Saturday, 24 March 2012

Prickly Eat.

A couple of weeks ago I ate a bowl of delicious Kenker, (thistle stalks) in the Körfez Restaurant and as I've never cooked it before, decided today was the day to give it a go. With info gleaned from Ali, the Körfez heir apparent, I went to buy Kenker, Kenger in the local dialect, also known as Deve Dikeni (Prickles that camels like). I didn't have a recipe so staked out the most likely informant. She was big of bosom, her headscarf decorated with those pretty dangly crochet adornments which show a true village lady and had an array of various greenery in front of her. I picked up a bunch of the most likely roots and on confirming their identity asked her how she cooked them.  "Don't know" she replied. "Never eat them."  Deflated, I moved on to the next stand, where the stall holder didn't get chance to tell me his recipe as the customer behind was very keen to relate how her mother cooked it. This is where I should have left the market with my 500g of thistle root.  Instead I went to one more stall, where the kenker looked a bit thicker and bought 500g here, cockily showing off by using the other term involving a camel. "That's not Deve Dikeni" he said. "This is" and thrust another bunch of greenery at me.


Deve Dikeni

I've spent a couple of hours on the internet, trying to pin down which thistle is which. I'm pretty sure Kenker is the common purple flowered type and it is now bubbling in a pan on the stove. It was meant to take 30 minutes and it's been going for over an hour  and is still pretty chewy.  If we enjoy eating it, I'll post the recipe tomorrow.


Kenker - Purple - -


  1. Hmm..not sure whether I'd like this but if your recipe does turn out well I might give it a go. My mother-in-law picks all sorts of weird stuff growing wild in our garden and cooks it. It's usually quite tasty. Don't you just love the way Turkish women pick and cook almost everything that surfaces from the soil?

  2. Looking forward to your follow up...I wonder if anyone eats thistle in the US...I'll see if I can find out!

    1. If you look up the Latin name on the wikipedia link, you should be able to find if they grow near you.

  3. Love the title. I may nick it for a future post about pushy restaurants!