Kurdish cuisine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Traditional Kurdish food

Kurdish cuisine (Kurdish: خواردنی کوردی or Xwarina Kurdî) consists of a wide variety of foods prepared by the Kurdish people. There are cultural similarities of Kurds and their immediate neighbours in Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia. Some dishes, such as biryani, are shared with the Indian subcontinent. Kurdish food is typical of western Asian cuisine.

Culinary customs[edit]

The Kurdish diet includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Lamb and chicken are the primary meats. Breakfast is typically flat bread, cheese, honey, sheep or cow yogurt, and a glass of black tea. For lunch, lamb and vegetables are simmered in a tomato sauce to make a stew usually served with rice and savory dishes are usually served with rice or flat bread (Naan). Kurdistan has a climate and soil suited to grapes, pomegranates, figs, and walnuts. Kurdish honey has a clear light taste and is often sold with the honeycomb. Kurdistan also produces dairy products from sheep and cow milk. Kurds make many types of kofta and kubba, dumplings filled with meat.

Kurdish cuisine makes abundant use of fresh herbs.[1]

Traditional Kurdish bread, a crusty white loaf that is baked on a round hot iron, Hawraman

Sweetened black tea is a very common drink, along with bitter strong coffee. Another favourite Kurdish drink is "mastow" (Sorani) or "Ava Mast", which is yogurt and salt mixed with water. The fermented version of this is called Do (Doogh).[2] Both beverages are often served with the addition of dill, mint, pennyroyal or seeds from the Pistacia kurdica tree.

Staples of Kurdish cuisine are berbesel, biryani, dokliw, kellane, kullerenaske, kutilk, parêv tobouli, kuki (meat or vegetable pies), birinç (white rice alone or with meat or vegetables and herbs), and a variety of salads, pastries, and drinks specific to different parts of Kurdistan. Other popular dishes are makluba, kofta, shifta, shilah/maraga, spinach with eggs, wheat & lentil soup, beet & meat soup, sweet turnip, cardamon cookies, burgul pilaf, mehîr, hûr û rûvî, pel (yaprakh), chichma this dish is common in Erbil (Hewlêr), tefti, niskene and nane niskan.[3]

Sawarr, a traditional dish among Kurdish farmers, is made of wheat grain that is boiled, sun dried and pounded in a mortar (curn) to get rid of the husk. The wheat is then crushed in a mill (destarr). The resulting grain food can be boiled and served.[4]

Tapsi is a dish of aubergines, green peppers, courgettes and potatoes in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. Tashreeb consists of layers of naan in a sauce of green pepper, tomato, onions and chillies.[5] A typical Kurdish breakfast consists of cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, reçel (jam/marmalade; a preserve of whole fruits) and honey usually consumed on top of kaymak. Sausage, baked goods and even soups can be taken as a morning meal in Kurdistan. Perhaps more so than traditional breads such as pide, a crusty white loaf is widely consumed. A common Kurdish speciality for breakfast is called menemen, which is prepared with roasted tomatoes, peppers, olive oil and eggs. Invariably, black tea is served at breakfast.

Dishes and foods[edit]

Dairy products[edit]

In Kurdistan, yoghurt is called mast.[6] ,and considered the most popular fermented dairy product which produced from cow milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk using the traditional method. Dairy products also comprise a large portion of traditional Kurdish food.

Keşk known as Kashk is a fermented and strained sour yogurt that can be consumed on its own as a cheese, or used as an ingredient in soups.


The Kurds produce many varieties of cheese, mostly from sheep's milk. Kurdish cheese has been traditionally prepared from raw milk and it is ripened in goat's skin bags.

Soups and Ash[edit]

Kurdish Red Lentil Soup

  • Terkhina
  • Halimaw
  • Milky rice
  • Qaziane
  • Dokliw
  • Yogurt Ash
  • Sanga sir


Pilav and pasta[edit]

In Kurdistan, bread can be found in various forms. Their ingredients differ as well as their shapes, densities, and textures.[7]


Vegetarian dishes[edit]

Vegetable dishes[edit]


Egg dishes[edit]

Meze and salads[edit]

Stuffed vegetables[edit]

Stuffed vegetables are widely known as Pelpêç (Sarma) or Pel (Dolma) [8] in Kurdish regions. It is slowly simmered and they fill the house with an irresistible scent of fresh herbs, aromatics, and tangy lemons.[9]

Meat dishes[edit]

As nomads and herders, lamb and chicken have been the main dishes of in Kurdish cuisine for centuries.[11][12]



Non-alcoholic beverages[edit]

Holiday celebrations[edit]

During the festival of Newroz, Kurds enjoy picnics in the countryside, eating traditional food, often with dolma, and dancing the traditional Kurdish dance called Halperke.

Kurdish people also enjoy Eid food such as chicken, rice, dolma and biryani.

Related cuisines[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kurdistan's cuisine". Krg.org. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  2. ^ "Kurdistan's cuisine". Krg.org. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  3. ^ "Middle East". Web.archive.org. 2008-02-01. Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  4. ^ "The food that launched civilization". saradistribution.com. 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  5. ^ "Iraqi Kurdish, Life Style". London: Guardian.co.uk. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  6. ^ "Kurdish-English dictionary" (PDF). Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Culture Tuesday: an Exploration of Kurdish Cuisine". 21 January 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Kurdische Spezialität". 6 December 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Vegan Kurdish Aprax / Dolma (Stuffed Vegetables with Herbed Aromatic Rice)". 19 March 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Kurdische Spezialität". 6 December 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  11. ^ "cooking my roots". Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Kurdish Food". Retrieved 28 July 2021.


  • Barzinji, Ala, Traditional Kurdish Food: An insight into Kurdish culinary heritage, 2015, ISBN 1784624144.
  • Sinjari, Emel, The Kurdish Cookbook, 2016, ASIN B01LZ0DZ5I.
  • Zebari, Chiman, My Life, My Food, My Kurdistan, 2015, ASIN B0793Q93R8.
  • Nikolovski, Goce, Taste of Kurdish Cuisine: Part 1, 2016, ASIN B01LXXAEUQ.

External links[edit]