions.