The centuries-old tradition of baking bread in a tandoori, a special oven made of stone, preserves its place in Kurdish culture.
The tradition of baking bread in tandoori ovens has been a very common part of the kitchen culture throughout the Middle East.
The tandoori bread (‘in Kurdish) has been an important tradition of bakery for the people of the Middle East, especially for Kurds, Moroccans, Arabs and Turks.
The Kurdish women living in the east and southeast of Turkey continue the ancient tradition of baking tandoori bread despite the development of industrial bakeries.
Taybet Işık is one of those Kurdish women who continue to bake Tandoori bread, despite the specific challenges of this specialist type of baking, which needs a special dough to be worked by hand and nimble work with the tandoori oven and feeding the fuel for the fire burning in this oven made of stone.
‘I have been baking bread in tandoori ovens for 50 years.There is modern bread nowadays, but we don’t like it. It doesn’t taste good. And it’s hard to go and buy bread. I don’t like to sit doing nothing as well,” Taybet Işık said. “When we are out of bread, my daughters prepare the dough. This bread does not give you extra weight. Can you compare this bread to modern bread?”
Taybet Işık mentions the challenges of this special way of baking bread. “It’s hard. You are amid the smoke all the time. It’s especially hard for those with asthma. I have the asthma, but I have to bake my bread,” she said.
She also shares that baking tandoori bread is also a part of her house-economy amid the rising prices of flour and bread.
“Buying flour gets economically hard with the rising prices. But at least when I bake a basket of tandoori bread it is enough to feed my children for 20 days. We can manage with a pack of flour for a month this way. It’s really hard to make ends in these times,” she said.