This manuscript describes the historical background of gastronomy and culinary culture from ancient times to the present day of Konya, which is a world city. Konya is an important historical center that has witnessed various civilizations from ancient times to the present day. Anatolia’s doors opened to the Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, and Konya then became their capital of Seljuks. Konya was annexed into the borders of the Ottoman Empire in 1465. The city has become one of the most developed cities in modern Turkey. Turkish cuisine culture is one of the most ancient ones and today and has one of the world’s richest cuisines. From the historical point of view, Konya is evaluated as Prehistoric, Seljuk, Ottoman Empire, and today’s Turkish Republic periods. Konya’s cuisine has been very famous in the past and is even now today. The combined effects of Seljuk, Persian, and Mevlevi cuisines reaching from Central Asia to Konya form one of the roots of today’s Turkish food culture. After the Turks settled in Anatolia, combined with the materials they brought from Central Asia and the geographical regions they passed through, the cuisine has reached a high status, which continues even today. Mevlevi cuisine was also influenced by the Seljuk palace kitchen. Some of the foods that Mevlana mentioned in his books named “Mesnevi” still exist in Konya’s cuisine today. The nutritional needs of people visiting the city have also influenced the development of Konya’s cuisine. In this article, the most famous dishes of Konya’s culinary culture are introduced.
Nutrition is one of the essential foundations of human physiological needs. Nutrition is very important and is therefore an extremely studied discipline. Experts in this field claim that eating is related to a nations’ culture, as each nation has its own food system that is formed by its culture. Since the early centuries, people have developed rules about eating. These rules with time and combined with the societies’ structure and values formed culinary culture unique to those societies. The culinary culture of each community has some similarities and differences. From the past to the present, each community, depending on its environmental conditions, has developed a unique food system and culture of its own. Turkish cuisine culture, which can be claimed to be one of the most ancient cultures in the culinary field and one of the world’s largest kitchens, has thrived in historical periods. These periods can be classified as prehistoric, Central Asia, Seljuk, and its principalities, Ottoman Empire, and the Republic Period. The investigation must be separated into periods because formation had occurred in these periods. Konya’s cuisine is a magnificent formation that has been improved in Seljuk Palaces and combined with Mevlevi manner and proprieties. Konya Kitchen which starts from Prehistoric times and develops in the 13th century and goes up today creates Classical Turkish Cuisine with its rules.
The Seljuk Empire was one of the most important empires established by the Turks in Anatolia. Konya was the capital of the Seljuk Empire and the most important cultural center of that period. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi was the greatest philosophical thinker of the Seljuk period, and he lived in Konya. Mevlana was one of the most important personalities in Turkish-Islamic culture and was also the founder of the Mevlevi Sect, which is very famous worldwide. The Mevlevi Sect is well known among the world’s Muslims even today. It is celebrated every year between December 7 and 17 as the birthday of “Şeb-i Arus” Mevlana. In these 11 days, a large number of guests come to Konya and participate in the ceremonies. Thousands of tourists who want to witness the mystical moment and who are interested in Mevlevi culture flock to Konya from different countries. Even at other times of the year, many local and foreign tourists visit Konya. Consequently, Konya has gained a very different and important status in the Turkish culinary culture in terms of being the capital of the Seljuk and being the center of the Mevlevi order for 600 centuries. For all these reasons, the culinary culture of Konya is very famous and has very superior food varieties.
Meat with bread (etliekmek) is the first meal that comes to the minds of people who visit the city. Etliekmek, which is called as “pide” in other cities, has earned its contemporary fame because it is produced more elaborately in Konya. Trade caravans added colorful food culture to Konya’s cuisine as Konya was one of the crossing points of trade caravans. Food culture traditions that started in the Seljuk period in Konya are still in use. In Konya, cuisine using less spices is preferred in order to allow the taste of the main food ingredient to dominate. For example, when cooking the famous Konya oven lamb kebab, lamb meat is cooked for eight hours in its own fat in a copper boiler without adding spices. Besides okra soup and oven kebab, tastes particular to Konya such as meat with bread, yogurt soup, stuffed vine leaves, and minced meat with water pastry can be easily found in long-established restaurants in Konya. The present article attempts to introduce the most famous dishes of Konya’s cuisine, extending to the Seljuk Empire and consumed even today.
