Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kartolên Pîvazan (Kurdish Potato-Onion Sauté)

 I was thinking. If I had named this blog ‘Mother’s Hidden Recipes!’ or better yet, ‘Flavors From My Aunt’s Village’, I would have had a much easier time of things. Okay, so you’re asking why my job is so difficult? These recipes come with actual birth pains. This is the image that always looms before my eyes--my sister Zelal or cousin Ebru invites some friends over for dinner and has prepared a Kurdish meal. They’ve gotten the recipes from my website, ‘Just to be sure’ they think. And so I must spend my time readying these recipes, splitting the atom, so that they may set that table with pride. On a different note, I’ve decided that, as a ‘director’, I am rather frightening, one of those types infamous for her foul temper, who spews terror and strife until she gets just what she wants….

For today’s recipe, we’ve had to cross through many hidden perils, but finally the photo shoot went without a hitch. The hands in the photographs belong to my dear Jeff, with whom I joined my life some 8.5 months ago. He remained relatively calm and forbearing through all my capricious demands (despite wielding the knife!) and witnessed me trying to rip my hair out by the roots as I tried to take those last uncooperative pictures of the finished project, finally snatching the camera out of my hand and in one frame taking the very picture that you see displayed above.

Yes, after so much struggle, after wearing my fingers down to the bone, you deserve a recipe worthy of the effort. The evening before the shoot, our dear friends Ekrem and his wife Yasemin (the plate in the picture is a present from them) came over for a dinner of black bean burritos and we had two tortillas left over.  When the photo shoot was finally over, I put some melted cheese over the potatoes, rolled them up in the leftover tortilla and we downed two rather tasty wraps. Then, we hit the road looking for some of those spring flowers and colors now popping up everywhere outside that we had forgotten about after the long winter. 

5 medium sized potatoes (1 kg/2 lbs.)
1 large onion (1/3 pound, 200 g)
2 chunks of thinly sliced kavurma, matchbox sized (50 g)*
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (50 g)
1 tablepoon tomato paste or red pepper paste (40 g)
1 ½ teaspoon salt (put the ½  into water for the potatoes)
½ tablespoon butter
2 ½ cups water (600 ml)

1.     Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into quarters and put them in a pot. Pour the water over them, add half a teaspoon salt and boil for 25-30 minutes. With a fork, check to see if the middle is cooked through. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.
2.     Peel the onion and slice thinly. In a wide pot, heat the oil and add the onions, cooking for about five minutes until they are transparent.
3.     Add the tomato paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
4.     Add the kavurma into the onion/tomato paste mixture and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the salt and butter.
5.     Chop the warm potatoes into cubes and stir gently into the onion-tomato paste mixture and continue to cook. Do not mix too much. Lift gently from the bottom of the pot to the top, taking care not to break or crush the potato cubes.
This is the original recipe but if you would like, you can add a little cumin or red pepper, or, like we did, top it with cheese before you serve, or add to a tortilla for a delicious wrap. It makes the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea.

Bon appetite and noşi can be!

*kavurma is a dried beef cured with salt that we used for meat during the long winters in the village. (It is not the Turkish dish of the same name) It has a very rich flavor, and when cooked has the texture of pulled pork or beef hash. Substitutes outside of Turkey might include bacon (though it isn’t kosher!), or any beef hash. Or you can leave it out altogether.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thyme Dumpling Soup (Gêrmiya Êrişte)

        The filming of this video for Erishte (Dumpling) Soup took two days. Actually, the filming itself didn’t take more than a few hours, but the editing was a catastrophe. Twice, I had to start editing from the beginning, and I don’t even remember how many times I had to dump half of it and do it all over. Nothing seemed to work. Finally, in the middle of the night, I hit on the solution, leapt out of bed and finished it up. Now is the time to share that long awaited moment on this blog.

        I adore this soup. The making of the erishte (dried dumpling/noodles) is another pleasure in itself, and the days from my summer vacations in the village that stay with me the most are those pleasant and unforgettable days of making erishte.

