Write:H.Mert Kaya / Erol Tuzcu - Photo:Serkan Eldeleklioğlu
Konya Cuisine Tastes Of The Steppes
The characteristics of being the capital of the Anatolian Seljuks and the home of Rûmi, Shams and Sultan Walad have also left distinctive marks in Konya’s gourmet culture.
Konya is one of the most important centers in Anatolia, where the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, Seljuks, Karamanoğulları and the Ottomans once reigned. Intercultural exchange, due to intersecting trade routes and a heavy flow of caravan traffic have enriched Konya’s diverse cuisine. The etiquette and selectiveness of the Seljuks is maintained in the province to this day. The unusual table manners and dining etiquette that developed in the palaces of Konya are still observed to a certain extent. For example, unlike most cultures who eat dessert after the meal, in Konya dessert is eaten before the meal. Okra soup, one of the traditional dishes of Konya, is served towards the end of the meal, for example, due to the known fact that okra aids in digestion. These traditions most likely originated from the traditions of the Seljuk Palaces in the Middle Ages. On the other hand, a total sense of discipline brought in by Mawlana Jalaluddin Rûmi, whom Konya has always held in great esteem, has also left its marks in the cuisine of Konya. The most distinguishing factor in the cuisine of Konya that sets it apart from classical Ottoman Cuisine is the use of very little herbs in the meal preparation, so that the flavors of the main ingredients remain prominent. The modesty of the great people who lived in the region, have in a way influenced Konya Cuisine. Roasted lamb is a prime example. Lean lamb, which has not been marinated, is typically roasted in a tandoor oven in its own juices and fat, owing its flavor to nothing other than its own. The fact that the traditional Seljuk cuisine has been preserved to this very day is a delightful acquisition for the Anatolian food culture.
KONYA FIRIN (OVEN) KEBAB
Lamb from the Karaman region, Konya.
PREPARATION: Debone the lamb and cut into chunks. Placed in oven trays and roasted until the top has browned. After, transfer the roasted chunks of meat from the oven trays into a large copper bowl, add some of the fat that had been trimmed off of the meat and bake in the oven for approximately 8 hours.
150 grams of dried okra (boiled), 100 grams of beef (cubed), hot red pepper puree and butter.
PREPARATION: Heat butter in a pan and add the hot red pepper puree until it mixes well and becomes pink. Add the meat and saute for a few minutes. Add the boiled okra and the water in which they were boiled in. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. When the meat and the okra is soft, the dish is ready to be served.
KONYA TİRİT KEBAB
200 grams of sirloin, finely sliced grilled pita, 100 grams of drained natural yogurt and butter for the sauce.
PREPARATION: First, place the finely sliced and grilled pitas on a dish; then cover the pitas with yogurt, and the meat on top. Pour melted butter over the dish and serve. Garnish with tomatoes and peppers (optional).