Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
~ George Bernard Shaw.

I was going to post some pictures of Cizîr, but after getting sidetracked by food pictures, I decided to post some of them instead. We can do Cizîr later.

As far as I'm concerned, grilled food with flat bread and a side of shepherd's salad (çoban salatası in Turkish) is the best kind of food in Kurdistan, or in the whole world, for that matter. It's simple, primal, delicious and the spices on the meat are always just right. Everyone else can have their haute cuisine or nouvelle cuisine or whatever . . . give me something like this every day and I'll be happy.

This was the ambience accompanying the grilled meal above. Near Nisêbîn (Nusaybin).

Dolma for lunch at home. Perfect.

Evening spread at a relative's home. The lamb in broth was the best because, in this case, a liberal hand was used with the dried red pepper flakes.

If you have to eat, you have to shop. Here are large bags full of eggplant and cucumbers. Naturally I prefer my eggplant grilled on coals, skinned, and mashed with garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. In the vegetable world, nothing beats that smoky, eggplant flavor.

Peppers for grilling and peppers for stuffing. For some reason, I'm drawn to the vegetables in the markets. Maybe it's the fabulous variety of bright colors and textures of the vegetables that attract me.

A selection of poğaça for breakfast wıth a nice, big glass of hot tea! The spicy meat filling was the best. The texture of the bread is incredibly tender and I don't know of anything else quite like it. I prefer poğaça even more than börek. I haven't seen anything like this in South Kurdistan. Too bad. They don't know what they're missing. The tea here was Kurdish tea, not Turkish tea. Turkish tea is grown in the Black Sea region and is bitter--no matter how much you water it down. Kurdish tea generally comes from India, or tea-growing regions near India and is not at all bitter.

More vegetables. Notice at the top left there are grape leaves for making into delectable sarma.

Dinner at home, waiting for the fried chicken . . .

. . . And there it is! Crispy! Spicy! Delicious! Ax! I could go back just to eat.


Frank Partisan said...

That was a really good post. Wow.

Could you email me at the address on my profile, one Kurdish recipe, that anyone can make.

Every month and half or so, I highlight a blog and a recipe from the blogger. See this.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just finished dinner an hour ago and this post made me incredibly hungry...

Thanks! :P

Anonymous said...

by the way... there is something quite similar to "poğaça" in Southern Kurdistan. Not sure what it is called but a nice Akreyi mother made it one morning. The only thing is they don't make it spicy in Bashur. But it was delicious!

Hevallo said...

Oh memories, memories! I especially remember one time sitting down on the floor with the 'Sofra' (tablecloth) in front with family and a hugh round silver platter being placed in front of us with a Kurdish meal of Chicken and Rice and we all ate with our hands from the platter!

Chunks of fresh bread being broken up........

Oh, the mornings when Ipek would be down in the garden shed with smoke pouring out the chimney at 5 in the morning. Spinning the doe around on her fingers and slapping it against the wall of tandor dug into the ground with dung being used as fuel.......


Thanks heval!

Azadîxwaz said...

Oh god, I miss all those great food too! And now I miss it even more after seeing your pictures.

I have a piece of news for you Mizgin, just click on http://azadixwaz.blogspot.com/2008/06/recently-there-have-been-some.html

Mizgîn said...

Renegade, I have sent you an email with a few recipes that are easy and appropriate for hot weather.

Anonymous, it's good to hear they have a pogaca-type thing in the South. I'm not surprised, though, to hear they didn't use a spicy filling. I have noticed that Southern food doesn't have too much spice at all. I usually associate spicy food with the North. But pogaca in the North also has bland fillings, like cheese or potato. Maybe you had something similar?

I also noticed this time that the South has no public culture of kahvalti--breakfast. In private homes, of course, they do have a breakfast similar to that of the north, but nothing public. Our second day in the South we stumbled by accident on a restaurant that DID serve us a proper kahvalti. The place was owned and run by Bakuri Kurds from Sirnak, Amed, and Urfa.

Hevallo, yes, the memories. One thing I noticed was that I forgot how much I really enjoy village pide.

Azadixwaz, excellent job on Taraf's Daglica report! Aferin! Keep it up. I will see what's going on tomorrow, and if I have a political post, I'll certainly include a link.

Richard said...

Interesting to read your blog, which Hevallo directed me to. I'm actually trying to write an article on Kurdish food in southeastern Turkey at the moment, which is a strange state of affairs as I am in no way knowledgeable on this, and therefore I am in need of some advice on the subject. Would be good to be able to correspond by email or even on the phone (I live in London)

Anonymous said...

You're right Mizgîn! In the North is where the food can be spicy, especially in Amed. You're also absolutely right about public dining in the South. Home Southern Kurdish food can be just as delicious as any part of Kurdistan but for some reason they haven't quite got the public dining on par. Except of course for the fish, and like u said, the Bakûrî joints!

Yes, the "pogaca" from Akrê did have fillings like cheese and potatoes so they must be the same.

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Unknown said...

I know it’s been years since you posted. Today i got curious because someone from Iraq -Kurdistan came into our Mobile App Food Feedback, http://appstore.com/foodfeedback, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-Feedback/149661358566649
So happy to find your blog and learn a bit more about Kurdish Cuisine! Thank you!