Fresh local ingredients
Fresh herbs are the essence of Kurdish cuisine. People also love to cook with an abundance of vegetables. Lamb and chicken are the primary meats. Beef is also popular.
A typical Kurdish breakfast is flat or raised bread with honey, delicious sheep or buffalo yoghurt and a glass of refreshing black tea.
Savoury dishes are usually served with rice or flat bread. Kebabs are a popular way to serve meat and chicken. Lamb, vegetables or beans are simmered in tomato sauce or in meat juices to make delicate stews that are usually served with rice or cracked wheat. In the spring and summer, salads and fresh herbs are often on the dinner table. Kurds also make many types of kofta and kubba, dumplings filled with meat.
During Nawroz, the Spring Equinox New Year, Kurds celebrate by dressing in their finest clothes and setting off to the countryside for picnics, often taking a large pot of yaprakh. Also known throughout the Mediterranean as dolma, yaprakh is a dish of freshly picked vine leaves stuffed with rice, meat, herbs and garlic, and then simmered in a large pot.
Black, sweetened tea is Kurdistan’s favourite drink. The black tea goes perfectly with klicha, which are date or walnut-filled cookies often prepared for religious festivals.
The Kurdistan Region has fertile soil and a hot summer climate ideal for growing grapes and orchards such as pomegranate, fig, and walnut. The Region’s honey has a clear light taste and is often sold with the honeycomb. Kurdistan also produces excellent sheep, goat and buffalo dairy products, such as soft and hard cheeses, yogurt and keshk. These are produced in small quantities in rural communities and are sought after.