Adana Kebab - Posted by Lale on 2/3/2006, 15:39:59
I have never been to Adana but I have eaten a few dishes from its hot and spicy kitchen. Adana Kebab is the most famous. Here is a recipe:
Spicy Grilled Ground Veal and Lamb Patties
Adana is a city in southeastern Turkey in the middle of the fertile Cilician (Çukurova) Plain. Its history is ancient; this was the area of the Hittite empire (c. 1800 B.C.). The cuisine of Adana has some influence from nearby Syria, but its most famous contribution to Turkish cuisine is the Adana kebab or köfte, a spicy hot mixture of ground lamb that is grilled. When you come across very spicy Turkish food in western Anatolia, it is a sure sign that it is imported from eastern Anatolia, where they enjoy hotter foods. Adana's interest in spicy foods might have a medieval origin for in the time of Marco Polo the nearby port of Ayas was an important transhipment place for Asiatic spices and wares; the Venetians, perpetually mesmerized by spices, even had a bailo (consul) there. I've changed the basic recipe so one is using ground meat instead of chunks of meat.
3/4 pound ground lamb
3/4 pound ground veal
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground coriander seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
2 pide bread (see Note below)
Extra virgin olive oil, melted unsalted butter, or vegetable oil for brushing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon sumac (a spice found in Middle Eastern markets)
Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. In a large bowl, knead the lamb, veal, cayenne, coriander, cumin, pepper, salt, and butter together well, keeping your hands wet so the meat doesn't stick to them. Cover and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on medium-low for 15 minutes. Form the meat into patties about six inches long and two inches wide. Grill until the köfte are springy to the touch, about 20 minutes, turning often.
3. Meanwhile, brush the pide bread with olive oil, melted butter, or vegetable oil and grill or griddle for a few minutes until hot but not brittle.
4. Arrange the köfte on a serving platter or individual plates and serve with the pide bread, sliced onions, a sprinkle of sumac, and chopped parsley as a garnish.
Note: Turkish (and Greek) style pide bread is not the pocket bread we know as Arabic bread or pita bread. It is a flatbread, though, that needs to be warmed before using, usually to wrap foods in. It can be replaced with pita bread, of course, or even Indian nan bread that you might find in an Indian market. Pide bread can be found in Greek and Middle Eastern markets (often in the frozen food section).
Makes 4 servings
Stamp from Cilicia - Posted by Steven on 7/3/2006, 19:58:18
The postage stamp pictured below was printed for use in Adana and the surrounding area. It tells a bit about the history of the region during the early part of the 20th Century.
This stamp was never used in the mail, but it was repeatedly modified as governments changed, and the existing stock of postage stamps were "overprinted" to reflect new purposes.
The original stamp (only the green part) was a design issued by the Ottoman Empire in 1909. This was the year that Mehmed V became Sultan as part of the revolt of the Young Turks. The green design in the center, mostly obscured by the red overprint, is the "tughra" of Mehmed V, his calligraphic signature.
In July 1918, near the end of World War I, Mehmed V died and was succeeded as sultan by his brother who was crowned Mehmed VI. The following year, after the Empire had been defeated, the existing stocks of postage stamps were overprinted to celebrate the first anniverary of Mehmed VI's accession. The red design is his tughra, printed on top of that of his brother. The red text is the date "1919" and "1335" in Arabic, the date in the Islamic calendar.
At about the same time, Ottoman postal authorities decided to change the value and purpose of the stamp, and printed over it once more. Typically this is done when inflation makes existing stamps useless, but it's more economical to overprint them than to print entirely new ones. The blue numbers at the bottom and the text at the top change it from a regular postage stamp worth 2 paras, to a stamp specifically for mailing newspapers, worth 5 paras.
Now come the French. Though the southern parts of the Ottoman Empire had been conquered by the combined forces of the British and Arabs (remember the movie Lawrence of Arabia), a portion was turned over to French administration in 1919. This portion included the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, and a slice of southern Turkey: Cilicia.
The French seized existing stocks of postage stamps and overprinted them to show that they were now valid under the new regime. The innitials T. E. O. stand for "Territories Ennemis Occupes."
Lastly the stamp was overprinted "Cilicie" to show that it was for use in Cilicia - the setting for our novel.
By the treaty signed by Mehmed VI, Cilicia was to have become part of French Syria rather than Turkey. However, a nationalist revolt by Mustafa Kemal (later surnamed Atatürk), deposed Mehmed VI and repudiated the treaty. In 1923 (the year Yasar Kemal was born) a new treaty was signed, and Cilicia was freed from French occupation, becoming a part of Turkey. Never having been used, our stamp was now invalid for postage and became just a collector's curiosity.
Posted by Lale on 7/3/2006, 20:50:27
Very cool. Thank you Steven. Do you own this stamp?
: Lastly the stamp was overprinted "Cilicie" to show that it
: was for use in Cilicia - the setting for our novel.
I had never heard of the name Cilicie or Cilicia, so I looked it up. Indeed it is the area of Adana and environs (Kilikya in Turkish), a name given by the Romans.
Cilician Gates = Gülek (or Külek) pass, through the Tauruses.
Posted by Steven on 8/3/2006, 8:20:54
: Very cool. Thank you Steven. Do you own this stamp?
