What is Podliczschan? Ottoman Cuisine’s Hidden Treasure

A plate of delicious Podliczschan showcasing the traditional Ottoman Cuisine's mouthwatering presentation
Youtube – Melis

Today, we’re diving into the delicious world of Ottoman cuisine to uncover a hidden gem: Podliczschan (in English: Eggplant, in Turkish: Patlıcan)!

It’s time to explore this scrumptious dish and learn how you can make it at home.

Let’s go! 😋

What is Podliczschan?

First, to learn what the word Podliczschan is, you must find out who Hans Dernschwam is.

A Brief History of Podliczschan and Hans Dersnschwam 📜

Between 1553-1555, Hans Dernschwam was a German traveler who came to Istanbul during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, wanting to see Istanbul and get to know the Ottoman Empire, and went as far as Amasya, writing a travelogue. [1]

The portrait on the medal printed by Hans Dernschwam.

In his work, Hans Dernschwam wrote “Podliczschan,” which is actually eggplant. In Turkish, it is written as “patlıcan”.

So, “Podliczschan” is used to describe dried eggplant stuffed (“Kuru patlıcan dolması” in Turkish). So it is one of the types of “dolma“.

What is Dolma?

A beautifully set table with Podliczschan as the centerpiece, showcasing the dish's importance in Ottoman Cuisine
Stuffed Peppers – giverecipe.com

In Ottoman cuisine, “Dolma” has an important place. Many vegetables were hollowed out and filled with a mixture.

This was called “dolma.” Dried peppers, dried eggplants, dried zucchini, and other vegetables were emptied, and filled with vegetables, fruits, and meats.

Hans Dernschwam also wrote the following about “dolma” eaten in Istanbul:

“Fresh zucchini and podliczschan are hollowed out and filled with finely chopped lamb, garlic, spices, and salt, then cooked in water. They pour yogurt over these dishes… They also fill carrots the same way. They put minced meat in grape leaves and wrap them like apple pie dessert. They put sour plums under the wrapped leaves and cook them in water. This is considered a very valuable dish among Turks. For this purpose, leaves are sold everywhere.”

Reference: Ottoman Cuisine – Marianna Yerasimos [2]

The Magic of Podliczschan 🌟

A delicious plate of Podliczschan served with a side of yogurt and garnished with fresh herbs
Podliczschan – annemutfakperisi.com

What makes this dish so special? Let’s break it down!

Podliczschan, or Stuffed Dried Eggplant, is a savory dish that combines tender, dried eggplant with a flavorful mixture of rice, onions, and spices. It’s a tasty treat that’s perfect for any meal! 🥘

Ingredients You’ll Need 🛒

To make Podliczschan, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 15 Dried eggplants 🍆
  • 1.5 cups of rice (washed) 🍚
  • 2 Medium Onions 🧅
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of pepper paste
  • 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
  • Parsley & Dill and 1 teaspoon of dried mint
  • 3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses or sumac molasses
  • Spices (e.g., salt, black pepper, red pepper, cumin) 🌶️

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Podliczschan 🍽️

Ready to whip up some Stuffed Dried Eggplant? Follow these simple steps!

Prep the eggplant:

Start by boiling water in a deep pot. Add dried eggplants and let them boil. Drain and boil them again in clean water. Do this three times. Don’t overcook them, use a fork to check. Drain the water and let them cool. 🍆

Make the filling:

Chop 2 onions and 5 garlic cloves. Put them in a pot and add 1.5 teacup olive oil. Sauté until onions are soft. Add 1/2 tablespoon each of tomato paste and pepper paste. Sauté for another 2 minutes. 🍚

  • After, add 1.5 cups of washed rice, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and salt to the pot.
  • Saute rice with onion and tomato paste mixture for 1-2 mins.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the rice mixture and cook on low heat until the water is absorbed.
  • Mix the rice mixture that has absorbed the water. Add finely chopped parsley, dill, cumin, paprika, dried mint, and salt. Mix well.

Stuff the eggplant:

Fill boiled eggplants with rice mixture leaving some space inside, then press the mouth parts together firmly to stick. 🥄

Cook it up:

Place the eggplant dolmas horizontally in the pot. Finally, sprinkle a little salt on top and add water halfway up the dolmas. Let the dolmas boil. After it starts boiling, reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes. 🍲

In the last 15 minutes of the cooking time, put 3 tablespoons of pomegranate or sumac molasses on top of the dolmas and continue cooking.

Serve and enjoy:

After the time is up, take the pot off the heat and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Then you can serve the dried eggplant dolma! 🍽️😍

Pairing Suggestions and Variations 🍷

Podliczschan is a versatile dish that pairs well with various sides and drinks.

Try serving it with a simple salad, some crusty bread, and a glass of your favorite red wine for a satisfying meal. 🥗🥖🍷

You can also experiment with different filling ingredients, like swapping out the rice for bulgur or adding ground meat for a heartier version. The possibilities are endless! 🔄

There you have it! Podliczschan is a delicious Ottoman treasure just waiting to be discovered by your taste buds. It’s time to gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get cooking! 🍳

So, what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen, grab your apron, and embark on a culinary adventure with Podliczschan! Don’t forget to share your creations by using the hashtag #Podliczschan ! 📸🍽️

Bon appétit and happy cooking, everyone! 😋🥘🥂


[1] SEMAVİ EYİCE, “DERNSCHWAM de HRADICZIN, Hans”, TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/dernschwam-de-hradiczin-hans (02.05.2023).

[2] Marianna Yerasimos, “500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine”, Inthernet Archive, https://books.google.com.tr/books?id=EwHNAAAACAAJ (02.05.2023).


Leave a Comment

Istanbul Pulse Social Media
Most Popular in Istanbul
Don't Miss Out Istanbul
Subscribe To Istanbul Pulse Newsletter
Istanbul Pulse Categories
On Top Istanbul
What's New in Istanbul
Scroll to Top