Thursday, 25 August 2011

Drying Veggies

This was taken on my friends balcony

This was taken from my window to the neighbouring roof top and she is drying eggplants

Gaziantep is famous for its dried chillies and eggplants that are then turned into stuffed dolma later in the year.  You can buy them pre dried at the various herbal/dried goods shops or make your own.  Making your own is preferred by most of the local women as they know that it is fresh and done properly.

An assortment of dried eggplant, zuchinni, okra and chillies
At the moment in the Bazaars you can get a kilo of eggplants for 25kurus so now is the time to buy for drying.  The hot chillies are also very cheap and most women have started if not finished this yearly chore.

The women will sit on the streets for hours with thier neighbours cleaning out the little eggplants.  Each household probably doing at least 50 kilos each.  The women will do one household at a time.  The more neighbours you have the less of a chore it becomes as everyone helps each other.

After hanging the eggplants or chillies in the sun until they are dried they then store them ready for winter eating. At this time the women also make huge amounts of pickles and dried pepper and tomato paste as the prices are down and the sun is still hot.  Last year I just did 20 kilos of each but wont be doing any this year as my neighbours have given my enough to cover our needs.

Some women also dry zuchinnis for stuffing and tomatoes.  I personally think that the dried tomatoes are the best as the taste is fantastic.  If you dont have enough sun to do this you can find a decent dehydrator and make these yourself.


  1. When I lived in western Queensland I used to dry a lot of stuff in the dry heat. Since I moved here to the humid coastal country I find they don't dry well at all.
    What is the humidity like where you are??
    Is it more traditional in Turkey for women to do this kind of work in the home then to work outside the home? Did you have to barter with the other women who gave you your eggplants & chillies?
    Yeh I know lot's of ?? from me as usual. inquisitive mind!

  2. How much do they hollow out the eggplants? I might grow extra to fo some of these myself this summer. I love eggplants, especially done the asian way.

  3. Caroline there dosnt seem to any formal batering going on :) but they all sit down and help each other until the job gets done and thankyfully there is very little humidity here so I am enjoying it while I can.

    Chef they just leave the skin I can give you a tutorial next time I see you and for the dolma they use the small ball type ones not the huge ones you can get at the local supermarket where you are.