Bozbaş has been one of the most challenging local recipes I have worked on until today. Each local recipe is made differently in the cities, districts, villages and homes where it is made. This is a very normal thing. However, when you examine the recipes available in written sources for enough time and look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east (sometimes it may be the first light of the fifteenth day, but it does not matter as long as it ends), you understand the logic of the recipe and those who are born in the region where the recipe is made can only criticise it like “while you are making the recipe, you have turned the pepper mill to the right, but we have to the left”. But bozbaş is not such a recipe.
It is done in many different ways in so many regions. Last night I caught myself watching Azerbaijan travel shows, I said “enough, stop here” and made a home version of the one made in that famous restaurant in Iğdır. I just used saffron instead of turmeric. Saffron is mostly used in Azerbaijan-Iran version of the recipe. Although I probably would use turmeric in Turkey, I preferred to use saffron as it is easy to find it in Spain.
Apart from these minor changes, what different versions of Bozbaş are there? Let me talk about that. It has tomato paste, potato, dried fruit, meatballs and more and more different ingredients. If it is made in your hometown and made differently from the recipe I shared, the reason is this diversity.
I am from Kırklareli and the most famous dish of the region where I was born in my eyes to be famous is eksimikli biber which a roughly roasted green peppers and cheese. One of the world’s simplest recipes with the least ingredients, but even that has many different versions. Let’s accept this variety of local dishes and embrace them.
- 1 kg of lamb neck or lamb shank,
- 1 cup dry chickpeas,
- 1 lt of broth (or water if not available),
- 2 tomatoes,
- 2 green peppers,
- 1/4 teaspoon of saffron,
- Black pepper,
- Optional tail fat,
- Lavash bread or wheat tortilla for serving.
- Soak the chickpeas overnight,
- The next day, take the meat, tail fat and chickpeas in the pressure cooker,
- Add the broth,
- Let it boil without closing the lid,
- When it starts to boil, collect the foams accumulated on it with the help of a colander,
- Cover the lid and cook until the meats and chickpeas are soft, according to the cooking time of your pot,
- Open the lid, add saffron, salt and pepper and mix,
- Chop the tomatoes and peppers coarsely and add them to the pot, cover with a normal lid and and cook until the tomatoes and peppers are soft,
- Divide the food into portioned enameled or earthenware dishes and put them in the oven, and when the tops begin to caramelize, remove from the oven,
- For serving, chop the lavash bread and take them on serving plates,
- Pour the broth over the dish and then pour the meat and vegetables over.
Enjoy your meal…