Sanliurfa Cuisine

When one says Şanlıurfa meals, it is Urfa kebab that first comes into mind. Wherever you go in Turkey, when you enter a restaurant, they will say they have Adana or Urfa kebab on their menu. As a matter of fact, Urfa cuisine offers more than kebabs. Of course, kebab takes an important place in Urfa cuisine, however, contrary to the popular belief, Urfa kebab is not the most consumed kebab in Urfa. People in Urfa eat liver kebab the most.  

Liver kebab is eaten at any time of day. Unlike in other places, in Urfa, you have to make your own liver kebab wrap on your own. In kebab shops where you sit on low chairs, you can find onion, parsley, mint and isot pepper on your table. You are given a cutting board and a knife. While your liver is being cooked, you prepare wrap stuffing. When your liver kebab is cooked, it is served on a very thin bread referred to as lavaş along withisot pepper. You add the stuffing on your liver and make your wrap. In addition to liver, chopped meat or chicken marinated with assorted peppers and spices is eaten this way. This is how liver is eaten in Urfa. People eat liver kebab at breakfast, lunch, dinner, late at night or at sahur (meal before dawn)in Ramadan. There are many kebab restaurants whose menus are limited to liver kebab around Haşimiye Square and the new market hall.   

When the spring arrives, Urfa steppe becomes all green with the rains. It is the time when a local mushroom species referred to as keme sprouts. Generally, it loves sandy soil. Local people believe that this mushroom grows at the places struck by lightning during spring rains. Keme is a kind of truffle mushroom. It is referred to as “keme” in Kurdish, “domalan”, “yeryaran” (groundbreaker) or “domuz elması” (pig apple) in Turkish. It was known even in the Roman period, and Cicero deemed them “children of the earth”. Its outer skin is cleaned with a sandpaper without using a knife, and then the chopped keme mushroomis added in the oily meat dressing.Or as in the eggplant kebab, the chopped kemeslices are skewered on a stick in an order of one meatball one mushroom slice. From March to May, you can eat keme kebab in Urfa.