First up is a dessert called paklawa (usually spelled baklava if you want to google it, but we pronounce it paklawa). Mum never made this for us when we were younger as we weren’t really into sweets, but she made a diabetes friendly (for my Dad) version the other day and it’s awesome! Usually this is soo sweet and the syrup and honey just drips off it, but not this one. It’s perfect.
Baklava (Ottoman Turkish: باقلوا) is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia.
Next up on the delish list is kifta. Kifta is well.. kind of hard to explain. It’s a ball of rice with meat inside in a stew. There’s plenty of ways to make this as some people use rice to make the “ball”, while others use cousous and there’s red stew and there’s white. Everyone has their own version. I’m extremely biased so I’m gonna say that my mums kifta is the best. :-)
Last but certainly not least is yaprax/dolma. The name is a constant discussion amongst Kurds as some use the Turkish name dolma and others use the Arabic word yaprax. There is no Kurdish word for this. My family uses yaprax.
Yaprax is a rice mix which is packed into tomatoes, squash, onion, grape leaves and other vegetables you like. They are stacked in a huge casserole (or a small one if you’re making less) with chicken and lamb meat and put on low heat for a couple of hours. When done, you put a huge plate that’s bigger than the casserole on top of it like a lid, turn the casserole upside down and lift it. The yaprax should fall down gorgeously and form a small mountain. *dreams*
Again, my mum has cooked these 3 dishes and not me. I can’t wait to show you mine when I get my courage up enough to try them. :-)