Kumpir is a Turkish specialty, specifically a colorful, multitasty, stuffed potato of colossal dimensions. It consists of a large potato, baked and stuffed.
Baked and stuffed potatoes are indeed present in the kitchens of many countries, and, between one recipe and another, only the ingredients of the filling vary. But the Kumpir is exceptional and unforgettable. You never forget it once you look at it, even in a photo. At first glance, it seems like a mountain of colorful food. The Kumpir fillings combine vegetables, beef sausages, pickles, salads, and sauces. That is, a Kumpir is a complete lunch.
What does kumpir mean?
The word Kumpir comes from the Balkans and has its origin in the word "krompir" which means potato. It is essential to highlight that the potato is American, for which Kumpir's recipe is after the discovery of America. However, even though the potato is not Turkish, all the fillings in the Kumpir are. Therefore, it is possible to consider Kumpir as a Turkish recipe.
How is the Kumpir?
Kumpir is a large potato, baked and cut in half. The pulp has been removed from the inside of the potato to replace it with the filling. The first step is to add a lot of butter and cheese to the still-hot potato. Then you can fill it with your favorite ingredients, and there are options for all tastes. The most common are cheese, bell pepper, olives, corn kernels, cabbage, pickles, sausages, Sujuk, and even tuna. Some also enrich their kumpir with sauces. Kumpir is the king of street food, and you need to be very hungry to eat a whole one.
We will explain how to make kumpir at home, using your favorite fillings. But, it is well worth taking a little about Turkish street food before going to the recipe.
The Kumpir in Turkey
Although the Kumpir is present in the kitchens of Serbia and Croatia, it is undoubtedly one of the favorite street foods of the Turks. In many streets of Istanbul, street stalls offer these delicacies. But one street stands out among all the others, rue des Kumpirs in the Ortaköy wharf area. This place has become a mandatory stop for tourists and locals who appreciate Turkish cuisine.
The "rue des Kumpirs" is on the European side of the city of Istanbul, very close to the port and the Bosphorus bridge. There are a couple of dozen colorful stalls in that area facing the sea; They are small places with tables in the outside area. There they have the potatoes already baked, which are filled at the moment according to each diner's taste. Stuffed potatoes are indeed an international recipe, but the Turks love them uniquely that they even have a street named after them.
You can prepare more or less healthy kumpir, depending on the ingredients you use as a filling. Go ahead and prepare this homemade kumpir recipe; you will see that it is delicious!
The first step is to wash the potatoes very well with a brush and under running water to remove any trace of dirt they may have.
Next, wrap the potatoes without peeling or cutting them in aluminum foil and put them in the oven at 180° for about 45 minutes.
After this time, insert a toothpick into a potato to make sure the potatoes are well cooked; if so, remove them from the oven. Let them rest until you can touch them without burning yourself. Be careful when removing the aluminum foil because it can contain steam inside.
Make a longitudinal cut with the potatoes still hot and open them in the middle, dividing them in two.
With a spoon or fork, open a hole in each, crushing the inner part and mixing it with grated cheese and butter. Reserve two tablespoons of butter.
Peel the chorizos and cut them finely.
Place two tablespoons of butter in a skillet over high heat. When it is hot, add the chopped chorizo, the potatoes' remaining pulp, and the tomato paste. Sauté for about five to ten minutes. Reserve.
Finely chop the cabbage.
Fill each half potato with the chopped chorizo. Decorate with corn kernels, pickles, and finely chopped purple cabbage. If you wish, you can add the sauces of your choice or more cheese.