2. Culinary history of world city Konya
2.1. Pre-Seljuks period
As Akman mentioned in his research, Çatalhöyük hosts the remains of an agricultural community of nine thousand years ago which had continued its existence for 1400 years between 7400–6000 BC. Konya, BC Beginning with 7000, it has seen the important civilizations of human history. It is also a city that brings up many Islamic intellectuals such as Hazrat Mevlana, who brings rich culture and revives Islam to many people’s hearts. Konya is an exceptional city that today has almost gained the identity of a museum city and as a trade and accommodation center of the historical Silk Road (Fig. 1). The excavations in Karahöyük and Ereğli have shown that there were people living in Konya during the Hittite period. Hittites had dominated the region in the 8th Century B.C., and the region entered the sovereignty of Phyrigians and Kimmers after the Hittites. It stayed under the dominance of the Lydians in the 7th Century B.C. and the Persians in the 6th Century B.C. It joined the Macedonian Kingdom with the elimination of Persian State by Alexander the Great in Anatolia. Documents related to the Early Bronze Age has emerged with the excavations at Çatalhöyük. In this regard, Konya is one of the places where Anatolia’s oldest settlement centers exist.
At Çatalhöyük where one of the most interesting settlements was discovered, people spent most of their time sowing and reaping the fields, where they grew grains and legumes and then harvested them. People of Çatalhöyük began farming in this period. Agriculture appears to have started in 7000 B.C. in Çatalhöyük. The first samples of agriculture and the basic products, namely barley, wheat, lentils, peas, vetch, nuts, and acorns, have been found in Çatalhöyük. Among the daily animal nutrition consumed by people who lived in Çatalhöyük, mutton dominated followed by goat meat. The beef was consumed less. Inhabitants of Çatalhöyük also used animal fats. Extensive data have been obtained regarding the disintegration of bones and the extraction of fat and marrows. Analysis of the bones of people of Çatalhöyük revealed that beef protein was not an important component of the diet.
Though we do not have information about the eating and drinking behavior of other communities, information about the Roman Period (750 B.C. – 476 A.D.) has been obtained from ancient writers. The main menu of Romans, so-called “puls” was dough prepared by mixing water, milk, and wheat. Romans additionally ate onion, garlic, and cheese with puls. During the Empire Period (27 B.C. –A.D. 476), wheat bread was eaten together with puls. During this period, eating meat and fish was no longer considered as a luxury, because even poor people had started consuming meat. Animal meat consumed by Romans includes swine, sheep, goat, cattle, geese, duck, peacock, pigeon, and wild boar. The Romans had rich food and table culture. They had flashy tableware and foods brought from all over the world. Everything was magnificent, and the meaning of life for Romans was tantamount with eating. It was like they lived to eat, and not eat to live.
2.2. Culinary of Konya at Seljuk Age
Turks arrived in Anatolia in 1071 and settled there; they chose Konya as their capital city after establishing Anatolian Seljuk Empire and brought to life the most outstanding civilization of that era. The Anatolian Seljuks had developed an excellent culinary in this age. Anatolian Seljuk State was founded in 1074. Although Anatolian Seljuks chose İznik as the capital of the state, they made Konya their capital after losing İznik at the time of the First Crusade. In the following period, Konya was adorned with architectural artifacts of Anatolian Seljuks, and in a short time, it became one of the most developed cities of Anatolia. Many behavior patterns regarding beverage and food, food names, and culinary in Turkish Kitchen that had started after the arrival of Seljuk Turks to Anatolia in the 12th century have been retained even today with no change. Trotting soup, pide with meat (bread with meat), phyllo dish, tutmach soup, stew, hosmerim dessert, slurry, syrup, sausage, bacon, yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, boza (sweet beverage), and kavut (Halvah) can be given as examples for the names of the dishes, food, and beverage. Moreover, phrases and terms for kitchen, such as stew, pots, and skewer, and behavior patterns such as dining on the ground still exist in Turkish Kitchen and Konya culinary culture.
Seljuk culinary style has an important place in Turkish gastronomy. It is possible to see Seljuk-age Konya culinary style with the help of historical resources. Among those resources are Divanü Lugati-t Türk, Kutadgu Bilig, Mesnevi ve Divan-ı Kebir, and Selçukname. Divanü Lugati-t Türk (1072–1073): In a work that was prepared as a dictionary by Mahmut of Kashgar in order to teach Turkish to Arabs, we can find food and meal names that still exist in Konya’s Kitchen. In addition, some information such as recipes and kitchen tools are also available. In this work of Kashgar, the 11th century gave a special place to define drinks and soft drinks in Turkish cuisine. The same work also contains information that can be used as resources and bases for Anatolian Seljuks’ food culture.
According to Mahmut of Kashgar, one of the most beloved meats of Turks was fatty meat called “kazı” which was obtained from the belly of the horse. Oguz; they raised lamb in order to make kebabs and called goat meat “söğüş” (galantine). It is seen that ‘söğüş’ today we use in the Turkish language has at least one thousand years pastrewrite. “Sagn Agu” was used for dried pumpkin, and dried fruits were named “kak”. In winter, the people consumed sugar in water or compote boiled with molasses.
