The poet Celaleddin Rumi left his mark in Konya. In Turkey the people named him Mevlana – it could be translated as “our priest”. The former monastry is now a museum near a huge mosque. The whirling derwish are known all over the world.
The museum is on a little “island” surrounded by busy roads, but the noise seems to be shy to go inside and glides just along the walls and away into nowhere. Within the monastry walls you will find a beautiful rose garden and a few fountains. In the museum there are the graves of high decorated Sufis. The graves are covered with lovely ornamented fabrics.
At the entrance you read one of my favourite rhymes: Whoever you are, wherever you come from, our doors are open for you!
Within the monastry walls in small surrounded buildings you can admire pages of ancient books, musical instruments and daily tools.
Whenever I visit my family there I also visit Mevlana and afterwards we feast kebabs. The two dishes you must try in Konya are “Etli Ekmek (long thin pita bread with meat filling, a larger variation of the Turkish pizza “Lahmacun”) and Tandır/Fırın Kebab (Lamb baked in a special stone oven)”. The last ist our favourite in Konya. The best adress for this is a small restaurant in a side street near Mevlana. The restaurant is called “Kebabci Haci Sükrü” and has now a second restaurant in another destrict called Meram.
The pationate cook “Hacı Şükrü” created this kebab and opened his restaurant in 1907. The restaurant is now successfully in the hands of his grandchildren and great grandchildren who continue the old tradition. The family restaurant is very simple and cosy.
The meat melts in your mouth and is only served on thin pita. The guests decide how much meat they want on their pita; the price depends on the weight of the portions. The kebab is served with seasonal salads and pickles and raw onions of course. The last is a must with meat dishes.
We went to the restaurant last time in January and got a winter salad and pickled chilis.
Of course, I’ve been trying to learn the secrets of this dish. The manager was very friendly and sat down and explained to me how they proceed. Very important is of course the quality of the meat. They use only “Merinos sheep” from the region. Other animals are not allowed into their pots. They also use mostly only the shoulder and filet of male lambs !!! They marinate the meat simply and season with salt and pepper and cook the meat slowly in copper pans in a stone oven that is heated with oak wood. Depending on the age of the animal the meat needs about 3-3.5 hours, male sheep about 4-5 hours and female sheep about 6-7 hours until nicely cooked and tender. The meat is cooked only in its own juice and fat. The cook pours from time to time some of the roast fat over the meat and turns over the meat occasionally during the cooking process. To serve the meat the cook pulls the roast apart and places the meat on bread and lightly sprinkles with its own fat or with the gravy from the pot to prevent the meat from drying out. From 3 kg raw meat they get only 1 kg roast for serving. The chefs start preparing this dish very early in the morning, so at 11 am they can serve the first portions for lunch time.
Simplicity is the secret! Enjoy your meal! Afiyet olsun!
Address: HACI ŞÜKRÜ FIRIN KEBAP SALONU, Devricedid mahallesi Cemsultan caddesi No:327/A (Maliye Sarayı civarı, Adalhan Karşısı) Selçuklu / KONYA, Telefon: +90-332 352 76 23 oder im Stadtteil Meram: Yorgancı Mah, Dutlu Cad. 42090 Meram-Konya, Telefon +90 332 325 2829
For the recipe: