Ottoman or Punjabi Parathas?






We came across a dish in Turkey which were very similar to the stuffed parathas of North India. It is a naan like bread which is stuffed with a stuffing of your choice - minced meat, potato, spinach, roasted spices and so and then lightly fried in oil. It is fairly thin and quite tasty... and like I said, quite Indian.
 
We had this in a restaurant called Hala in the fag end of Isyiklal Cadesi.
The high point of Hala are the Turkish ladies who sit in a fish tank like place at the beginning of the restaurant. I guess seeing them make the local bread would be a big draw for tourists. especially for those from the West. 
One of them made a flat bread identical to the Indian rumali roti which was served complimentary with the lovely beef and tomato dish. The beef and tomato dish was strongly recommended by the fair, podgy boy who took our order. I like people with a point of view. Often their recommendations turn out to be good. This is not to be confused by those pushing the 'day's special' which are a way of palming off slow moving dishes.

The lady making the roti posed for a photo under the instructions of our young, chubby maitr d. Another other women took over for the next shift. I never saw her after that. I wonder whether she decided to try her hand at modelling after I clicked her portfolio! Oh, she was fairly slow and most Indian street side cooks would make 5 roomali rotis in the time she made one. I guess she was there more for the novelty than for functional reasons.

We had read about Hala in the Lonely Planet guide. There was another restaurant opposite it with the same concept but with 2-3 ladies making the bread/ roti at the same time. The meal at Hala was slightly more expensive than that at the Delis and cost us about 25 liras or 13 euros for the two of us with Ayran (butter milk) and water.

According to Lonely Planet, hala, means 'aunt'.



2