2.2.1. Mesnevi and Divan-ı Kebir (13th century)
Mevlana, the founder of the philosophy of heart unity that will unite people in the circle of love; has given a lot of information about eating, drinking, culinary culture and Konya culinary culture has been passed down until today. Mevlana’s book (Masnevi), which lived in the 13th century, is another source of information about the food culture in the Seljuk Period. After Mevlana, Mevlevi food culture, food, and beverage rules are determined. The Mevlevi kitchen gave great importance and started student education in the kitchen.
Turks did not abandon livestock even after settlement. Hence, mutton is more dominant in the Seljuk kitchen. Cattles were not butchered because of their use in farm work and for milk production. The pork was never found in the Turkish kitchen even before Turks became Muslim. They ate little fish and hunted animals, but mussels, lobster, shrimp, etc, were never seen in their cuisine. Furthermore, under the influence of religion, meat and milk of single-hoofed animals such as donkey and mule were never used in the Turkish kitchen. It is reported that when Aladdin Keykubat became the ruler of Konya, a great feast was served in the palace. On this feast’s table, boranis, stews, sogulmes, biryans, and chicken, pigeon, partidge, and quail kebabs were placed according to Oguz Turks’ tradition.
The Seljuk Turks made İznik their capital city after the conquest, and a few soldier families who stayed in Konya cooked and consumed foods they know. Islamic-Turkish population came to Konya with time, from other areas such as Caucasus and Near-East, and they brought their food culture along with them. While cooking grain and meat dishes in Konya, they also cooked meals from naturally grown vegetables and herbs cultivated in Konya. This is considered to be the reason for the development of excellent Konya culinary. Nutrition like meat, oil, yogurt, and wheat form the basis of the Seljuk diet and foods. It is possible to classify Seljuk era dishes as soups, meat dishes, pastries, vegetables, and desserts.
Wheat was also the most important livelihood and nutritional resource of people who lived in the 13th Century in Anatolia and Konya, as it is today. Foodstuff named “bulgur” (wheat) was produced by breaking and boiling wheat. Various drinks and bozas (sweet beverages) were produced by breaking fermenting the wheat after wetting with water. Flour was produced by drying and grinding wheat and barley at the mills. Flour was most commonly used to produce bread, just like it is done today. In the Anatolian Seljuks’ Konya, three types of bread made of flour attracted attention, namely “somun, bazlama, and yufka”. Somun was baked in ovens and tandoors. Bazlama was produced on a hot metal sheet or oven. Bazlama is still loved today in Konya. Yufka, as it is known as “lavash” in Masnavi, is known and consumed today as “shepit” in Konya. “Dürüm” is a food cooked by putting the cheese in the yufka and curling the yufka after it has been rolled and fried. “Dürüm” was consumed after it was fried as it is today.
The cow was the main animal used for milk production in Seljuk age. It is known that Seljuk people prepared different products from the milk of animals such as sheep, goat, buffalo, and camel. Foodstuff such as yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, milk cream, and fat produced from milk played an important role in the nutrition of Turks. Milk and milk products were used alone as well as for cooking various foods.
As understood from Mevlevi sources, in the Konya Kitchen of Seljuk Age, wheat rice, simple rice, rice with pepper and carrot, and rice with meat were cooked . Biryan means kebab. According to “Selcukname”, biryans is written as plural, thus in the feast, there are many kinds of Kebabs opinion that will be figured out. I agree that this Kebab has been prepared about turning-kebab which has been told as goose and chicken kebab in the Selcukname.
3. Cuisine of Konya during the Ottoman period
After the destruction of the Seljuk Empire, Konya, which was the capital for Seljuk, was subjected to centuries long decadence, because of years of political bickering between Karaman Principality who superseded Seljuk and Ottomans. Like other cultural values, no progress was made in Konya’s cuisine, and the kitchen culture that lasted for centuries kept being implemented. This situation became apparent, especially in Konya plains’ village kitchens. Even today, it is possible to see some serious Seljuk Culinary tradition effects on the plains’ village kitchens. Various kinds of Kebabs were not present in the kitchen of Konya, just like other local kitchens. The meat was more likely to be cooked in a pot, pan, and earthenware pot and then served. The kebab was more known as meat cooked and eaten at the marketplace ovens in Konya. Additionally, some housewives used to cook meat dish called “fragrant meat” that was similar to oven-cooked kebab, which was cooked without water in a pot with its own steam and had a scent unique to it. One of the great features of Konya Cuisine is that varieties of meals are fewer than those in the kitchen of Istanbul and other major cities. Although there were few varieties of meals, they were more intense in terms of quality, fillingness, and labor. These features, which determine the traditional Konya Cuisine, are isolated from external violence and some innovations and lasted for today.
4. Cuisine in the Republican Period
Konya, which rapidly grew and developed in the Republican Period, appears today as a city of open-air museum with culture of historical monuments. Mevlana in particular enlightened humanity with his idea and philosophy, and this effect continues today with his works such as Mesnevi and Divan-ı Kebir. Yet again Nasruddin Hodja is a wise person who aided for the development of culture and social life of Konya with his humor and suggestive jokes.
