Do you have any idea on how people in my country enter their houses? If you don’t have even a clue, you might ask “What kind of a question is this?” But you know we always have interesting traditions. So what we do different when entering our homes is that we take off our shoes. If you are living in an apartment building, you have to take them inside and put them in the shoe cupboard, which is at the entrance whereas you can leave them outside if you are living at a house with a garden or in a village. Then you wear your house shoes or slippers which are waiting for you just at the entrance. So why do we do this? I’m not sure if it has a history behind, but I know that noone wants to see dust or street dirt in their house. Unfortunately, our streets are not that clean! So it would be awful to walk in the house with the shoes you wear outside. You don’t want to see something disgusting on your carpet, do you?
Yes, I love my beautiful country, but I wish there were stricter laws and punishment about environment. I’m not sure though whether we can easily get used to wearing outside shoes inside even if our streets are as clean as a whistle. So it’s not just a matter of avoiding street dirt I guess. We don’t feel clean with our shoes inside. Culturally, we think that we should leave outside things out. And it must have something to do with respect. Respect to your home and household.
So do you have different traditions of entering a house?
As for the dish you see above, I find them more tasty than the fresh ones. We can keep stuffing things in Winter if we dry vegetables in Summer.I made these last weekend and stored some of them in freezer. I made some of them with rice, some with bulgur, so it’s up to you to use either of these. Also, I didn’t use mince, but it gives a nice flavor when combined with rice or bulgur, so you can add it too.
Dried eggplants and red bell peppers will become larger and flexible when waited in boiling water for a few minutes. Ready to be stuffed!
- 10 dried red bell peppers
- 10 dried eggplants
- 1 liter water to boil dried vegetables
- 20 tbsp rice or bulgur (1 for each pepper and eggplant)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 large onions, thinly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tbsp pepper (or tomato) paste
- ½ bunch of parsley, minced
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ lemon, squeezed
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup hot water
- Boil 1 liter water in a pot and put dried eggplants and dried peppers into it. Boil them about 3 or 5 minutes until they soften. Take them into cold water and drain.
- Mix all stuffing ingredients and stuff eggplants and peppers with this mixture. Use your hands at this step. Do not ovefill them as rice and bulgur will rise. Just leave about half inch space on the top.
- Place them in a pot and if there is any juice left from the filling mixture, pour it in this pot.
- Cover the pot and cook it over high heat for about 5 minutes, then add ½ cup hot water and bring it to the lowest heat. It will be done after about 30 minutes. You can understand it by checking the softness of rice and bulgur.
- This can be served both warm and cold.
- And it’s the icing on the cake if you drizzle some yogurt on these stuffed dried eggplants and peppers.