Keledoş: More than your regular grain soup


When you need plenty of protein, you don’t think of a soup. Instead, you would go for something heavy in meat or directly meat. But this soup is in that regard a game changer.

What is Keledoş?

A thick soup consisting of a variety of grains, kurut and depending on the recipe including a bit of meat, though different versions like to skip it.

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The origins

The Turkic people were nomads and the invention of yogurt (1) and the resulting kurut was something of a way of life. With them settling in Anatolia and mingling with the Persians, we can trace back this kind of dried cheese to the 9th century when Persian Islamic scholar Ibn Qutaybah wrote about it, though he was not quite sure how they made it, but stated that the Turks called this dried yogurt-cheese “kurut.” (2) The obvious interchanging of cuisines brought about a thick soup that spread throughout the whole region as grains such as lentils, wheat and chickpeas would be a convenient way to make use of rests and be quite filling. Traces of this spread can be found by simply looking for the name of the dish itself. In Iran it is known as “Kaleh Joosh” or “Kaljoosh”, while Azerbaijan calls theirs “Kələcoş”. The Turkish version is more prevalent in the southeastern provinces – namely Ağrı, Bitlis, Muş and Van – and is dubbed “Keledoş”. (2)

While they all share the same name the dish has many variations. While the Iranian version is dubbed a “simple soup” to whip up, the Van version is described as quite a hassle to prepare. In this latter version each of the grains are cooked individually in a tandoor oven and are topped off in oil roasted red pepper flakes. The obsession with this dish in the region is underlined by a competition for the best Keledoş and according to the official application to the Turkish Patent and Trademark office, this version of the dish can be traced back to the 1800s. (3) Receiving the trademark for this took a surprisingly short time considering other registered dishes listed here, taking merely three months – a likely indicator of its uniqueness.

Speaking of uniqueness: There is one addition to the dish that dubbed a plant – the “keledoş otu” also described as “ak pancar”, meaning white beet when literally translated. While the name “beet” suggests a bulbous vegetable, it is indeed more like stalks/stems that are cooked in the soup to give it that unique flavor. (3)

As this dish is such a hassle to prepare, families that come together share the dish to other households and usually are associated with celebrations of some kind.



The Turkish keledoş comes most likely from the Persian “Kaleh Joosh” (کاله‌جوش) or “Kaljoosh” (کلجوش).


Keledoş: More than your regular grain soup

Getting the ingredients for this recipe might be problematic due to the “keledoş otu” part but making it without that herb will still yield a dish worth the trouble.
Servings 4


  • 100 gr beef cut in cubes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30 gr cooked chickpeas
  • 30 gr cooked green lentils
  • 50 gr cooked Ashura bulgur
  • 10 gr keledoş out
  • 1 kurut
  • 50 gr butter
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • As the ingredient list suggests the grains are to be cooked beforehand and separately, without tossing the water away just yet.
  • Seal your beef cuttings and then cook them in water until they start to soften.
  • Add the chopped onions, the salt, black pepper, allspice and the Ashura bulgur with its water into it and let that cook together for about 5 minutes.


(1) H. McGee, “Fresh fermented milks and creams” in “Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen”, eds. Dorfman, P; J Greene; A McGee,New York: Scribner, 2004
(2) Ayla Ünver Alçay, “Kurut ve Türk Mutfağında Kullanımı” in “Aydın Gastronomy, 1 (2):31-39”, 2017