Kurdish Food

In the history of 13Months, the most popular post has been the one entitled "Kurdish Food."

Unfortunately, instead of actual Kurdish food, I posted a picture of a burrito. Why did I do that? The answer is simple; I was tired of Kurdish food and I wanted a burrito.

With this post I hope to atone for that.

Below you will find two pictures of two different Kurdish meals as well as a recipe for Kurdish rice. This recipe was originally given to me by a kind Texas woman, but I have made a couple of small changes. I think it's pretty good.

In fact, Goran told me that it's even better than his!

I've never had his rice, though, so I don't know if it's a compliment or not...

This picture is from a picnic (sayran ba Kurdi) we took a little over a week ago.

Kurdish picnics are an all day affair, though ours only lasted about 5 or 6 hours from start to finish. This was a simple picnic, so we had dolme or yaprax followed by meat skewers and fruit.

Dolme is rice-stuffed vegetables and leaves. Ours was wrapped in sulik (a leaf that I don't know in English) only; no veggies or grape leaves.

We ate that while the meat cooked. Also, while the meat cooked, I cut up the vegetables for the Kurdish salad: cucumbers, tomatoes, green pepper and onion. Then we put lemon juice and salt in it and it was done.

You should also know that we cut the meat at the picnic site. Then we skewered it and cooked it over coals.

To eat the meat, you simply tear off a piece of the flat bread, wrap in some meat, onions and greens and have at it. If we were fancy, we'd have had sumac to add to the meat, but we aren't so we didn't.

This is a photo of a meal Angie and I ate tonight. I can't give you the cooking details because I didn't cook any of it. I just showed up and ate it.

These meal had the Kurdish staples: rice, beans, chicken, lamb, greens, salad and home-made bread. There was even okra and mast aw (a drink made of yogurt and water). I don't like either okra or mast aw, so I avoided those.

We met a guy at a cafeteria a couple of days ago and he invited us to his home for a meal. He works with the US Military and heads back south tomorrow morning. We head home on Tuesday, so this may be the only time we'll ever see him and his family. We had a great time, though.

Ok, here's what you've been waiting for:

My Kurdish Rice:

  • Boil some water.
  • Get some rice. I use Jasmine rice and it doesn't really matter how much you use.
  • Pour the boiling water on the rice. Use enough water to cover the rice. Cover that and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the rice.
  • Put enough oil (corn or sunflower) to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Don't go crazy, but don't skimp either.
  • When the oil is hot, toss in some raisins. The amount depends on the amount of rice you're using.
  • Fry them a little and then put in the rice.
  • Fry the rice a little bit.
  • Pour in about 1.5 times as much water as the original amount of rice (if you started with 1 cup of uncooked rice, then use 1.5 cups of water). Keep your eye on the rice and add more water if you need it.
  • Also, add a chicken bullion cube to the water (this is key!).
  • Cover and let it cook until it's done.

This isn't a true Kurdish rice recipe because, I cook the raisins at the same time and I add chicken bullion. BUT! The cheat makes it taste pretty authentic, and, like I mentioned earlier, Kurdish people like it.

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