Calla is a specialty of Karaman cuisine and definitely worth trying. This dish is basically made by cooking meat, eggplant and various vegetables in a casserole.
As one of the best examples of Central Anatolian cuisine, Arabaşı soup (Arabaşı Çorbası) is both filling and nutritious. The main ingredients of the soup are chicken, turkey, rabbit, flour, and tomato paste. Arabaşı soup, cooked in many cities in Central Anatolia, is also highly popular in Karaman – particularly during the winter months.
Batırık, a dish belonging to the general province of Karaman, particularly the Ermenek region, is a nutritious meal with lots of vitamins. It is almost always offered to guests during afternoon visits to homes. Its main ingredients include “düğürcük (very fine bulgur)”, walnuts, tomato paste, pepper paste, onion, finely chopped peppers and parsley, roasted tahini and spices.
Ermenek halva (Ermenek Helvası), a traditional dessert from the Ermenek district that goes back centuries, is prepared by adding soapwort and tahini to molasses made from grapes grown in their natural environment. Ermenek halva was originally considered a winter food: it was the main source of energy for the people of Ermenek, who worked in vineyards, gardens, and fields, especially in cold weather. As it has an intense aromatic flavour, Ermenek halva is consumed together with flatbread or phyllo bread by local people. It is a traditional specialty of Ermenek and continues to be produced as a local profession in the region.
Divle Obruk (Sinkhole) Cheese
It is estimated that Divle Obruk cheese (Divle Obruk Peyniri), produced in the Ayrancı district of Karaman, dates from about 700 years ago. In the plateaus of the Ayrancı district, where the altitude reaches 2000 metres, the floral structure is rich due to the high altitude. Sheep graze in this natural environment; their milk is made into cheese, which is then placed in the naturally climate controlled Divle Sinkhole. The sinkhole is 35 meters deep and 233 meters long; it is cool in summer and warm in winter.
It is a dessert made with kaymak, flour and milk, baked in the oven until the top browns. To balance the taste, a syrup of sugar, water, honey and lemon is added and served with the dessert.
With sheep or goat meat as the main ingredient, this dish is first roasted on iron plates by adding various vegetables. The kebab is fried in the oven at the last stage before serving. It is unique to the Zeyve Recreation Area of the Ermenek district.