Newcomer Tuncay Alkan exemplifies Turkish hospitality by sharing his hummus recipe

In 2019, Tuncay Alkan (correct) and his family members moved from Turkey to Peterborough, his wife Laura’s household town. Tuncay enjoys to cook and plans to open up his very own café in Peterborough a person day. He and his spouse and children also enjoy discovering trails and nature and have a goal to discover one particular new location each and every 7 days. (Photo courtesy of the Alkan spouse and children)

It’s not hard to find a row of packaged hummus stocked on most Canadian grocery stores’ cabinets. However, according to Turkey native Tuncay Alkan, the version of this Middle Jap dip and unfold found in grocery retailers does not compare to the edition produced and sold in the Middle East alone.

Tuncay (pronounced Toon-Jai) and his spouse Laura moved to Canada from Turkey in 2019 right after acquiring their 1st boy or girl. The couple initially satisfied in Istanbul although Tuncay was completing his master’s diploma in welding engineering. Right after operating in areas these types of as Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as a variety of metropolitan areas in Turkey for a several many years, Tuncay and Laura settled in Peterborough — Laura’s house town.

Even though altering to his new state, Tuncay identified himself craving a taste of residence. Hummus is the food that suggests household the most for Tuncay, due to the fact it is a preferred and signature foodstuff in Turkey. Chickpeas, the essential component in hummus, day back far more than 10,000 yrs in Turkey — they were to start with domesticated from a wild plant that now only grows in southeast Turkey.

“Hummus is classical in my geography,” Tuncay describes. “There are locations that only make hummus — nothing at all else. I hadn’t tried producing it for the reason that I was usually obtaining it from the most effective areas in Turkey.”

He ventured into a Canadian grocery retail outlet, only to locate the hummus marketed there was not as great as what he ate in Turkey.

“I require to make my have hummus to come to feel like I’m home once more,” Tuncay recalls wondering.

Tuncay Alkan's butter pine nut hummus. While living in Turkey, Tuncay would buy hummus from one of the many places that offered the traditional dish. When he moved to Canada, he wasn't fond of the prepared hummus offered in grocery stores and decided to make his own.  (Photo courtesy of Tuncay Alkan)
Tuncay Alkan’s butter pine nut hummus. While living in Turkey, Tuncay would invest in hummus from a person of the a lot of spots that available the standard dish. When he moved to Canada, he wasn’t fond of the geared up hummus supplied in grocery stores and resolved to make his very own. (Photograph courtesy of Tuncay Alkan)

Recreating a native dish has served Tuncay alter to his new house in Canada more than the past two many years. Earning and sharing foodstuff — primarily when it holds personal which means — is a terrific way to cultivate social interactions. Particularly in Turkey, wherever hospitality is a cornerstone of the country’s lifestyle.

“Whenever I share and prepare dinner Turkish foodstuff for an individual here, I really feel like I’m internet hosting them in my residence place,” Tuncay says.

Whilst volunteer cooking for Food stuff Not Bombs Peterborough, Tuncay felt like he was web hosting hundreds of Canadians in his indigenous land. He produced and shared his hummus and other Turkish recipes many occasions for the corporation, which serves foodstuff to about 150 to 200 people today a 7 days.

Tuncay Alkan’s Turkish Hummus Recipe (Two Techniques)

Tuncay Alkan’s Turkish Hummus Recipe (Two Ways)

Tuncay is delighted to share his hummus recipe with kawarthaNOW viewers. Tuncay’s recipe features the two most popular approaches of building and serving hummus in Turkey: with butter as a abundant dish to be eaten shortly following it is produced (this kind of as for an appetizer on toasted bread or pita before supper), and with olive oil for a lighter-tasting edition that lasts lengthier and can be relished as a unfold or a dip.

Building and sharing food items from your own lifestyle is also a powerful way to market feelings of belonging when in a new state, anything Tuncay himself discovered even though operating for a non-govt corporation in Turkey that assists refugees.

“I identified the best and most connecting action was linked with foods,” Tuncay explains. “Whenever we built foodstuff with refugees, people today used to experience like house.”

For Tuncay, the practice of cooking property foods retains as much nostalgic indicating as it does style.

“I generate a minimal Turkey in my kitchen area,” he claims. “Whenever I want to visit Turkey, I go to the kitchen.”

His passion for cooking dates back to his childhood and paying out time in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, who handed on their appreciate for cooking.

“It was a spouse and children matter for me,” Tuncay says.

