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Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Early Seljuk, Mevlani and Ottoman records refer to marrows cooked and stuffed in numerous ways. A dish of marrows stewed in grape juice was served at the banquets of Mehmet II (the Conqueror), who paid a great deal of attention to the culinary affairs of the Palace. The most commonly used member of the marrow family is the slender green courgette, complete with bright yellow flower frill, which is also stuffed and eaten, early in the season (see Kabak çiçeği dolması). Considered a ‘cold’ vegetable, every type of marrow is traditionally ‘warmed’ with a balance of mint and dill. Like the seeds of sunflowers and pumpkins, marrow seeds are roasted and salted and eaten like nuts or popcorn. And in the Mediterranean region marrows are made into a local sweet, kabak helvasi.