A modest and succulent recipe inspired by a wonderful experience we had in Turkey, where Kurdish hospitality takes center stage.
At the local market in Urfa we met a young man who invited us to his home for a glass of tea. We accepted his gracious offer and returned with him to his home. There his sister-in-law was most put out as she felt that she had nothing to contribute that would be in keeping with the rules of generosity governing Kurdish hospitality. She eventually resolved with a potato dish that her son dutifully brought to the local baker in order to use his large oven.
We were divided on this cool autumn day as to what warmed us more: the tea, the piping hot potatoes or the hospitality bequeathed upon us by this loving family.
Cook with olive oil instead of duck fat to make an ideal, well-balanced vegetarian meal. It can be accompanied by garlic yogurt, olives, bread and salad.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Cut in two the potatoes and the sweet potatoes.
Choose a baking sheet that the potatoes and sweet potatoes will fill almost to capacity. Spread the duck fat evenly on the baking sheet. Place the potatoes and the sweet potatoes flat side on the baking sheet.
Cut the bulb of garlic in two and place the pieces of garlic all around the potatoes.
Sprinkle the spices and salt on the potatoes. Pour on enough boiling water so that the potatoes are barely covered.
Cook in the oven until the potatoes are cooked and the water has evaporated (30-40 minutes).