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Marts Aziz

Enjoyed reading this post. Beautiful too. Thank you. :-D


Piti is very common in the mountains around Sheki, AZ. It's served with a big slice of ass-fat on top. I have to say it's vile unless you can find a way to remove the slice of fat and get to the stew beneath.

And I am wondering if Kas is Xas (khash) in Azerbaijan. Stew made from sheep skull and other offal. Preferred hangover cure.

Turkey Culture

Nice photos from Kars. Thanks for this article.

Migration Mark

This is an outstanding post! Amazing pictures and stories. "We weren't really hungry. But it didn't really matter." Great quote, I know the exact feeling!

Shiew Yuin

I need some of that chickpea, suckling lamb, tomato and saffron stew now....


Turkey being what and where it is... one man's neither here nor there is another's best of both worlds. Or at least that's how Babs and I felt about Turkey, having grown up in Asian families in Western environments.

A lovely post, and the light, the light!!! in these pictures is breathtaking.


These dishes look so delicious. There is nothing I wouldn't like to try and I would probably enjoy each and every one. Your description of Kars, the people and the food takes me there. Thanks!

Tere Clemmer

I lived in Turkey for a couple of years, 25 years ago. Your post was a wonderful gift of memories and nostagia. I need to go back and enjoy Turkish people, food and country.

Thanks for the momories!!!


wonderful post, You've got me craving foods I've never had before (I want some piti)


Your pictures make me feel like the food is right in front of me, only I can't touch nor smell them. Ugh! Why do you have to do that to someone who thrives on cheese?


WOW. 19 years I've been living here in Turkey, for the last 4-5 I've been interested in what I eat but there are so many things in your posts that I have never eaten or heard of. Here in my country. Though I've never visited anywhere east of Sivas, I should have known better I guess..

Have you eaten a home-cooked meal while you were in Turkey? Though there are many great restaurants, anyone will tell you that the fascinating cuisine is still behind closed doors.. I hope you did, and if you've missed it, come back and I'll be happy to accompany you.

Karnıyarık (eggplant with minced meat) is the best, no?


Robin, the piti looks like the Turkish version of dizi or aabgoosht, which is an iconic Persian dish. The Persian dish is made with beef or lamb, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes and saffron and is baked in the oven in small aluminium or enamelled vessels.

There is a unique way of serving dizi as well. The soup is served separately and then the rest of the ingredients are mashed together and served as a kind of mash/dip.


Thanks, everyone for your comments and the kind words.
Ezgi - we were lucky enough to have a home-cooked meal in Istanbul, prepared by a cookbook author from Gaziantep no less! It was fantastic and certainly among the best food we ate in Turkey. (I'm still remembering this Kars lunch extremely fondly, though!)
I'm a huge eggplant fan so yes the karniyarik (although the resto owners called it just etli patlican) was a fave. The way the eggplant just melts in your mouth!

Hi Thalassa, thanks for that. Very interesting! I'm betting though that this piti is more likely a variation on the Armenian dish or the Azerbaijani dish that carpetblogger mentions above -- bec of the history of Russian occupation in Kars. Much of the food there bore Armenian-ish influences (well why not it's right across the border). But now I am wondering if the Armenian dish is itself a variation on dizi. (I'm going to google that dish right now.)
I am fascinated by these types of culinary connections ... pls feel free to add your insights from a Persian food perspective on other posts!


bizleribizdeneniyitemsil edip anlattığınız için sizlere teşekkür ediyorum herzaman bekliyoruz tahsin kaya


This is the second time I've read through your posts on Turkey. Perfect reading on a rainy Sunday!

I was trying to think of where I had heard the word 'Kaymak' before. After some Sunday thinking, (ie, it took a while!), I remembered. Our Macedonian friends here in Sydney use the word. They use it to describe the 'creamy' top that they aim for when boiling their coffee in their little coffee pots..."if it doesn't have kaymak, it ain't worth drinking!"..."kaymak! kaymak! make sure it's got kaymak on top!"

Thanks again for sharing your stories with us. We've been reading your work for a while now, (phil yvette on your FB page!) - Always looking forward to your next piece. Cheers!


Phil - two reads? That's an honor. And thanks for that tidbit about kaymak. Fascinating. I should know this ... was current-day Macedonia occupied by the Ottomans? Perhaps that's the origin of the word. But how it came to refer to the 'crema' in a pot of coffee I couldn't guess.
Love little factoids like that. Thanks for commenting!
PS We've still got stuff from Turkey to post .... when we get to it.

turbo fire

Thank you for this article. That's all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you've

covered so many bases.Thanks!


rereading this post, was looking for a good chickpea stew recipe. Although the piti does seem to have a bit of Persian influence with the use of saffron, the only similar recipe I have is a Moroccan one using turmeric. It is of course served on top of a pile of couscous and not lavash bread. Like the commenter above, it seems reasonable to believe that Persian cuisine influenced these dishes. Love your description of the food in this post and wish one day to visit these places...


Hi Sarah - glad to know this post is still being viewed. It's one of my favorites and that dish haunts me still.

Tu Van Cong

Great post as usual and super photos!!! Very jealous!!!!

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