Results tagged “gözleme”


We ate maybe a hundred gözleme each in Turkey.  It is a kind of flatbread (yufka), folded up around a filling such as cheese, potato or spinach, and cooked on a metal dome (saç) over a fire until the outside is browned and crispy and the inside is soft and hot.  They are absolutely delicious and make the perfect breakfast or lunch hot snack. 

In Cappadocia I spent one hilarious day making them with three expert women in the village of Göreme.  Gülcan, Hamide and Hatice showed me how to make the fillings, knead and roll the dough, fold it up in a parcel around the filling and then cook it over the tandır fire.  Here is the recipe and several short video clips.  Warning: some clips contain explicit language (in Turkish).

This session around the traditional tandır oven is now sadly a rare occurrence in Cappadocia, where it was once a very socially significant event for the women of the cave houses, and it was probably Hatice's last.  You can read the full story here.

Flipping gözleme! Hatice's last tandır session

Smgozlemeprodline0001.jpgIt wasn’t until afterwards, when we persuaded Gülcan to translate some of the preceding fast and furious conversation, that we realised just how colourful it had been.  An elderly neighbour had come round to lead us in our gözleme-cooking session over the tandır, and, it turned out, she’d spent the entire time hurling insults of the most explicit kind at anyone and everyone, for no apparent reason.  Really, it was so rude I can’t write one word of it here.  (And there was me thinking she’d been animatedly discussing the fine art of gözleme-making.)  Gülcan’s husband Andus reassured us she’d loved it all really, and was even quite emotional at the end, since it was probably the last time she would ever cook over the traditional tandır oven.

Smsoganlicavechurch0001.JPGWe’d already heard about the tandır earlier in our Turkish travels - it’s a deep clay-lined hole in the ground in which you build the fire.  (We suspect the similarity with the Indian tandoor is not a coincidence.)  But it was not until we reached Cappadocia that we first saw one.  In fact we saw lots - their remains are still clearly visible carved into the floors of the hundreds of cave dwellings dug into the cliffs.  Many date back over a thousand years to Byzantine times. 
Smancienttandir0001.JPG We were intrigued - how long had people been living in caves here, how and what did they cook in them, and why would Hatice, our garrulous elderly neighbour, not be using a tandır any more? 

How fortunate that we were staying with a cook and an anthropologist...



Culinary Anthropologist