When we say wedding ceremony in Konya, don't we think of our famous wedding pilaf (rice)? It is used in Konya as “PILAV DÖKMEK” at the wedding. Let me first explain the meaning of the word “dökmek”. In the old Turkish language, it means to share,to present and distribute something for the sake of a belief.
In the past, male or female cooks cooked the wedding rice. 3-5 days before the wedding day, the wedding owner would inform the cook how much wedding rice he would serve, and the cook would have it prepared by telling him the amount of meat and other materials to be bought from the market. Women cooks played an important role in Konya weddings. HACI BODUÇ is one of the most famous examples. Haci Boduç was an old widowed woman. In her last days, she was an executive lady of Yılanlı Madrasa in the Women's Market, where old handicrafts are bought and sold. She cooked such a delicious wedding pilaf that the mayor of the time recommended the surname “iyipilavcı” (which means cooking delicious pilaf) to Hacı Boduç when the surname law was enacted. The preparations were started the day before the wedding pilaf was to be cooked. Of course, these would be in the courtyard or garden of the house. meat was cooked the night before, and other dishes were prepared near the morning. In the past, all meat was cooked and used to be mutton. The crumbs and scraps of this meat were collected in a different bowl, and the night before the wedding, “tirit” with onions and sumach was made and served to the relatives of the wedding owner, the groom's friends, the guests from afar, and the close neighbors.
On the morning of the wedding, after the prayer, food samples were placed on a tray and placed on top of the rice cauldron, and the cauldron was opened with prayer. The wedding owner would also tip the cook and his apprentices. Usually, the wedding pilaf would start at 08:00 on Sunday and continue until 11:00. As well as those who were invited to the wedding with a call (invitation), those who were not invited, even strange people and mentally handicapped people came. They could sit at the table without any restrictions. Meals are as follows; Wedding soup with yoghurt and then all mutton placed on top of rice dish. All the guests at a table ate this meat from only one plate in the middle. And after that, semolina halva, okra soup, zerde rice, compote or seasonal divlek (melon) grapes etc. would be served. Today, instead of whole meat, veal cubes cooked in a cauldron is served, instead of compote, orange or cherry juice is served. In addition, today, different from the past, rice with meat is used a few times with the name of reinforcement, and/or sometimes TAHTELBAHİR (denizaltı) is served. It is a kind of dish on which the meat is hidden under the pilaf so that other guests cannot see it. Wedding meals were eaten with wooden, tortoiseshell, tamarind, horn spoons, assuming that was curative for Muslims. In the old days, everyone used to sit at their table with their spoons in their belts. Spoons were never placed with their mouths open, the water was drunk from the same glass in order. In the old days, tables were set on sofa trays, table cloth was placed under it and folded napkins (towels) were placed around it. After the meals were eaten and the compote was drunk, a table prayer was read by someone at the table and the last bite was eaten as a circumcision, and then the table would be left. Afterwards, hands were washed in those famous hand-washing fountains, and sometimes the hands were wiped with a towel that got wet from wiping too much. After the guests had eaten and left the ceremony, the leftover meals were given to relatives, the poor, places such as kindergartens, prisons and those who could not attend the wedding. It was a good custom in those years. Unfortunately, in recent years, the tradition of pouring rice at weddings has degenerated and has lost its former beauty. Some wedding owners print double invitations and invite some of their guests to the wedding ceremony and some to the wedding pilaf. Again, nowadays, wedding pilafs are in the form of menus in luxury wedding halls and gardens, leaving the classical methods. Do you think we are losing the Konya pilaf tradition? Chef teams have taken a very different shape today compared to past. By making the job more practical and easier, it has saved the wedding owners from some burdens, which can also be helpful.