Tantuni: Spicy Beef on Cotton Oil


Tantuni is a specialty originating from the Turkish city of Mersin. It is a type of wrap, prepared with thin, spiced slices of beef and various kinds of vegetables, all wrapped in a warm, bread flatbread lavash.

Tantuni
Tantuni

The meat used in tantuni is usually prepared with a mixture of strong spices and herbs. The slices of beef are pre-cooked and briefly fried in a special large pan with cottonseed oil before serving, giving the meat an unusual but great taste. It is then wrapped in a warm bread flatbread along with vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, parsley leaves, or lettuce.

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Preparing tantuni
Preparing tantuni

As a side, a really hot chili pepper and a piece of lemon are added to the tantuni.

Tantuni inside
Tantuni inside

I discovered tantuni only in the fall of 2022, and since then, I can’t get enough of it. The meat prepared on cotton oil tastes unconventional and interesting. The whole mixture is wonderfully spiced, and the bread flatbread itself is also briefly heated in a pan before serving. I like to have tantuni at the Tantunihan bistro in the center of Istanbul. One serving here costs 50 lira, which is about 2.80 Eur.

Bon appétit!

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