        The evening of ‘The opening of the erishte’, as we called the act of rolling out the dough, was the commencement of a wonderful bustle at the house. News would be sent to the other women of the village, who would be invited along with, if available, their tables and rolling pins. By the mornings, who new how many doughs were being worked in how many pans? And I can’t even begin to count how many women would ‘open’, that is, roll out the dough on the flat roof of the kadîn (the hay shed where we also dried mulberries in the sun and performed a hundred other such jobs.) Or how many children would carry the rolling pins to them. The one who could roll the dough out the farthest without tearing it earned a lot of prestige and respect. The women would then fold this enormous sheet of dough over the rolling pin. We children would watch this process like a hawk, eager to be the ones allowed to spread out the dough in a nice sunny spot. This experience can stil be lived today. So, how to make the erishte into soup?  The answer to that is here, in the video and recipe below.

       In the land of Mesopotamia, where modern methods have not yet taken hold, most sources of nourishment are dried first in the sun and then stored. Erishte is one food item that makes use of this technique. Erishte, and I will explain in more detail shortly, is basically a dough made of flour, water and salt; rolled out and cut into a variety of shapes; then dried in the sun.. It is still made and known today as ‘erishte’ throughout Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and the Middle East. The noodles of the Far East and the pasta of Italian cuisine follow the same basic logic as erishte.

           First, you grind high quality wheat in a mill. You have to grind the flour a little finer than you would for bread.Water and salt is added to this bread and then kneaded. The higher the quality of the flour, the thinner the dough can be rolled out—a situation strongly desired for the making of erishte. A piece about the size of a fist is broken off the dough. To do this, we use a spatula called a “hevstîv” with a square base and a long, thin handle—because the dough is very tough. Once the fist sized dough is broken off, it’s laid out on a large, round table and rolled out as thin as possible with a long rolling pin. To keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, you have to use lots of flour.Once the dough is rolled out, it’s spread on a large cloth or oil cloth in a very wide and sunny space—all in a row.

Dried Erishte

        When the edges start to dry and lift, they are placed on a large upside down tray, one on top of the other, and thus, layer after layer of pasta dough begins to gather. Once again, these pasta layers are transferred and laid out on a large, high table and first cut into two sections down the middle with a sharp, wide-bladed knife. Then these sections are in turn cut into long parallel strips. These strips are cut again and again until in the end, you have small squares. These squares are emptied onto an old fashioned, large-holed sifter and the flour pieces sifted out. They are once more dried in the sun and spaced out with long, thin sticks in order to prevent them from sticking together. 

       The end of August and the beginning of September is an ideal time for this job. During these months the sun is not so harsh as to crack the erishte, and yet warm enough to make it possible to dry and collect them quickly. This whole ritual is both a part of the short preparation process and a typical example of a collective type of labor.

Erishte Soup

Thyme Dumpling Soup (Gêrmiya Erişte)

Ingredients, feeds 8

6 ½ US cups of water (1,5 litre)
1 2/3 US cups yogurt (400 g)
1 soup bowl of erishte pasta (80 g)*
1 bowl cooked chickpeas (weight cooked 150 g)
1 heaping tablespoon flour (20 g)
1 tablespoon salt (15-20 g)
1 egg yolk

For the topping

A little less than ¼ cup cooking oil (50 ml)
2 tablespoons thyme**

*if you cannot find erishte in a Turkish or Middle Eastern grocery make your own flour dumping or use any small, thin flour pasta.

**the thyme here is called anix in Kurdish. It’s species name is origanum rotundifolium which you can find in garden shops (the net claims it is not used for cooking because it is not of ‘the right quality’, but people all over the Middle East use it and it’s delicious.) You could find it at Middle Eastern groceries as ‘za’atar’ or, you could just make do with regular thyme (oregano and marjoram might work, too)

  1. Mix all the yogurt, 2 cups of water, the egg yolk, flour, and salt together into a bowl and whip thoroughly. If you have a wire whisk, beat for a good five minutes.If you are using a blender, two minutes is sufficient.
  2. Pour the rest of the water into a soup pan and bring it to a boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, add the erishte a bit at a time so that it doesn’t stick together. Let boil for five minutes.
  3. Gently add the whipped yogurt mixture into the boiling water, making sure to stir constantly. Let boil for ten minutes and then add the cooked chickpeas. Let it boil two minutes more and then turn off the flame.
  4. In a pan, gently stir-fry the thyme in oil on a low flame, taking care not to let it brown or burn. (The oil should turn green) Serve the soup in bowls. With a tablespoon, swirl two spoonfulls of the thyme-oil mixture over the soup in the bowl. Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An interview for

