Assyrian Cuisine
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Assyrian Cuisine


A sweet served to women who have newly given birth and their visitors.

1 kg powdered roasted chickpeas
1 kg powdered sugar
4 whole nutmegs, ground
100 gr ground cloves
200 gr ground anise
3-4 pieces dry ginger, ground
1 handful hulled and ground cardamom
½ c sugar
½ kg unsalted almonds                                                  
½ kg unsalted hazelnuts
½ kg unsalted walnuts

Grind spices, mix with chick peas and powdered sugar. Dry pan roast the almonds, pistachios and walnuts separately, then remove the skins and add together with the sugar.

Kiliçe – Christmas/Easter Cookies

These are cookies baked for Christmas and Easter. In Dıyarbakır they are salty, in Mardin, sweet. This is the Mardin version.


1 kg flour
1 c milk
1 package (250 gr) margarine
1 c clarified butter
½ c vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 c sugar
1 match box of dry yeast
1 packet (10 gr) baking powder
1 T cinnamon
2 T ground anise
1 T ground ginger
2 T ground mahlep (ground wild cherry pits)
1 t ground allspice

Mix the yeast with warm milk, allow to activate. Melt the oil and butter together in a pan, and add the sugar. Place the flour on a counter, open a well in the middle, and add  the oil mixture. Mix in yeast, then the spices, knead and allow to rise, about 3-4 hours. Punch down, divide into pieces about the size of a mandarin orange, and shape as desired (circles, braids, twists). Brush egg over the top, let stand on the pan for 15 minutes, then bake in a medium oven till lightly browned.

Genedir – Bulgur Dumpling Soup

1 c fine bulgur
2 c coarse semolina
2 c boiled chickpeas
1 large onion
½ c vegetable oil
2 T coriander
2 T dry mint
1 T red flake pepper

Mix the semolina with 11/2 c water. Add bulgur and allow to soak. When it has softened, add the coriander and salt, and knead until it becomes a dough. Shape into small balls. Into one liter of boiling water, add the bulgur balls and the chickpeas, and allow to simmer. Meanwhile, chop the onions finely in the oil. Add the mint and red pepper to the boiling soup and boil 10 minutes. Serve, top with the onions.

Note: If desired, it can be made with lamb along with the bone. In that case, the meat is first boiled till tender, then the bulgur dumplings and chickpeas are added. Serve garnished with chopped scallions and parsley.

Belloğ – Red Lentil Croquettes

3 c red lentils
1 ½ c fine bulgur
1 large onion
1 c oil
5-6 green onions
1 bunch parsley
2 T coriander
1 T red pepper
Salt to taste

Wash the lentils well, and cook with water to cover, until the consistency of a thick soup, adding water if necessary. Add bulgur and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mince onion and sauté in the oil, then add the coriander and red pepper, and add to the lentil mixture, add salt. Serve garnished with finely chopped green onion and parsley.

Note: Belloğ goes very well with pickles and çoban salatası.

DoboStewed Lamb Roast with Sweet Spices

1 large lamb roast (thigh)
1 head garlic
2 T tomato paste
1 T pepper paste
20 whole allspice berries
4 sticks cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste

Separate and peel garlic. Wash the lamb thigh and pierce all over with a sharp knife, then insert the garlic cloves into the holes. Rub the meat with salt and black pepper, let sit overnight. Place in a pot, and add water just to cover, add the tomato and pepper pastes, the allspice and cinnamon, and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, simmer till tender.

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