While tava is among the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine, the unique version served in Kilis includes local spices and meat drawn with a handled mezzaluna (knife); the dish is cooked in a wood-fired stone oven and served with pita bread.
Kilis Olives and Olive Oil
The high-quality olives grown in the region are pressed into olive oil, an essential ingredient found in every kitchen in the region. The 4,000-year-old olive seeds found in the Oylum Tumulus (Oylum Höyüğü) have been documented as originating in Kilis. The regional olive oil was awarded the gold medal in the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards-2020 competition. Kilis Olive Oil is a healthy and delicious product that should be in every kitchen!
Known as the “Emperor of Desserts”, the Kilis katmer is different from the usual version of katmer. The popular dessert combines a thin, fried and crispy dough layered with rich cream, sprinkled with pistachio nuts and powdered sugar, and served hot.
Also called “heavenly mud”, this dessert is one of the geographically indicated flavours of Kilis. It is made of roasted künefelik kadayıf (shredded wheat), sugar syrup and pistachios, and often served with cream.
Za'atar for Breakfast
Za'atar is a blend of special herbs and spices often served at breakfast in Kilis. It is completely organic and does not contain any artificial additives. In addition to being healthy and providing energy, za'atar helps with digestion. Ingredients and spices such as roasted chickpeas, melengiç, melon and watermelon seeds, wheat, mayana (fennel), kuzbara, cumin, sumac, sesame, pepper and salt can be added to the za’atar mix.
At breakfast, powdered za’atar is served in a small bowl and olive oil in another bowl. Bread is first dipped in the olive oil and then in the za’atar.
This scrumptious cookie has mahalep and walnuts, which are symbolic of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. The cookies are baked in city ovens.