4.1. Meat dishes
Meat has a very special place in the eating habits of Turks. Edible animals in Konya’s Cuisine in the age of Seljuk were lamb, sheep, billy goat, goat, yeanling, horse, poultry, hunted birds, and fish. It is known that meat was dried to create bacon to eat in spring when animals become skinny, also being benefited from animal’s head and lung parts. The kebab in Kashgar’s work was not different from the kebabs of our time today. Wallachia mentions rice with kebab in Konya. “Rice with meat” in “Konya Wedding Dinner” menu is the essential meal especially in marriage, circumcision, and Iftar invitations in Konya’s county center (Fig. 2).
In Turkish Cuisine, meat dishes vary according to their types and are always the main meal. They are classified as dishes such as rotational, tandoor kebabs, grills, skewers, pit kebabs, meatballs, doner, bugulama (steamed and boiled), stews, etc. and are prepared from red meats of sheep, lamb, and beef; dishes prepared from white meats such as fish and chicken; dishes prepared from the meat of turkey, geese, and similar poultries with hunt meats. “Cebic” is a lamb or goat meat that is cooked in pit tandoor; it is still popular today and is much loved and consumed in Konya. It is also called “tandoor kebab”. Cebic is the most magnificent in feast tables in Konya. People go to “cebic” feast in the morning, and at breakfast, grilled lamb’s liver is served. Lamb cooked in pit tandoor is served with wheat rice for lunch. According to gourmets of Konya, the most delicious cebic is cooked in September because lambs are at the highest level in terms of taste in this month.
4.1.1. Pit-Tandoor (kuyu tandır)-Kebab
In Central Konya, sheep, lamb, or goat are cut and cleaned, and the meat is cooked by hanging in hot pit-tandoor. It is called tandoor kebab in Konya. In some parts of Anatolia, sheep are cut and cleaned; salt and pepper are added to its abdominal cavity; the abdominal cavity is sewn, a stick is inserted in its mouth and passed through its back, and this stick is used to rotate the meat in order to cook.
Tandoors of Konya are a little smooth and well-shaped; they are made by digging a hole in the ground for a depth of 80–90 cm. The Tandoor was a conical-shaped tiny well made of red soil. Tandoor’s nozzle was slightly narrower than its bottom side. There was an air hole at the bottom of the Tandoor in order to mix fire and oxygen homogeneously to burn more smoothly. Tandoor was set on fire using wood or other flammable material and goat or lamb was ready to cook after making Tandoor’s walls completely red and covering the blazing fire with ash to keep the heat at a constant degree (Fig. 2).
4.1.2. Tandoor Kebab (Cebic)
It is usually cooked on special days in Konya. Tandoor kebab is cooked from lamb during summertime and from goat during autumn. This tandoor kebab is commonly called “Cebic”, and it is made of lamb or goat. Cebics are prepared from the meat of young mohair goats of less than one year of age. Cebic is usually cooked by men. The lamb must be cut and cleansed of its skin 8–10 hours before hanging in tandoor.
4.1.3. Making cebic
The meat to be cooked in the tandoor must be fresh. Lamb is cut on the day to be cooked in tandoor. Four legs of lamb are firmly tied to each other. Its head is embedded between its legs. A solid iron skewer is inserted between its tied legs. It is tightly tied from its waist to prevent falling during cooking. The tandoor oven is set on fire, and when the blazing state is passed and constant heat is achieved, a huge pot half-filled with water is put in order to drop lamb’s water. Lamb is dangled in tandoor to place its backside the ground. A metal plate is placed on the mouth of Tandoor, and around this metal plate is sealed air-tight with red mud. Cebic is left on its own to be cooked. The cooking time differs depending on the animal’s condition. Young and skinny animals are cooked in 1–1.5 hours, while fat and old ones are cooked in 2.5–3.5 hours. During cooking, the tandoor is often observed, and if there is an air leak, it is sealed and made airtight. When the lamb is cooked, the metal sheet is removed, and the lamb meat is extracted by holding two sides of the iron. The wires are then untied. According to the tradition of Konya, lamb or goat meat is eaten on a ground table without tearing the meat into pieces. The use of fork and knife does not exist in the tradition. If a goat or lamb meat is easily separated with a simple shake from its bones, it means the meat is well cooked.
4.1.4. Oven Kebab (Konya)
Oven-kebab is among the special tastes of Konya culinary from past to present day. When the kebab cooked in the oven is called ‘oven kebab’ and when it is cooked in tandoor is called ‘cebic’ or ‘tandooor kebab’ in Konya. First, some particular pieces are taken from sheep and placed in a copper boiler. Four sheep can fit into the quite large copper boiler. Sheep meat placed in the copper boiler is cooked with its own fat and addition of some salt and water. Sheep meats and some salt are placed in the copper boiler in order to be cooked in an oven fired with oak wood. The dish is taken out of the oven after seven hours of cooking. Meat taken out of the boiler is placed in a tray. First, a local bread called “bazlama” (flatbread) is placed in a serving dish, and the meat is then placed on the flatbread and served.
