During one of my trips to Konya, Nevin Halici took me back into the kitchens of some of the best restaurants. We then dined with the Mevlevi dervishes and got to sample all the dishes made with exotic ingredients. Nevin is one of the most beloved cookbook authors of Turkey. Below are a few photos of her cookbook, Nevin Halici’s Turkish Cookbook, and one of my favorite recipes, Şaştım Aşı.
Over the years, I was invited to Turkey many times, to lecture and to visit with the Sufis in Konya. On one trip, in the dead of winter, I hired a driver and went to Cappadocia. There are many caves that were hollowed out of the soft pumice, and provided the residences of early Christians, who painted gorgeous murals of religious themes on the ceilings and walls. Here I am, in my fur cap and fur-l
December 2000 marked an important historic event in Sufi annals: the first Mevlana Symposium was held in Turkey, to commemorate the 727th anniversary of the death of the great poet and mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi (known throughout Turkey as Mevlana, not as Rumi), the founder of the Mevlevi Order (The Whirling Dervishes). The congress took place at Ankara and Konya from December 15-17, 2000. Of only