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Halalar geldi...Aunties came...

Family, foodemily kisa2 Comments

My father-in-law is the oldest of five sisters. They all grew up in Adıyaman in the East of Turkey. My father-in-law left for the "big city", İstanbul when he was 18 never to return to live but his sisters stayed raising their families there. Four of the five sisters just took an 24 hour bus ride across Turkey to visit their ailing "Abi"(term for an older brother). In Turkish paternal aunt is hala where maternal aunt is teyze. As my husband says, "They are 100% east Turkey" meaning the East is much more conservative dress, most woman cover their heads regardless of how devote they practice. They have a little different accent too. I hope to see this other side of Turkey in the future!

They have been making delicious dishes from the Adıyaman region such as içli köfte(translates something like inside meatballs) in the photos. The aunties often times sit spread out on the floor on a blanket used for cooking and prepare it there in big circular tins. Lots of Bulgar wheat is used just as in another one of my favorite Adıyaman dishes çiğ köfte!

Prior to these photos they had prepared a mixture of beef, onions and yummy spices to be the filling in these "pockets". The outer shell mixture felt a little like working with clay. The sisters worked as a team taking turns kneading together fine ground Bulgar wheat, ground beef, red pepper flakes, oil and other spices adding water here and there for the right consistency. Then when they felt satisfied two started the "pockets" then the other two filled them with the pre-made beef and onion mixture and sealed them closed to be the shape on the left of the upper photo...what shape would you call that? Anyone?

They got me in there trying to form these little things. I guess it is tradition that a kaynana(mother-in-law) would start the pocket then the gelin(bride or son's wife) would fill and close it. Close the köfte, close the mouth...hehe kinda funny.

When the içli köfte are assembled they are fried in vegetable oil. How can they not be delicious!!! They definitely were! We ate them while drinking ayran a very popular drink, basically watered down yogurt. It took me a while to like it but now I think it's great.