Lamb or sheep must be kept undisturbed for 7–8 hours after being cut. Although kebab can be made from all parts of the animal except back legs, ribs, and forearms are the most desirable parts. With the more meat the Oven Kebab is cooked, the more delicious and soft it becomes. If lamb is used for cooking, no water is added, and it is cooked in its own water. If lamb is used for cooking, water is not added, but only the meat is cooked with its own water. The lamb is cooked for 3–3.5 hours, the sheep for 4 hours. It can be said that the oven kebab came from the Seljuk Period.
4.1.5. Stew (yahni)
Yahni is a Persian word. It means cured meat. Sheep and beef meats are cleaned after they are cut into appropriate pieces. It is lightly fried in salt and onion and pepper and spices are added and boiled until the meat is cooked. It has names such as “garlic stew”, “onion stew”, and “chickpea stew” if cooked with garlic, onion, chickpea, and other pleasing spices that are put on the meat.
4.2. Vineyard vine leaves
In our traditional Turkish Cuisine, many kinds of stuffed leaves are available, of which the most famous are made with vine and cabbage leaves using meat and olive oil. Although it requires an effort from morning until evening to prepare a pot of stuffed leaves, it does not take more than 20–25 minutes to eat all those meticulously prepared stuffed leaves on the table. However, the taste that stuffed leaves leave in our mouth, and the feeling of happiness that evokes in our mind are beyond description. However, the taste that stuffed (with some rice minched meat and ingredients) wine leaves leave in our mouth and the feeling of happiness that evoke in our mind is not comparable to anything. Stuffed wine leaves with meat which is one of the indispensables of Konya Culinary tradition. When these plate are served on the table, this dish is the end of the meal. The selection of vine leaves that provide the unique taste of stuffed leaves is very important. Vine leaves with thin and soft shells are preferred. They also give a slight sourness. According to narratives, it is believed that one of the unique features of stuffed leaves is its water reduces worry and concern. The taste that spreads into the mouth and palate is capable of making a human forget everything. It is narrated that vine leaf is useful especially for the brain’s memory center at the thalamus part. Hence, it is advised to eat vine leaf and especially stuffed leaf made of vine leaves. Ingredients: Mince from lamb arm, rice, pepper, dried mint, tomato paste, dried onion, green pepper, and salt.
4.2.2. Preparing the inner part
The ingredients are mixed with mince after adding some water. If the leaf to be wrapped is freshly collected, it is boiled. Brine is purified from its salt by keeping in water for a day. The leaf is filled with enough ingredient and put in the pot one by one. Mince is roasted together and put at the bottom of the pot. Because slightly fatty mince is important for palate flavor and also stuffed leaves not to be tough, thus lamb meat is preferred. Beef is a bit tougher because of it is fat-free. The minced meat can also be made of beef, however, if it is made of beef, it must be made slightly fatty by adding butter and tomato paste to make it a little softer. The stuffed leaves are wrapped and placed in the pot and are left to be cooked. The leaves are cooked for 1.5 hour in a regular pot with low fire on the stove. The cooked stuffed leaves are placed one by one on the plate to be served and placed on the table.
Cubed beef, margarine, pita bread, salt, pepper, cumin, onion, parsley, and hot water. First, margarine is placed in a pot and melted. The cubed beef is put into the melted margarine and roasted by mixing on high heat for 5–6 minutes. Then, 1.5 glass of hot water is added to the roasted meat and boiled and cooked for another 45 minutes on low heat by covering its lid. As a side dish, enough tomato is grated in order to prepare the sauce. An empty pan is placed on the stove, and one tablespoon of margarine is added and melted. Grated tomatoes are poured into the melted margarine. Some salt and pepper are added and mixed for 1–2 minutes. The pan is removed from the stove and placed aside. Margarine is applied on the two sides of a pita. The pita is placed in an empty pan. Both sides of the pita are roasted on low fire for 3–4 minutes. Browned pita bread is removed from the pan, sliced lengthwise and placed in a serving plate. The lid is covered again after pouring some salt and pepper on the meat which is about to cook. Previously prepared tomato sauce is poured all around the pita bread that was placed in the plate. After the meat completely absorbs its water, it is removed from stove and sprinkled on pita bread. Cumin is perfused on it. Chopped onions are placed aligned on the meats in the plate. Finally, thinly sliced parsley is sprinkled on the meat and the meal is ready to serve.
