The dining table is where the striking Turkish hospitality is most beautifully exhibited. As a wonderful illustration of the value that Anatolian people accord to their fellow human beings, a family will present their most precious foods, generously and proudly, to their guests – regardless of the guest’s personality or position. Such guests are regarded as “Guests of God”; the abundance of a home increases with each guest who is hosted and fed in that home.
The people of Kırşehir, who live Anatolian Turkish culture in the best way, are intuitive chefs who consistently make the best use of the region’s bounty.
The most famous of Kırşehir’s local dishes are besmeç, dönderme, tandoori doughnuts (tandır çöreği), tandoori phyllo (nan) (tandır yufkası), köftür, and local Kurdish pilaf, as well as molasses, ahi halva, and the höşmerim and apricot yağlama desserts. There are also tandoori pottery trotters, tandoori dried beans, madımak, kesme aşı, ayran soup, topalak, düğür soup, lepe (milk pilaf), çullama, stuffed quince and stuffed Cemele pepper.
This delicious local meatball is quite popular, especially in the Kaman district of Kırşehir. The main ingredients are ground beef and bulgur; the meatballs are cooked on a metal sheet (sac) or on the stove.
Phyllo dough baked in a tandoor (clay oven) is also known as nan. The tandoor is an indispensable element of Kırşehir food culture. The combination of tandoori phyllo with egg and parsley produces this simple but delicious dish.
Tandoori Sac Pastry
This Kırşehir specialty is a type of pancake made with hand-rolled tandoor-baked phyllo. It has fillings such as minced meat, tomato, egg, eggplant and/or mushroom, and is easily found in the Kırşehir centre.
The energizing Kırşehir molasses is produced by boiling fresh grapes with a special soil type. No additives are used, not even sugar! The molasses is believed to provide resistance to illnesses, especially during winter. Although many dishes are made from Kırşehir molasses, köftür, a local dry dessert, is a specialty.
Local Kurdish Pilaf
This bulgur pilaf is mixed with lamb or rooster meat and plenty of butter. In Kırşehir, it is served with tandoori phyllo, usually while entertaining guests.
This is a type of halva made with flour, Kırşehir molasses and Kaman walnuts.
Apricot Yağlama Dessert
This flourless dessert features apricot, butter and sugar as the main ingredients.
Tandoori Pottery Trotters
Tandoori pottery trotters (tandırda çömlek paça) are a popular local dish. The head and feet of a lamb or sheep are cleaned, boiled, and placed in a clay pot with vegetables. The pot is then baked in a tandoor. The combination of the clay pot and tandoor baking gives the dish an exceptional flavour.
Çullama of Kırşehir
Çullama of Kırşehir (Kırşehir Çullaması) is prepared with flour, butter, chicken and chicken broth. It is renowned in the region for being a delicious dish with relatively few ingredients.
The Cemele pepper, a type of bell pepper, is grown in the Çayağzı (Cemele) village of Kırşehir. Its thin skin, dark colour and heat level differentiate the Cemele pepper different from others; the same peppers grown outside the Cemele region do not have the same taste or characteristics. The pepper is dried in strings during the summer and turns a red colour.
Kırşehir Höşmerim Dessert
Kırşehir Höşmerim dessert (Höşmerim tatlısı) is a traditional dessert with a long history; the recipe is passed from generation to generation. It is made with flour, milk, eggs, butter, and sugar, and topped with walnuts.
It is traditional in the regional culture for the Höşmerim dessert to be prepared at home and brought by neighbours and relatives especially to a mother who has just given birth, to help her heal and quickly regain her strength.