In an effort to forge a unified Turkish nation out of a society that was far from homogenous, the Turkish state for decades tried to suppress Kurdish cultural expression (not to mention political expression). But recent years have seen something of a change. Kurdish music, film and theater and now a visible part of the cultural scene in Turkey in a way that they weren’t only a decade ago, while a Kurdish-language national television network (albeit state-run) has been on the air since 2009 and the first-ever undergraduate program in Kurdish was launched last year.
But there has been one aspect of Kurdish culture that’s been conspicuously absent from all this activity: food. In Istanbul, for example, it’s now possible to find films or plays in Kurdish, but good luck finding a restaurant dedicated explicitly to serving Kurdish food. And while bookshops are filled these days with food books that explore Turkish cuisine, you would be hard pressed to find something that deals with Kurdish cooking.
Delal Seven, a 32-year-former food engineer living in Istanbul, hopes to change that. Last September, Seven – who originally hails from eastern Turkey’s Bingol region – launched a tri-lingual (Kurdish, Turkish and English) blog that offers recipes for traditional Kurdish dishes and that very quietly makes the case for the existence of a distinct Kurdish cuisine within Turkey’s larger culinary landscape (the blog has a great short video Seven made in which she goes around Istanbul confounding locals by innocently asking them what they know about Kurdish cooking).
In order to find out more about her blog (, I recently sent Seven a series of questions via email. Our exchange is below:
How did you get the idea for your blog?
It's been ten years since I graduated from university with a food engineering degree and for years and years I worked so hard and didn't get anything in return except staying alive. I wasn't making money and I wasn’t happy so I decided to make a radical change and at least be useful to the world in some way. My husband and I were thinking about opening a Kurdish restaurant, one that openly called itself “Kurdish” (it would have been a first, I think) but all our friends who had run a restaurant said wait, there would be no private time for us, so we should think very carefully before we got ourselves stuck in this business. While we were thinking opening the restaurant, we thought every recipe has to be standardized so we decided to record Kurdish recipes and standardize them. But when we gave up opening the restaurant I thought I could still do the recording and standardization part. So I started doing it and sharing the recipes on the blog.
What's the blog's purpose?
Whenever I wanted to cook a meal from my hometown of course the first thing I had to do was get the recipe from my older relatives, my mom or aunts. But I soon realized everybody has their own way of cooking, plus none of the recipes are written down (like they are for most other cuisines)! It's all oral, and there are no proper standards of measurement either. It’s all “a handful of this, a pinch of that.” So I asked myself what about the urbanized young generation (me, my sisters, my cousins) who wants to cook those great and traditional meals? The recipes have to be written according to scientific measurements and of course according to the kitchen measurements in order to be reproduced. All I am trying to say is the main purpose of the blog is creating a trustworthy and dependable source/address for the people who want to introduce their cuisine to others or preserve it for themselves and families.
As you show in the video on your blog, many Turks don't seem to think there's such a thing as “Kurdish cuisine.” Why is that?
In my opinion in Turkey the word "Kurd" automatically brings politics to mind. And what politics has said so far is “The Kurds don't exist” or “Even if the Kurds exist they don't have a special culture or language or music or cuisine or dance because they are ‘Mountain Turks.’” That mentality started changing but it is not easy to erase that idea from peoples’ brains. But it is not only because they are not familiar with the Kurdish culture, but also they are not aware that a lot of things like songs, dance and food, that are thought of as Turkish but actually belong to the Kurds. It is interesting that in the video most people said “kebab” as an answer to what is Kurdish cuisine when they would have said the same thing as an example of Turkish food if a foreigner has asked.
One thing about the video is that people did not really rebel at the idea of Kurdish food. Most people sincerely tried to think of an answer and a few were even embarrassed if they couldn't. I was happy just to make them think about Kurdish culture, in this case food, outside of politics. Things like this interview make people start considering Kurds as just another normal people with food, dance, and day-to-day lives instead of as political opponents or threats, and thus could help some toward a solution to the so-called “Kurdish problem.” Like the man said at the end of the video, 'What's cooking in a Kurdish kitchen? Food! Just normal food!'
On the other hand, there must be a lot of overlap between Kurdish and Turkish cooking? Can you separate Kurdish food from the other cuisines in the region?
Of course there are similarities in both cuisines. They both were developed by agricultural communities that formed before modern times. I mean, all they had was their animals, their farms and the trees. They obtained bulgur from wheat, yoghurt from milk and so of course, it's normal that you see the yoghurt soup with wheat in both cuisines. The similarities are based on the life style and how they survived. And as communication became easier, the two cultures had influences on each other.
Some of the Kurdish food can be very, very different from Turkish food. But it is not that different from an outsider’s point of view, but there are important differences from a local's point of view.
Are Kurdish culinary traditions being preserved or are you concerned about them being lost?
The traditions are still alive but what I am concerned about is that those can be lost in city life because people prefer pre-made food instead of cooking after they get home from work. So as they get cooked less and less, if no one records the original recipes, with each generation it slowly disappears.
When I look at Kurdish culture, including the cuisine, on the one hand it makes me so happy that there are things that are being done as our ancestors did hundreds of years ago. That proves many things are preserved. But on the other hand a lot of things were lost before they could be recorded just as our wild animals, herbs, songs, stories, etc were lost. So I would be very proud and happy if I could give some of our traditional dishes a modern twist to not only preserve them but also to help them flourish in the modern world.
Can you say a bit more about how you are collecting your recipes?
I thought it would be best and logical if I start compiling recipes from my province. And from the ones that I know the taste of well and from those I know how to cook. And first I put my knowledge on the table and then I confirm my knowledge at least from two different sources (like my mom and aunts). Then I combine them all. And I repeat the recipes over and over. While I am doing it, I use both scientific and kitchen measurements. And I serve them to people, especially to my grandfather who is a sweet 82-year-old man who loves to eat traditional Kurdish food, but is also very picky about such things – his approval is the brass ring. Once, when I made keşke [a kind of bulgur porridge] he said “You can make this over at my house, too,” and I knew I had succeeded. When I get the best results I share the recipe on the blog.
At the same time I am doing research on different cities. I actually did some research on Kurdish food in Beirut when we went there for Christmas holiday. And also while I was in eastern Turkey’s Van. So maybe one day I will be able to enlarge my study.
What's the future of Kurdish cuisine in Turkey? Can you imagine a restaurant that proudly serves "Kurdish Cuisine" opening up in Istanbul in the near future?
Well this a very important and good question. Imagine I am opening a restaurant and can't use, for example, the letters Q, W, X (from Kurdish alphabet) in the name because it's illegal. So the difficulties start just from here. That is why I think the atmosphere must be safer, not only legally but also mentally. But I believe that conditions will be right one day in Istanbul, and in Turkey as a whole.

