Turkmen’s Ishlik

Written by: Aqsa Sediqi

Every province of Afghanistan has its special foods. Some of these foods are so tasty and famous that some residents of other provinces travel to eat them. For taking benefit of such kinds of foods, some people prepare their province popular foods in other provinces and get more benefits.

AEPO’s writer/producer had a trip to Balkh province and there she has talked to a woman who cooks Turkmen Ishlik in Mazar-e-Sharif city.

The woman says about her business, “Ishlik is the only dish that would not be damaged on long trips and most shepherds take it with them during grazing sheep and goats in the pastures. Ishlik is cooked from flour. First we prepare the dough and then place other ingredients among it and leave it on the fireplace to be cooked.

We also prepare Turkmen Sambosa too but most customers want Ishlik. We have installed tents in our restaurant and we have put a table in each tent and we also have Turkmen robes and hats in the restaurant. When the customers eat Ishlik, they wear Turkmen uniform too and take pictures.

We prepare Ishlik in 3 different sizes, small, medium and big size.  The price of the small size is 200 Afghanis, the medium size is 300 Afghanis and the price of the large size is 500 Afghanis. Those come from Kabul and Herat to Mazar-e-Sharif, they must come to our restaurant for eating Ishlik and we are satisfied with our benefit.”

Kilim weaving:

Some people bring some changes in their business and find a way to get more benefits. AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to Fatima, a resident of Kabul city.

Fatima talks about her business, “I had studied kilim weaving in a kilim weaving center for 10 months and then they hired me as the instructor in the kilim weaving company 3 years ago. At the beginning, we do not have enough customers and I saw that they were using dark colors in kilims but many people like bright colors. I ordered to paint the wrap in bright colors and we brought some changes in the design and pattern of the kilim too.  Now we have more customers and most of them pay us in advance.”