Antep Style Lentil Soup
Red Lentil Balls
Kilis Tava

Human beings desire to achieve success as much as lifelong of peace, and happiness. A well working brain is a must for success. Could we depend on certain type of foods for brain development? According to Brain and Nerve System Specialist Assoc. Prof. Serdar Dağ, everybody is born with a genetic code and a certain capacity; however, the foods mediate for a developed brain. Recommending every age group to eat foods that contain glucose, natural sugars, and protein, Assoc. Prof. Serdar Dağ worries that the intelligence of the young people especially the young girls, whom feed on greens all the time, are going to be underdeveloped.

Assoc. Prof. Serdar Dağ of Kilis explains us, how to develop our brains by eating the right foods, around the dining table that is richly set with kabobs.

What does develop the brain?
The energy source of brain is glucose, sugar, and blood. However, low cholesterol, and unhealthy vein structure effect its nurturing. A studying, working, healthy individual must consume natural sugars until the age of 40 or 45. The natural sugars that I am talking about might be as the one that we are going to eat today: molasses. These products contain an amino acid called glutathione, which contains growth hormone, develops brain, and is used to fight against cancer. They are healthy because they don’t contain sugar made out of sugar cane.

Churchkhela that consists of molasses and walnuts fulfills the amount of sugar in the brain by getting into our blood stream immediately. It nurtures the brain, helps it to focus, and function well. In addition, eating meats and herbs help for brain development.

Dried fruits are rich of antioxidants, and protein. Bulgur represses the insulin resistance, and prohibits the overload of sugar. Walnuts contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. They are low on fat rate. Walnuts should be favored as opposed to nuts with high fat rates. The spices such as cumin are a must.

You are from the Kilis region, there; the eating habits are as the way you describe. What is the effect of baklava?

Baklava is a dessert made with sugar and flour… Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any effects at all on brain development. When I said that, the brain needs sugar I meant the natural sugars not the processed sugars. In the Antep region, the cholesterol levels are usually high, but the reason for that is not kabob it is desserts. Kabob eaten without bread would not have adverse effects on your health. But do not eat dessert afterwards.

Young people are in the age range that is in need of brain development the most. What should they eat?
Natural fats, olive oil, and natural butter help for hormone development. They need to consume them, too. Young people have two separate eating habits, either eating no fat or eating unhealthy fats. Both methods are wrong. Sweets should be eaten as a source of energy and protein. Especially, girls keep eating greens all the time to be healthy, but this is also wrong. This way of eating has adverse effects on our memory and nerve system because they cause vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin B. It shows symptoms such as numbness, loss of consciousness, and the jitters of hands or arms. That is why the young people are supposed to eat foods rich of protein. We don’t like carbohydrates for brain development but sugar, and protein are necessary. They should never stop eating healthy, doing sports, and getting good education. Our youngster should also consume tahini and molasses. The natural ones would not make them to gain weight, or won’t turn into fat after being consumed, they actually turn into protein.

What are the effects of activities such as playing memory games, and solving puzzles?
They help to protect the memory we already have. It is suggested for the elderly. Young people should do a lot of reading. Their brains would develop as much as they read and become educated.

How could we increase the capacity of our brain utilization?
It is coded in our genes. Whatever you do you cannot overwrite it. We are able to use only ten percent of our brain capacity. Education, sports, environment, and brain damages, if any, are the important factors in using this ten percent. You need to keep your body healthy before anything else. You are not supposed to skip your routine check-ups.

You keep on pointing education. What kind of difference the education make?
Getting good education helps to develop the left lob of the brain. Bat the creativity is the right side’s job. The right lobes of all of the geniuses are more developed. This is why we should develop our right lobes by dealing with arts, being involved in social activities such as painting, music, and acting. Your intellectual background and your understanding of living life enhance your right lobe. Otherwise, you would be using three percent of your brain capacity. The right lobe determines eighty percent of intellect and the left lobe determines the rest. Left lobe functions the robotic actions, which are based on memorization. Right lobe makes the decision and left lobe puts them into practice. This is why to enhance the decision-making mechanism is necessary. If the transition velocity in the nerve network enabling the communication between the two lobes of the brain could be increased then we could have a chance to behave cleverer. The activities such as exercising, working, getting good education, eating healthy, doing sports increase the transition velocity of this nerve network. For example, someone with talent who would like to play guitar has to practice. That person cannot play the guitar without practicing because of the lack of talent. If you are a social person with high communication skills, then regardless of your profession that means your right lobe is enhanced.

Could a genius be born to a family with a normal intelligence level?
No. If there is a hidden intelligence in their family tree that was not identified, then it might. Because intelligence is genetic. It doesn’t have anything to do with education. It is wrong for a family to push their children to become someone that they cannot. Your child cannot pass forward you. In addition, we are not becoming more intelligent with each generation. On the contrary, their development is behind because they don’t force their brains when it is so easy to learn. They might be using computers but they don’t use their brains. They can enhance their brains by going to a library to search something but instead they write it on Google and click on search. In addition, you imagine while reading.

2 cups of red lentils, ½ cup of bulgur, 1 medium onion, 1 desert spoon of each: tomato paste, red pepper paste, red pepper flakes, dried mint flakes, cumin, and salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 8 cups of water.

Directions: Cook the lentils in 8 cups of water. Once they are boiled, add tomato and pepper paste. Add the bulgur and mix. Add the finely sliced garlic cloves. In a skillet, sauté the red pepper flakes with oil, add the other spices then add the spice mixture into the lentil mixture. If you’d like you can add some sumac extract.

500 gram ground beef (medium fat), 2 tomatoes, 4 hot green peppers, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 4-5 sprigs of parsley, 1 tbsp of hot red pepper flakes, 1 dessert spoon of thyme (or zahter), 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tea glass of water, 2 tomatoes and 2 green peppers to decorate.

Directions: Finely slice all of the ingredients. Mix with the ground beef. Add salt and spices. Spread it into an oven tray. Decorate with tomato and pepper slices. Cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees until the top gets brown. Slice and serve.

1 cup of red lentils, 1,5 cup of fine bulgur, 4 cups of water, ½ bunch of parsley, 7-8 leaves of mint, 5 green onions, pomegranate syrup, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, hot pepper paste, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a pinch of salt, 1 dessert spoon of cumin, 1 tsp of black pepper.

Directions: Cook the lentils with 4 cups of water until they are soft. Turn the heat off and add bulgur, mix. Close the lid tightly and let the bulgur swell by absorbing the moisture. Slice the greens finely. In a skillet, sauté the tomato paste, the chopped onions, and the garlic cloves with the oil. Add the onion mixture into the lentil mixture and knead. After adding the sliced greens into the dough shape them up as balls.

20 walnuts, 1 cup of molasses, 1,5 tbsp wheat starch, 1 metre long string

Directions: Wash the walnuts; string them up using a needle. Boil the molasses after mixing it with the starch. When it gets warm, double dip the walnut strings into the must jelly. Hand them to dry. You can eat them once they are dry.