Tuncay Alkan first met Peterborough native Laura in Istanbul while he completing his master's degree in welding engineering. After working in places such as Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as various cities in Turkey for a few years, the couple decided to move to Peterborough in 2019 to raise their family. (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan to start with achieved Peterborough indigenous Laura in Istanbul even though he finishing his master’s degree in welding engineering. Immediately after working in destinations these as Saudi Arabia and Germany as properly as several cities in Turkey for a handful of several years, the couple resolved to shift to Peterborough in 2019 to increase their relatives. (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)

But it wasn’t until eventually he was residing on your own while attending university in Turkey that he located himself cooking by itself for the to start with time out of necessity. As a vegan, he describes that it was not uncomplicated to invest in food that achieved his nutritional limitations.

“Being vegan is not easy in Turkey,” states Tuncay. “You require to prepare dinner just about every day — you will not uncover (vegan) food items outside. I essential to uncover new recipes so it wouldn’t be boring for me. I really like hoping new points, so I stored cooking following that.”

In describing Turkish cuisine, Tuncay cites the loaded spice society and dense forests in the place — facets of Turkish tradition mirrored in his recipes. It is obvious from his description that cooking Center Eastern meals below in Canada connects him back to the land, culture, and relatives he still left at the rear of in Turkey.

Tuncay Alkan enjoying a meal with his family. Cooking Middle Eastern food here in Canada helped him to adjusted to his new country by connecting him back to the land, culture, and family he left behind in Turkey. He also speaks with his family in Turkey on the phone almost every day.  (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan savoring a meal with his family. Cooking Middle Japanese meals right here in Canada served him to altered to his new region by connecting him back again to the land, culture, and relatives he left guiding in Turkey. He also speaks with his household in Turkey on the telephone almost every day. (Photograph courtesy of the Alkan relatives)

According to Tuncay, suffering from that relationship to Turkey by cooking has aided him get by way of a single of the most important issues while changing to a new region: missing his spouse and children and friends.

“We miss out on them a large amount,” Tuncay suggests. “We discuss every single working day, acquiring video talks and displaying them all-around. We chat about what’s happening in this article and there.”

Yet another major problem for Tuncay has been changing to the Canadian winter, primarily in the course of the pandemic, when social gatherings and winter season routines have been limited.

“Winter is not my favorite local weather,” he laughs. “I was enthusiastic to locate some winter activities sooner or later.”

Irrespective of these issues, Tuncay does truly feel a perception of residence and belonging in Peterborough. He and his relatives enjoy checking out trails and character and have a goal to investigate a person new area every single week.

“I enjoy dwelling in Peterborough,” he says. “It’s a actually relatives-helpful metropolis with attractive trails and mother nature. There are so quite a few wonderful destinations to find out.”

In addition to working towards cooking and checking out nature, Tuncay credits the New Canadians Centre (NCC) in Peterborough for supporting him settle in his new region, this kind of as by furnishing support to enable him obtain a perform allow and his long lasting residency.

Tuncay Alkan credits the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough for helping him settle in his new country, such as by providing assistance to help him obtain a work permit and his permanent residency.  (Photo courtesy of the Alkan family)
Tuncay Alkan credits the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough for encouraging him settle in his new nation, this kind of as by furnishing guidance to enable him acquire a get the job done permit and his long lasting residency. (Photograph courtesy of the Alkan loved ones)

Prior to the pandemic, NCC was also aiding Tuncay pursue his concept of opening a café in Peterborough. Sad to say, the task is on keep owing to the pandemic, but Tuncay hopes to make it transpire in the foreseeable future.

“I could just are living in the kitchen for the rest of my life, so I made the decision to anything that I like and prepared to open a tiny café,” he describes. “I’m currently functioning, so I’m not in a hurry, but it’s continue to on my brain. I almost certainly will do it immediately after COVID.”

So even if you do not test out Tuncay’s hummus recipe, you may possibly even now have a probability to consider it sometime.


The #CookWithNCC sequence was established in partnership with the New Canadians Centre (NCC) in Peterborough to share stories of immigration and integration. Other stories in the series include things like Jessie Iriwanto and her beef rendang recipe.

Aromas, flavours, elements, who we prepare dinner for and how we share our recipes — they all tell tales that condition us as a local community. On this journey by pantries and kitchens, we hope that you will fill both equally your plate and your heart.

Share your working experience trying out these recipes, or your possess story and recipe, on social media making use of the hashtag #CookWithNCC.

To be part of the New Canadians Centre on their 40-calendar year journey of welcoming immigrants and refugees, take a look at

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