Yes, and it's worth all of fifty cents (US). Even though it has a very complex history, there were evidently hundreds of thousands of copies just like it. The instability at that place and time probably prevented their ever being put into use.
Kara MISTIK - Page 8 - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 11:42:40
Kara - dark, black
MISTIK (both "I"s are dot-less, that's why I write it in all uppercase) - This is actually not a word and not a name. It is a made-up word that is used as an affectionate nickname for children. It is also a cute name for pets. MISTIK gives me the impression/meaning of "nugget".
Memed considers to adopt Kara MISTIK as his name but when he is asked, he forgets (or he can't lie) and he tells his name as ince Memed (Slim Memed).
Posted by Brian on 6/4/2006, 18:45:19
I believe MISTIK is a shortened form of MUSTAFA or with the English spelling MUSTAPHA.
Mistik is somewhat endearing but also patronizing way to address someone. You would not address someone who commands respect as "Mistik."
Uncle - Page 8 - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 11:56:10
In the villages and small towns, you address every one (including total strangers) as
amca or DAYI (uncle)
abla (older sister),
abi (aghabey = older brother),
oghlum (my son),
KIZIM (my daughter),
EVLADIM (my child),
yeghenim (my niece, my nephew) etc.
(all occurences of "gh" should be replaced with a "g with a bar on top", this special "g" is not pronounced, it makes the previous vowel longer.)
So, if you are lost in a village and you meet a man you don't know and you want to ask him for directions, you address him as "uncle". Establishes both respect and comradeship, familiarity, closeness.
In cities, of course, you would address a man as "Beyefendi" and a woman as "HANIMefendi").
My HTML software allows me to properly display some of the Turkish letters such as Çç, Öö and Üü. But the others,
i without dot,
I with dot,
g with a bar on top; and
s with cedilla
are not offered. Here is what the entire Turkish alphabet looks like:
Allah's guest - Page 9 - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 12:05:31
Anyone who shows up at your door (a complete stranger, a traveller passing by, a friend of a friend of a friend) and who is in need of shelter and/or food is Allah's guest. You provide this guest with food and shelter for as long as necessary, for as long as the guest chooses to stay. Traditional Turkish hospitality dictates that you cannot turn the stranger away. You must take them in and give them food and bed.
Back in the olden days this must have come in quite handy for travellers, going from one god-forsaken place to another.
It also works for outlaws. Even if you are running away from the police, you are Allah's guest and you have shelter in people's homes.
Proper Nouns - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 19:08:00
In this translation (mine is by Edouard Roditi), most names (of people and places) are modified to make them easier for foreign readers to pronounce.
ch is used for c with a cedilla as in Chukurova
sh is used for s with a cedilla as in shalvar
gh is used for g with a bar on top as in agha
j is used for c as in Jennet (The original is Cennet which means Heaven)
Hatche is a popular girls' name. It is slightly modernized into Hatice.
A thousand and one - Page 32 - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 19:14:31
With a thousand and one
It is a common expression. In Turkish thousand and one is "binbir".
"I told you a thousand and one times not to enter the house with your shoes."
Inshallah - Page 42 - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 19:28:27
Inshallah - With the permission of Allah / if Allah allows
There are a lot of expressions around Allah. The other day someone sent me this humourous list and I liked it, maybe it is not so funny for people who don't speak Turkish (or Farsi, or Arabic) but I think you'll get the idea (you can pretty much carry on a conversation in Turkish by just using these expressions) :
Hopeful, wishful, supportive --- INSHALLAH
Before beignning to do something --- BISMILLAH
When surprised --- ALLAH ALLAH
When leaving --- EYVALLAH
To go to the end --- YA ALLAH
Promise --- VALLAH BILLAH
Self confidence --- EVELALLAH
Fully motivated --- ALIMALLAH
Bored, irritated --- FESUPHANALLAH
More bored --- HASBINALLAH
Fed up --- ILLALLAH
Great inspiration and motivation --- ALLAH, ALLAH, ALLAH
Commenting on someone's health or success --- MASHALLAH
At failure --- HAY ALLAH!
Posted by LadyPurple on 4/3/2006, 16:41:45
Lale, that is funny! I love it! I have to learn some of these and use them...
Sherbet (sorbet) - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 22:04:21
I wish I could have find better pictures of sorbet ewers and the guys who sell them. The sorbet seller carries a giant ewer (ibrik) on his shoulder with the long neck of the ewer coming to front under his arm. He bends slightly to pour the sherbet into the little cups.
I searched over an hour for a good photo/illustration of this but all I could find were the following:
No wonder Memed and Mustafa didn't like sherbet, it is not very good. Today, no Turkish person would ever drink it (not from a street seller anyway). Tourists buy it only for the presentation, just to see the sherbet seller bend and pour the coloured sweet liquid in dainty glasses. It is something to see.
Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 22:15:16
How about a little contemporary art?
Artist's name: Eren Eyüboglu, the exhibition is entitled "retrospektif".
Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 22:17:30
The last one (then we'll move onto "ibrik").
Ibrik (ibrik) - Posted by Lale on 3/3/2006, 22:23:03
The general shape of an ibrik. This is, of course, much smaller than the ones used by the sherbet sellers.