Cantik: Turkish pide with minced meat from Bursa

pide with ground meat recipe cantik

Close your eyes and set up your imaginary Turkish buffet table. What do you see? Well, for us it's lots of red and green peppers, tomatoes and parsley, pastries, bread and meat. Honestly, can't you smell the imagination? 


Now we can combine all the impressions and there they are; the Cantiks! 


What are cantik?

Cantık (read: jantik, with a blunt i, as in "pcture" without i) is a kind of pide with minced meat, which is traditional for the province/city of Bursa. Bursa is only a boat trip (or about 150 km by land) from Istanbul and is therefore in the west of Turkey. And in addition to Mount Uludag (which is the most famous ski resort in Turkey...yes, skiing in Turkey!), Bursa is also known for its pide.


In Germany, pide is mainly known as Turkish pizza, which is usually in the shape of a ship. However, there are many variations in Turkish cuisine. Cantik is one of them. These are small, round pide with minced meat. They are characterized in particular by their thick edges and small size. In Bursa, you can see the cantik stacked on top of each other on the counter of the many pide parlors. 


What's inside a cantik?

Cantik consist of a yeast dough, which is spread with a mixture of raw minced meat, paprika, tomato, onion, parsley and dried thyme (Kekik*). The cantik would be quite original with minced lamb and at best the addition of some kuyruk yagi, i.e. sheep's tail fat.


However, we prepared the cantik with minced beef and added a tablespoon of butter to the mixture for extra fat - also very good. If you are actually using minced lamb for our Cantik recipe, it is better to leave out the butter.


Our Cantik recipe also contains parsley and cumin. We have never eaten original cantiks from Bursa. But according to a few comments from angry Bursans on Turkish recipe sites, neither parsley nor cumin are allowed in cantik, only green peppers, onion, pepper, thyme and tomatoes. Optionally, you can sprinkle a little grated cheese on the cantik.


This serves as a little suggestion for you - in the end, of course, it should taste good.


cantik recipe pide with ground meat

Cantik vs. pide with minced meat vs. lahmacun

So which is it? All these terms are a bit confusing. You probably have the feeling that they're all the same thing. However, this confusion doesn't exist in Turkey, because there the first person would jump up if someone called cantik "pide with minced meat".


In English Turkish pide with minced meat is a good name for cantik. However, a real pide with minced meat (kiymali pide) should be in the shape of the well-known pizza ship. It is also flatter and thinner than a cantik.


And lahmacun, please! Yes, lahmacun are also yeast dough with minced meat. However, they are rolled out very, very thinly and have no edges. They are also usually very large, while the topping is also very different from the cantik. Our cantik recipe contains neither salca, i.e. paprika and/or tomato puree, nor garlic. Lahmacun are also baked in a pan.


Hopefully we have brought a bit clearness to the confusion surrounding Turkish pide with minced meat. In short, you could say that cantik are "a kind of round mini-pide with minced meat". But now back to taste and preparation!


How do you serve cantik?

Go back to your imaginary Turkish buffet; what else do you see? That's right, ayran! A cold, frothy ayran is of course a must alongside the Cantik. Otherwise, simply serve a few pickled peppers* and optionally a soup. Afiyet olsun!

Cantik recipe: a kind of Turkish pide with minced meat


For the dough

  • 400 ml/2 cups water
  • 50 ml/ 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 sachet of dry yeast (or 1/2 cube)
  • Flour (approx. 600 grams/5 cups; see preparation)
  • 1 egg yolk for coating

For the topping

  • 300 grams/11 oz minced meat
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green pointed peppers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a little thyme/kekik*
  • a little cumin

optional grated cheese to sprinkle on top


Step 1: Knead a smooth dough from the ingredients. Use enough flour so that the dough is as soft as an earlobe and no longer sticks to your hand. If you have no use for the egg whites, you can also knead them into the dough.  

Step 2: Cover the dough and leave to rise for 40 minutes or longer.

Step 3: For the filling, chop the onions, peppers, tomato and parsley. Mix all the ingredients for the topping together. 

Step 4: Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Put some oil on the work surface and press each ball of dough from the inside outwards to form a high edge. The Cantik do not have to be perfectly round! Continue like this with all the dough balls and place them on a baking tray.

Step 5: Take a good 1-2 full tablespoons of the filling and press it into the cantiks. The edge remains free. The topping should be high (not! even and thin). You can optionally sprinkle some cheese on top of the cantiks.

Step 6: Brush the edges evenly with egg yolk. Now place the cantik in the oven at 180 C*/360 F* for approx. 25 minutes (or until the edges are golden brown). Leave to cool slightly after removing and serve with ayran.

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