Here is the link to the full interview. Kebabistan is written by Yigal Schleifer a freelance journalist based in Washington DC and is th co-creator of IstanbulEats which is a site I often visit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good news from America!

All day, I felt like there was something wrong. All the news in the papers and on TV seemed to serve no purpose but to frazzle every last nerve. Even if some kind of peace ever comes to the country in which I live, then I think that I, or maybe all of us, are going to have to do something ridiculous like those people do who get into the Guiness World Book of Records and, I don't know, move a giant winch with our teeth or something along those lines.  Jeff is off spending his semester break with his family in Alabama. This morning we chatted on Skype and he wrote, 'Look on my Facebook page.' I looked.  Pam, the mother of a friend of his that lives in Boston, had made Shepherd's Bread (purgach) and Kurdish Stewed Beans ( lobiyên çêkirî), taken a picture and shared it on Facebook.  This is what she wrote to Jeff. 

"My first experiment with Kurdish green beans with garlic and eggs and my shepperds bread. Thanks to dalal and u for translations. I can already tell u gr beans are super cause i cheAted"

Of course, I was very excited and thrilled, and I immediately put it up on the Facebook page for this website, Of course, I decided to blog something about it here. From thousands of miles away, a wonderful human being has shared our food with us, while many people in my own country are feeling pleased that things like these earthquakes and massacres strike the Kurds. It brings tears to my eyes.
This is the picture Pam took
Later, I clicked on my blog site to start writing and what did I see? Ali Duran Topuz, one of my favorite writers in the Radikal newspaper, whom I have followed for quite some time, had become a member! How can I measure the day's simultaneous frustrations and pain, the joy and good news?  Not in pounds or kilograms--it's measureless, a veritable bounty.

