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Normal Kurdish dinner (also called a feast..)

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I was out with Mum visiting one of her good friends yesterday. It was suppose to be a quick dinner with some nice company that ended up like a feast. The woman making the food thought we’d be like 4-5 people at the most, but we ended up being 8 women with 4 kids. So when you see all the food further down, just imagine that this was actually made for just 4 people. :p

We got there after she had started making the food so this is more a picture heavy thread than it is a recipe one seeing as I have no recipes.

I saw two huge casseroles on the stove and asked what was in them. The first one was yaprax/dolma:

In the other one, she had begun making biryani:

She’s making the biryani the qobli way which is why it has so much water in it. And it’s yellow because of turmeric.

After the rice was done, she called me over to show me how you actually turn it into biryani.

She had this super yummy mix of raisins, potatoes and almonds which was fried together in a pan.

She took half the rice in a huge bowl and spread the mix over as well as spicing it with something my mum said is called biryani spice (have to check that out) before putting the rest of the rice over and mixing it. Done!

And when we have rice, we also have shla (soup) for it. She made tapsi and shlai bamé (okra soup).

And I guess she didn’t feel like there was enough meat in the two soups and the yaprax together, so she also made tons of chicken!

And there was the yaprax. This is the correct and really fun way of serving it. You get a serving plate that’s bigger than your casserole and put in on like a lid. You then flip it and put it where you want it and lift (this is usually very heavy so be careful!). The yaprax should fall down and form a mountain. Yum!

With all this food, we of course had to have some sawza, which means “greens”. It was a mix of teretize (garden cress) , karawz (parsley leaves) and jatra (no one seems to know what this is in English).

Can you imagine all this food for 4 people? I mean, jeez! She really outdid herself! It was all really good, but I tried to contain myself and mostly ate the biryani with the tapsi. I tried everything of course, but for someone that doesn’t eat too much at a time; this was just.. too much! I think I stared at it all for like 5 minutes before I knew where to begin. And we of course ate on the floor, Kurdish style.

After dinner, it was time for some relaxing before the snacks came out. Kurdish style again, of course.

We had cheress (name for nut-mix):

Managed to eat half a home-made koliche before my stomach yelled “THERE’S MILK IN THIS!”, so I asked and she confirmed. *sad*

And last, but definitely not least, there was chai.

Right.. so..  normal Kurdish dinner? Not quite, but still yes. Kurdish women tend to go all out when they get visitors, and Mrs. Kazhaw that made all this for us was no exception. It was all delicious and she did a very good job.

Next up on my list to make is definitely biryani!


About Sophie

I'm a happy go lucky girl without the ability to relax. I love everything colorful and creative! Send me an email on if you feel the need to contact me. :-)

18 responses »

  1. Reuben Barwari

    When am I invited over for dinner?

  2. I want me some of that yaprax! Food looks awesome!

  3. Great blog! Great food too!

  4. Avin Rostami

    såå mye godt men ingenting slå dolme :) yumi

  5. I like you blog so much. It is very easy and fun.

  6. Salam!
    Datani oppskrifti Koliche bnuse?

  7. Avin: Hah, jeg klarte ikke å slutte å spise biryani, jeg, faktisk. Føler at jeg får det enda sjeldnere enn yaprax!

    Marianne: Thanks! I like you for liking it. :-)

    Shillana: Ay chon!

  8. Sophie gian magsadam awa bu ka lera boman bnusi taku amnish ferbm, chonkine aw nanai ka lapishda drostt krdn zor xoshn :)

  9. dastxosh Gulakam :)

  10. Hello Halat,
    I am also a kurdish girl from iraq, Duhok. When I saw all this great food I felt so HUNGRY! It looks great! It has been a while I didn’t eat real kurdish food.

    I actually stumbled over your blog while looking for some wedding photos, and I have to say that I love your photos. I like the colors in them and the set up of the couples. I just got married too this June in Stockholm to an Italian guy and cooking is not always the easiest thing in our household :). I am actually learning to do italian food and my speciality is home made pesto!

    Great blog and more posts about kurdish food
    Ha det bra :)

  11. Mashalla zorrrr sideki jwana . Dast xosh . Zor Sarkawtu bit !!!! (-:

  12. Hi Sophie! I love your blog. I think jatra in English is thyme :) put some more posts pls!

  13. Did u find out what the biryani spice was? Looks very good!

  14. Fantastic, I like it… however Dullma is my best dish, but still I prefer Kfta I mean Tershik in Sorani .hhhhh


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