Delicacy is over everything in Isparta cuisine. Therefore the preparation and cooking of some meals takes hours. From the land of rose, we chose both eye-pleasing and practical delicious recipes.

Çoban Pilavı (Shephard’s Pilav) 

1 cup bulgur / 4 green peppers / 1 onion / 4 tablespoons cooking oil / 1 medium potato / 2 medium tomatoes / 2 cups boiled sheep milk or water / salt 

Finely slice the onions and cook in oil. Once the onions turn slightly brown, add the chopped pepper and bulgur and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add milk (or water), the potato chopped into small pieces, the peeled and finely sliced tomatoes, and salt, and cook. Wait for a while then serve. 

Rose Syrup 

500 g Isparta rose pedals / 4 cups sugar / 5 teaspoon citric acid (sour salt) / 1 lemon / 3 cups water 

Remove the pink petals from the roses and cut off the white bits on the ends with scissors. Wash these well, several times to remove any dust and chemicals. Put the petals into a jar and add 1 cup of water, citric acid (sour salt), and the juice of 1 lemon, and close the lid tightly. Leave for a week so the fragrance and color of the roses filters into the water. After the rose petals have faded, remove from the jar and discard. Add twice the measurement of sugar (1 cup of sugar for 1 cup of water) into the red and sour juice and leave it for the sugar to dissolve. In the meantime, put the remaining 2 cups of sugar into 1 cup of water to dissolve and mix well with the rose sherbet. 

Sieve the mixture through a fine cloth over a funnel into a jar or a 1-liter bottle. Close the lid tight so it gets no air and store in a cool place. When you want to serve, put some rose sherbet into a glass, add ice and cold water, mix well, and serve.  

Banak (Meat Dish)

2 kg boned thigh meat / 1 beef shin bone (broken) / 2 liters water / a pinch of salt / black pepper / 3 pide (round flatbread) 

In a deep saucepan add the thigh meat and the bone of the beef shin to boiling water. While boiling, remove the froth (called kef in Turkish) from on top of the water with a spoon or sieve and discard (if desired you can add sliced onion seasoned with black pepper into the water when the meat is close to cooking to add more flavor and remove after it boils). Once the meat softens enough to separate by hand, remove from the saucepan and cut into pieces. In the meantime, cut the pide purchased the day before into small pieces and place these on a wide plate. Scatter the meat with enough of its liquid on top of the pide. If you prefer, you can add black pepper. Fried stale bread or dry flatbread can be used instead of pide. 

Rose Jam

250 g Isparta red roses / 2 cups sugar / 1 liter water / half a lemon 

After separating the rose petals, cut them with scissors into small pieces and wash well. Drain the petals and place in a saucepan. Add the sugar and mix with the rose petals, and add the lemon juice. Close the lid and leave in a cool place for about a day to give time for the petals to absorb the sugar. 

After this, add water into the saucepan and boil. If froth appears on top, remove it using a metal sieve. When the jam has reached the required consistency, leave it to cool. Put the jam into jars and store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 

Sakala Sarkan Soup 

½ cup green lentils / ½ cup roasted noodles (erişte) / 2 tablespoons tomato paste / 2 tablespoons butter / 2 tablespoons fried clotted cream / 1 liter water (meat stock can also be used) 

For the sauce (can be added according to preference): 

1 small onion / 1 clove of garlic / mint / black pepper / flaked chili pepper / lemon juice 

Put 1 liter of water into a saucepan. Add the green lentils and boil well. Fry the tomato paste in 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate frying pan. Add the fried tomato paste, homemade noodles and salt to the boiled lentils and boil again. Just before it is cooked, add the fried clotted cream. Allow the soup to boil for a couple of minutes and serve hot.

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