Kumpir: The Turkish Baked Potato
Anyone who knows the first thing about me knows that I love to eat like a local when I'm traveling. This dish is no exception.
I first had kumpir in Istanbul when I traveled there some years ago with a friend. I had the pleasure of being led around by a local who showed me all the amazing food spots the city had to offer. One of these said spots was a food cart, by the water.
There was this friendly man behind the cart, speaking in a tongue I couldn't comprehend in the least. We did, however, come to an understanding. I pointed to the different toppings and gesticulated to see if this one was spicy or what was in that particular one.
He tried to explain each topping (pickled cabbage, russian salad, meats, baba ganoush) and even let me taste a few before I settled on everything that looked vegetable based piled high onto the baked & mashed goodness. I was food drunk for hours after devouring what was probably the equivalent of three meals in ones sitting.. but it was wonderful.
The flavors of the pickled against the buttery mash really kept things sharp. It was like some good down home mash got a kick butt makeover. It was one heck of a meal!
I have to honestly say, this is a modest version of kumpir, with far fewer toppings but it is no less delightful or filling. I truly hope you enjoy a little taste of Istanbul when you eat it.
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
4-6 fist sized potatoes
2 T butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 pint mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic
Chopped fresh veggies
Nuts & seeds
Leftover lentil & beans
PREP 5 MINS & BAKE 40 MINS
Prick the potatoes 3-4 times, place in the oven and turn on to 400 C
While the potato bakes, quickly pan fry some mushrooms with a splash of olive oil & garlic.
Once they brown remove them from the heat.
Once the 40 minutes are over, let the potatoes cool in the oven
Then pulled them out, place in a dish & cut down the middle
Add butter and "mash" the potato right inside it's skin
Add all the toppings & chow down!
* I try to always have something protein dense on there like lentil, grilled mushrooms or nuts. Honest to goodness though, I’ve had it topped with salad + pickled veg and it was just as filling.