If there is one common hated dish among Turks, I believe this is it. For me being of German descent, maybe sauerkraut (cabbage) is in my blood, so to me this dish is absolutely delicious.

The word kapuska is not Turkish, and is actually derived from the Russian word for cabbage. However this Turkish dish is an adaptation of a cabbage stew commonly eaten in Russian and Eastern Europe like Romania, Bulgaria and Poland (kapusta is the Polish word for cabbage).

Kapuska is a hearty traditional cabbage stew, commonly eaten in the Black Sea regions of Turkey. The cooking style varies, but essentially it’s made up of pickled cabbage mixed with onions in a tomato and pepper base with spices. Variations include adding meat, bulgur, beans or rice.

Personally, the one pictured above is perfect! It’s a vegetarian version made of cabbage, onions and bulgur in a tomato and pepper base with tons of spices. Chili flakes are key to making it extra hot and spicy – just the way I like it! And unlike some Turks I know, the smell doesn’t bother me – but once again neither does the smell of hot sauerkraut from a NYC hot dog cart.