I wish all of us overflowing, no, I mean a flood of overwhelming, no, a deluge of unexpected happiness!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Purgach (Shepherd's Bread)

June, 2002--my graduation from the engineering department of Hacettepe University. Everyone was hurling their caps into the sky. As for me, I was overcome with laughter, and it never even crossed my mind that a day would come when I would despise my working life. With what passion I threw myself into my job! At 7:30 in the morning on those cold days of sleet and snow when everyone was stuck in traffic on the bridges and roads, I would be at the office door ready to go.
I worked. How I worked! Even when going through the bird flu or the swine flu, I never once considered calling in sick. But after ten years of working like this, I never saw even two stones from those long years of stacking stones one on top of the other—a way of saying, I suppose, that nothing real came of all that trouble.  And so I sold the Ferrari, so to speak, and started working on this blog. I delegated myself the task of recording, documenting, photographing, filming, and sharing the countless recipes that make up the rich food heritage of the Kurdish people from which I sprung, just as the cuisine of the world’s other magnificent peoples’ has been recorded and preserved. And today I am sharing one more delicious result of this self-appointed task! This pastry is called purgach. It’s a hearty, tasty and easy bread made in the Northern region of Kurdistan. One day you’ll find us offering it to our guests, another day packing it in our saddle bags and hitting the road.
In the period when there were no electric ovens or stoves (and I am talking about only fifteen to twenty years ago--recently, in other words), parxaç was cooked like this. A fire was reduced to coals in the rojing, the name we gave to the hearth, and then the coals were swept toward the walls of the stove and the floor of the hearth blown clean. The parxaç dough was spread out on the hearth floor without being placed in a tray, and then covered with a black wok-like pan called a sêl.The coals on the sides were then spread back over this wok-like pan and the parxaç was cooked with the heat of these coals. The flavor and scent that the ash gave to the bread was out of this world and really worked up your appetite.
I am sure you will love this recipe and you can watch the preparation here in the video below, accompanied by one of my favorite songs, Beser Shahin’s ‘Halbuko’.


        · 8 ½ cups of flour (1.1 kg or 2 1/3 pounds)
        ·   1 soup bowl of Greek yogurt (about 1 ¾  cups or 400 g)
        ·  1 teaspoon salt (15-20 g)
        · 3 eggs
        · 300 grams of margarine (about 2 ½ sticks)


        1.            Whip the yogurt, egg, and salt together.
2.            Pour the flour into a wide, deep pan. Pour the egg and yogurt mixture over the top of the flour and start kneading with your hands.
3.            In a pan, melt the butter and then pour it over the dough. Continue kneading until the dough attains a slight firmness. Spread the dough in an oiled pan about 24 inches (35cm) wide. Poke holes in the surface with your pointer finger at intervals of about 2 inches (5 cm).
4.            Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celcius) for ten minutes,then slide the pan into the oven. Bake for fifty minutes. Let it rest in the oven for another 10 minutes to let the dough set.

Slice it up as you like and bon appetit! Don’t forget to offer some to your guests!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Helîma Ardan (Kurdish Roux)