4.4. Floury foods
These products make Turkish Cuisine most popular worldwide. Turkish pastries are made by spreading doughs by hand and rolling pin and enriching with some ingredients; they are cooked in ovens and sheet trays. Buns and pita breads are cooked by enriching leavened and unleavened doughs with cheese, mince, and various vegetables. Breads made of bakery foods containing cereal products such as wheat, rye, bran, and corn have the basic food feature in Turkish cuisine. Loaf, French loaf, sepit, pita, flatbread, pastry, and pone are some of the many varieties of our bread. The noodles are homemade macaronis that are almost available everywhere in Anatolia.
4.4.2. Bread with meat (etliekmek)
Etliekmek is the most popular local food that is synonymous with Konya. Konya comes in mind when etliekmek is mentioned, and etliekmek is eaten in Konya. (Fig. 3). In bread with meat, it is desirable that the meat is special and dough is thin. The meat used for etliekmek should be either lamb meat or veal. In the past, meat was never torn into pieces with machines. It was sliced on wooden benches with a couple of knives. Hence, the bread with meat was also called “between knives, “bıçakarası”. Pepper, tomato, parsley, and, if desired, onion is chopped into meat. Today, the meat obtained by chopping with a minching machine into pieces is called “etliekmek”. If the meat is chopped by a couple of knives, it is called “between knives, bıçakarası”, and if it is cooked with meat and cheese, it is called “Mevlana” or “mixed bread with meat”. In recent years, the Konya Municipality and Mayor of Konya have concluded that calling “mixed bread with meat” as Mevlana is disrespect to Hz. Mevlana (Rumi) and prohibited it to be named so. Hence, it is called Mixed Bread with Meat instead of Mevlana. In Konya, there are diners and restaurants that owe their reputations because of only bread with meat.
4.4.3. First preparation of dough
The dough to be used is kneaded with the addition of yeast to make it as soft as an earlobe. The dough is yeasted and kept aside for three hours. Egg-sized pieces are removed from the yeasted dough. The preparation of inner parts is as follows: Mince, finely chopped onions, softened oil, parsley, salt, cumin, and spices are mixed in a deep bowl. The mixture is kneaded thoroughly by adding peeled and finely chopped tomato and pepper. Finally, long-shaped doughs are kept for some more time. Thoroughly bloated pitas are intermittently aligned in lightly sprinkled with flour baking sheet. Then bread with meats are inserted inpre-heated oven (big stone oven heated with wood fire) for minutes about 220 degrees Celsius, and they are cooked for 4–5 minutes until top and bottom edges of the bread with meats become yellowish-brown in color. Meat used for Bread with Meat is obtained from veal in order to not burn bread with meat and make it delicious. The feature of this meat is that approximately 70 percent is meat and 30 percent is fat.
4.4.4. Papara food
Papara Food: The aim of this meal: To evaluate a few days stale (not fresh) is not corrupted breads, and prevent them from being wasted and present them for human consumption. Papara is a rich food in terms of carbohydrates and nutrient values. Ingredients: Stale bread, butter, onion, tomato paste, goat cheese, pepper and parsley (Fig. 3).
Breads are sliced in a deep bowl. Butter is roasted in another dish. Properly sliced onions with tomato sauce are roasted in butter. After the addition of an adequate amount of water, we wait for water to boil. Crumbled goat cheese is added after the water boils. After some more boiling, the pot is removed from fire. This mixture is the poured onto the previously chopped bread. The top of the bread is decorated with pepper and parsley.
According to Kashgar, tutmach is a unique food to Turks. It is very similar to today’s Turkish ravioli. Tutmach was very popular in Konya of the Seljuk Age and very often mentioned in Mevlevi sources; it is cooked like a triangle-shaped dish by cutting thinned dough as squared shape and putting ground beef on it. Boiled in hot water, was eaten garlic yogurt and melted butter (Fig. 4). Turkish ravioli or pasty in Mevlana’s Divan-ı Kebir couplets, is still cooked in the present day Turkish culinary.
4.5.2. Yogurt soup
Butter, 150 g yogurt, 50 g rice, 80 g lentil, mint, and meat water.
Preparation: Pour the meat water with yogurt into a pot for 8 people and mix continuously. Add lentil and rice after boiling and mix again. Wait until the soup is boiled, mix one more time after boiling, and wait for 2–3 minutes. Remove the soup from fire and add some butter in the pot; add salt after it is thoroughly roasted and then remove from fire and pour some mint into the soup.
4.5.3. Topalak (spherical) soup
1 kg of lean beef mince, 1 glass of wheat for meatball, an egg, a bundle of parsley, 2 tablespoons of flour, salt, pepper, thyme, an onion, a glass of boiled chickpea, a tablespoon of tomato sauce, margarine, meat water, and hot water.
