Is Kurdish Food Spicy? 8 Dishes To Try For Spicy Lover

Is Kurdish food spicy? Kurdish food uses many spices but isn’t very spicy as opposed to nearby regions. Allspice, cumin, tahini, and coriander are used occasionally, whereas curry and turmeric are used sparingly. Pomegranate molasses is used and gives a sour and sweet flavor.

Why Kurdish Cuisine Is Special?

While based mainly on rice and meat, Kurdish cuisine also integrated a different selection of vegetables, herbs, and spices. Fresh naan bread and basmati rice are part of almost every Kurdish meal, with a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, and other healthy vegetables. Local shepherds grow goats, and sheep make up a big part of the selection of meat, with chicken also familiar. 

Kurdish food includes an array of regional cooking styles and culinary specialties of the Kurds in a place stretching from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to the northeastern the Gulf of Persia. It is based on an old tradition and is influenced by the cultures of the neighboring regions. 

Kurdish cuisine features many vegetables, fresh fruits, rice, bulgur, bread, and legumes. Rice, bulgur wheat, and fresh flatbreads are staples served at each meal together with a fresh salad, which includes tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh green vegetables indigenous to Kurdistan, cabbage, and many other veggies. 

Top 8 Kurdish Dishes to Try for Spicy Lover 

As mentioned above, Kurdish food is not very spicy, although it uses many spices. If you are a spicy lover, certain Kurdish cuisines will surely fulfill your cravings, such as: 



This is a round thin flatbread topped with minced tomatoes, garlic, lots of red and green peppers, garlic, herbs, onions, and many spices before baking. It is often used as a wrap for veggies like eggplant of aubergines, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Lahmacun usually is not vegan, even if it is easy to prepare it vegan. A vegan minced meat substitute can be supplemented as part of the toppings for a more conventional-looking lahmacun. 

Kurdish Biryani 

Kurdish Biryani

Biryani originates from India, even if it is part of the cuisine in Kurdistan. It’s Iraqi, Kurdistan, that takes account of aromatic spices, rice, vegetables, saffron, almonds, dried fruits, garlic, onions, and sometimes potatoes, vermicelli, and a meat substitute of choice too. A spicy tomato sauce or maraq is served along with this dish. This is also best suited along with cold drinks. 



This dish is made by cooking rice in a broth or stock with spices, dried fruit, and vegetables. It depends on where you are in Kurdistan; this dish can be prepared differently. In Turkish Kurdistan, this dish is prepared by frying uncooked rice before adding stock, water, or broth.

On the other hand, in Iranian Kurdistan, this cuisine is prepared by parboiling, soaking as well as draining the rice, and then layering it with veggies, dried fruits, and many spices before steaming.

Despite where pilaf is made in Kurdistan, one vital thing is that the rice is not sticky and separated. This is why rice is soaked or fried, parboiled, and drained during the course of making this dish. 



If you love meat, then I suggest giving Kubba a try. This is a cuisine famous in Iraqi Kurdistan. Conventionally, it’s not vegan. But, with the rising population of vegans in Kurdistan, kubba recipes can be found in which vegan minced meat, seitan mince, mushrooms, and soy mince are used to substitute meat, making it an excellent addition to the country’s cuisine.

This dish is made by filling balls of pulverized or mashed potatoes and basmati rice with a mixture that contains minced meat, dried fruits, and many spices and aromatics of choice like garlic and onions. Then it is shaped into an oblong shape and then fried. This is best served during snacks along with hot coffee or cold drinks. 

Brinji Dor 

Also called red rice, Brinji Dor is among my best Kurdish dishes. This cuisine is rice made by cooking basmati rice in a stock or broth with water, tomato sauce that can be made from tomatoes, onions, and tomato paste and stock. This cuisine is identical to the famous West African Jollof Rice dishes but not that spicy. However, you can request a spicier version if you wish. 

Kurdish Hot and Spicy Red Lentil Soup 

Nourishing, hearty, and supremely flavorful, this Kurdish hot and spicy red style soup is the perfect healthy lunch or dinner if savory cravings strike. What makes this superb is that this comforting spicy soup is ready in just a few minutes and easy to make. 

I am always down for nourishing and comforting soup, particularly if they’re as delicious as this Kurdish hot and spicy red lentil soup. I love to eat this dish at a Kurdish restaurant as I love the combination of spices, taking red lentils to a higher level. 

What is more, it’s the perfect nourishing low-carb dinner or lunch if you crave something comforting, hearty and delicious without being heavy. One serving only contains 268 calories. A drop of lemon as a topping is the best combination to offset the hot and spicy flavor and, at the same time, provide it with a fresh touch. 

Sarupe Kurdish 

This is one of the best and exceptional Kurdish cuisines that you must give a try during your stay in Kurdistan. I’ve already tried this cuisine in nearby countries, but Kurdistan has a different version of it, which made me decide to try it. 

Sarupe or Pacha is a traditional cuisine made out of sheep skin stuffed with spiced rice. You can order this in different restaurants in Kurdistan, and it is also very prevalent in the winter due to its hotness and spiciness. 

This dish is not just typical in Kurdistan but also in the surrounding regions like Iraq and Turkey. It would be best if you gave this dish a try. For sure, you will love it. 



This cuisine can be made with an array of fresh veggies. When many westerners hear the term dolma, the first thing that comes to mind is grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice. On the other hand, Kurds love to stuff vegetables too. This cuisine is a must-have for any events, picnics, and other festive events. Aside from the vegetables, this also comes with many onions, bell, and red peppers to make it a bit spicy. 


Kurdish cuisine is viewed by many food experts as one of the best cuisines in the world today. Indeed, due to its geographical position and the influences of different civilizations and people who have resided through the years in this country. Kurdistan has a vibrant cuisine, colorful and varied.

As Turkish cuisine provides many olive oil-based veggie dishes, cooking Kurdish can also be good for your wellbeing. So, the next time you visit this place, make sure never to forget to try their food, especially the spicy ones. 


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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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