Another simple, tasty, and practical recipe for everyone, and another new ‘hello’. Before the recipe itself, I’d like to touch on a social problem that has, yes, driven me nuts my entire existence, but that really reached a new peak this week.
Last Friday, we went to watch Çağan Irmak’s ‘My Grandfather’s People (Dedemin Insanları) and then this Wednesday afternoon Yüksel Aksu’s ‘Entelköy Efeköy’eKarşı’ (roughly translated, the Fancypants Village Against the Roughneck Village’). Jeff was on my left on Friday. On his left was some guy with an iPhone which he kept jabbing his fat finger into--I’m not exaggerating--every five seconds for the first ten minutes of the movie, causing light to spill out of it that not only blinded and distracted us but succeeded in illuminating the entire theater; who, after I warned him, gawked at me with bulging eyes like some creature from Avatar come to life, his lower jaw hanging so low it nearly dragged the floor. Finally, he stopped playing with that phone.
As for Wednesday, there four young twenty somethings sitting on my right—two guys and two girls. The one right next to me, as soon as the film started, rammed his elbow into my coffee and spilled it all over me. Without so much as an excuse me, he left—to take off his sweater I suppose. Then, when he got back, the four of them started bellowing together—chit chatting in voices loud enough to echo throughout the entire theater. ‘Could you please lower your voices?’ I asked. They prattled on for about a minute more before finally shutting up. But the fun wasn’t over yet. The guy on my right, whenever there was the most basic, innocuous slightly erotic scene in the movie—would ram his face into his knees and rock back and forth so that he butted his head into the seat in front of him. The girl next to him had a plastic water bottle that she kept squeezing making all sorts of annoying popping and crackling sounds.
If I’d had a camera I could have made some kind of film out of these two little scenes no doubt.
I guess I’ve been letting all this build up!! Getting it off my chest makes me feel a lot calmer!
Enough venting. Let’s get to the recipes. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, our ingredients.

Helîma Ardan from Bingöl
(Kurdish Roux)
Ingredients, serves 6
     ·         6 ½  cups of water (1.5 litre)
     ·         4 heaping tablespoons of flour (100 g)
     ·         1/4 cups vegetable oil (50 g)
     ·         4 match-box sized chunks of kavurma * (100 g)
     ·         1 medium sized onion (between 150-200 g)
     ·         1 ½  teaspoon salt (15 g)
     ·         1 teaspoon red pepper

The Preparation:
1.   Put half the water in a deep pot and slowly sprinkle the flour over the surface, whipping lightly with a whisk. Take care not to leave any lumps. When the flour is well blended, add the rest of the water and the salt.
2. Bring this mixture to a boil over a high flame (takes about ten minutes) and then cook over a medium flame for another ten minutes. Stir constantly, making sure not to let anything settle on the bottom.
3.  When the flour-salt-water mixture starts to boil, in a separate pan, fry the onions in the oil until they are transparent.
4. Cut the kavurma into small cubes and add to the onions, cooking for about two minutes more.
5. Once the flour-salt-water mixture has finished cooking (the 20 minutes mentioned in steps 1 and 2), add the onion-meat-oil mixture and stir. Sprinkle the red pepper over the top. Cook for about another five minutes, stirring constantly. Enjoy!

We eat this like a soup, but in the West, you could also try it as a gravy.

Noşi Can Be (Bon Appetit)!

*I’ll discuss how to make kavurma in a later blog. If it proves hard to find, you can make this without kavurma, following the same procedure, but I assure you, you’ll be missing something.

*kavurma is a kind of dried lamb used by Kurds in Eastern Turkey—people in the west can substitute ground meat. Corned beef could work as well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dolmê Kundiran

I have been closely following Istanbul’s forecast for a week now, hoping for at least one sunny day so that I could take a decent video of me making the next recipe on the list while the sun illuminated the inside of our apartment with good lighting. I thought I had at long last found my sunny day this Friday. I got up at 6 and set to work. I made all the necessary preparations for both the dish and the shoot, but I was not happy at all with the resulting footage (still too dark). So for now, I’m making do with photos.

Ingredients (serves 6 people)

  • 2 lbs (1 kg.) pumpkin peeled and cleaned (with seeds and rind, it would be 3 or 4lbs)
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat (200g)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (30 g)
  • 3 cups water (600ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt (200g)
  • 1 cup water (200ml)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter (50g)

1. Cut pumpkin into cubes. Place about half the pumpkin into a   wide, deep pot and spread around the bottom. Spread half the bulgur wheat over the top. Put the rest of the pumpkin into the pot, and again spread the remaining bulgur wheat on top.
2. Add the sugar and salt. Add the water and cover.
3. Cook on high heat for 15 minutes, then on a medium heat for 15 minutes more. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Mash the bulgur and pumpkin as you would potatoes. Pour into a wide, deep serving dish. Shape the pumpkin mixture into a small hill with a peak.

The sauce
 1. Crush the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle. Add the water and yoghurt and whip together.

2. Melt the butter

First, spread the melted butter over the top of the pumpkin and then the garlic yoghurt sauce. If you like, leave the middle part plain. Enjoy!