Mince, wheat, egg, finely chopped parsley, flour, onion, salt, and spices are thoroughly kneaded similar to preparing meatball by putting in a large bowl. They are made little balls when they get a stiffness of a paste. At the same time, in another pan, two tablespoons of margarine is melted and a spoon of flour is added into a wide bowl, are roasted. Meanwhile, tomato sauce and chickpea is added with adequate amount of water and continuing for cooking. The material with meat awaited on the other side (at the same time). It is also poured into the same pot after it is boiling. It boils for 15–20 minutes on low heat.
4.5.5. Arabasi soup
Arabasi soup is one of the Turkish Cuisine. The feature of this soup is that dough is eaten alongside it and not with bread. It is not a meal of Arabs as it was previously thought. It is thought that its name comes from the combination of “Ara-Asi”, because of it was served for guests who visit once in a while. Arabasi can be commonly seen in Central Anatolia. It is common in Sivas, Konya, Mersin, Eskişehir, and some other predominantly Turkmen cities in Turkey. And in counties such as Karaman, Kütahya, Çankırı, Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, and Yozgat is cooked. This soup is one of the first samples were made of rabbit meat in the history of Turkish culinary, and then started to cook with with cock meat. To eat this soup with the guests on cold nights is very common, and the dough which is only cooked with flour, water and some salt is consumed with this the soup. It was once upon a time consumed by poor families of Anatolia because of its low cost. The soup is made of chicken, turkey or meat of hunted birds, which is made hot with butter, flour, and tomato sauce; lemon, red pepper, and pepper are added after cooking. Ingredients: Adequate amount of water, some amount of flour, cock meat, pepper, margarine, and lemon. Preparation: A little flour is roasted in plenty of oil until it becomes red. Previously cooked cock is thinly aligned on the roasted flour. A small amount of chicken water is added. Lemon and pepper is added after 20 minutes of boiling and then served with its dough.
4.5.6. Arabasi dough
Water is added in saucepan and boiled. Flour is added gradually into the boiling water and mixed with a wooden spoon. When a certain consistency is achieved, it is thoroughly cooked by mixing dough without adding flour. The tray is wetted with water to avoid easy dispersion of the dough, and the dough is poured into tray and cooled. It is then served with soup. It is good for improving the stomach and intestinal laziness. From time to time in today also it is cooked and consumed on winter days. Thus it is both satisifying and the body is heated.
4.5.7. Okra soup
Ingredients: Fresh or dried okra, lemon, adequate amount of water, lard, mutton, butter, thinly sliced onion, tomato or tomato paste and salt. Okra soup is classified as snack in classical menus in Konya and is also cooked in Central Anatolia. It is served after dessert in order to whet the appetite for second-order meals in Konya. Preparation: Okra must be lightly rubbed and washed in order exuviate, if fresh okra is to be used. A medium lemon is squeezed. Okra is partially boiled, and its strings are removed if squashed dried okras are to be used. Boil the lemon or lemon powder that was divided into four pieces until thoroughly softened. Remove the strings of the thoroughly softened and boiled okra (this process will prevent stickiness of okra). First, put the meat and tiny chopped lard into the pot, and close the pot by covering its lid. Put the meat and butter in a medium-sized saucepan and put on medium heat. Roast for at least 4–5 minutes by mixing once in a while until meat extracts and absorbs its water again. Add thinly sliced onions and mix and keep roasting for 5–6 minutes more until the onion becomes yellow. By adding tomato sauce and hot water and closing the lid of the pan, the meat is roasted by mixing once in a while until all the water is absorbed. Butter and onions are added. Onions are roasted until they become yellow. Tomato sauce (in summer time, thinly sliced tomato) and adequate amount of water and salt are added and the lid is closed, and the mixture is boiled for about 30 minutes until the meat cooks. Boiled okra and lemon juice are added. When it starts boiling, the rest of the mixture is cooked for 20–30 minutes until okras are softened by lowering the heat. The cooking process is completed within 50–60 minutes of total cooking time.
There are dough desserts, milk desserts, and dumplings available in the dessert group. However, foreigners know us from Baklava dessert. Beside Baklava, pudding is our shredded wheat, morsel, and milk desserts. Desserts such as rice pudding, chicken breast, kazandibi, pudding, and güllac can also be included. Zerde Wedding Dessert and güllac are traditional Ramadan desserts. Halvas are the main desserts of customs. In Turkish tradition, halvas are cooked during various reasons such as births, deaths, going to army, return from the Pilgrimage, rain prayers and during every major event in our social life. Because Turks love to eat sweet, and they celebrate many joys by eating sweet (halva).
4.6.1. Between sheet dessert (Sac Arasi)
Flour, warm water, egg, salt, butter, clotted cream, sugar, and pistachios. Preparation: All the ingredients are kneaded except clotted cream (Fig. 5). Dough is spread wide thinly like yufka (flatbread). One yufka is lubricated with melted clotted cream. Another yufka is placed onto it and lubricated again. They are then cut into pieces by rolling. Other meringues are also prepared like this. They are laid on a lubricated tray and fried. Once it is browned, sugar is poured onto it and served. Flour is poured into a mixing bowl, and an egg is added. A dough with the softness of earlobe is obtained by adding salt and flour as much as it absorbs. Dough is separated into four pieces. Each piece is spread by a rolling pin. Melt 125 g of butter and pour onto doughs. Spread the clotted cream onto it. Rolls are made by starting from one end of the dough. This process is repeated until doughs are finished. Place it in the oven tray as rolls. Clotted cream is placed in a pot and melted. The sediments of the cream are filtered when it melts. For its dough, egg, margarine, milk, a tablespoon of vinegar, yogurt, and two pinches of salt are added and mixed. With a consistency of earlobe dough is obtained. Dough is separated into tiny meringues and aligned in a floured tray and covered with a linen to avoid drying of other meringues while opening. Starch and flour mixture is sprinkled on the ground, and first each meringue is spread tiny in order to make easiness. Then each meringue is spread thinly, respectively. Clotted cream is applied in each meringue and formed as loosen rolls and wrapped as roses and aligned in the tray. The roll is lubricated slightly more with the remaining cream and cooked in, set to 180 degrees heat oven top of them is roasted. Baked desserts are placed on a serving plate and honey is added to some of them, sugar is added to some other pieces, and pistachios are sprinkled on them, and it is ready to serve.
4.6.2. Kaygana dessert
Preparation; In order to prepare syrup, add water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil it by mixing on low heat. Five minutes after boiling, close the fire and remove from stove and wait for it to cool down. Egg, yogurt, milk, sunflower oil, melted butter, sugar, and lemon juice are added in a deep pot and thoroughly mixed. Carbonate and flour are added and mixed until it gets consistency of boza. It is covered and kept aside for 20–30 minutes at room temperature. Oil is poured in to a deep frying pan or medium saucepan and heated. A piece is taken from the dough mixture by using a teaspoon and grazed with finger into hot oil. A dough with the consistency of a sloppy pancake is obtained. It is poured into a pan with small scoops and crepes are cooked in hot oil. Cooked doughs are arranged on top of each other and are cut in triangular shape and stacked into the dessert plate. Spherical browned doughs are removed from oil by a hand strainer and put into cold syrup when they are still hot. They are kept for at least 10–15 minutes in the syrup, and doughs are placed in serving plates and served. If desired, slices of tangerine, banana or strawberry can be aligned on dessert or decorated with honey and sugar or served as clotted cream on top.
Drinks are of great importance in Turkish cuisine. Ayran is an important Turkish non-alcoholic drink. Boza is another drink with very low alcohol some Turks love it. Among our beverages specified by coldness non-fermented grape juice and verjuice, all kind of fruits’ freshly squeezed juice and boiled and stored syrups enrich our tables. Beside Ayran and Boza; pomegranate, citrus, tamarind, fruit, cherry, strawberry, cranberry, lemon, rose, and honey syrups can be given as an example (Fig. 6). Beside this tea and coffe also take place among beverages. In the Seljuk Age Turks knew how to make alcoholic (mostly Armenians, Greeks, and Bektashi) and non-alcoholic (Muslims) beverages out of almost every foodstuff. A wine or beer like beverage called “bugsum” made of millet was also consumed.
“Masnavi” is a very famous and very well known book written at Seljuk Age by Mevlana Celaddiin-i Rumi He mentioned in various means of wine in his book. One of he is telling “Bektashi (a variety denomination in Islam) Fathers went to village as a guest at a vintage season when he saw some villagers working to boil molasses he asked; why are you trying to ruin original form of grapes. Squeeze its juice and put it in vessels and earthenware jars. He said to be pleased for whatever Allah does. He means let it be wine”. It means that some people drink wine even that Seljuk time, even earlier than Seljuk period.
Syrups, jams, and compotes were very popular in the Mevlana period. Halva is known to be Mevalan’s most favorite dessert. Sirkencubin whets the appetite if served before meal, helps digestion if served post-meal, and is one of the important beverages of Mevlevi cuisine. Sirkencubin is made of a honey and vinegar mixture and is a very much-loved drink. However, the amount of honey should not be less than that of vinegar when doing sirkencibun. Sirkencubin is taste which must be tasted when you go to Konya.
Today’s culture of Konya’s Culinary has an important place in the culture of the Turkish Culinary, which is one of the world’s leading kitchen cultures. There are not much scientific studies regarding culinary culture. It cannot become across to many international publications introducing Turkish Culinary, especially Culinary of Konya which has an important place in Turkish history and Turkish culinary. In this regards, this article is important because of luck of article and books on culinary of Konya. That is why more internet sources are utilized during preparation of this article. This article is important in the international culinary community to give some information about Konya and Seljuk time culinary culture.