My version of borek pies is so quick to make and delicious too! I usually make them into spring rolls but because I was too impatient with the dough and it broke, I just turned them into pies.
The filling simply consists of Turkish white cheese or just use feta cheese, a package of frozen spinach, Greek yogurt, one egg and spices (I just used smoked paprika, black pepper and salt). Lots of melted butter and nigella seeds on top.
A friend of mine who’s living in Jeddah told me about the existence of this bread. It is soooo delicious that I’ve made it twice.
It’s called honeycomb bread because it looks like one. And basically, it’s a cheese bun loaf but with a sweet sugary syrup over it.
The recipe is simple. For the dough, it’s just 2 cups plain flour, two teaspoons yeast, two teaspoons baking powder, about 30ml melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tablespoons sugar, 150g Greek yogurt. This yogurt is my addition the second time baking and boy, did the dough turn out perfect! So soft and delicious!
For the sugar syrup, melt 1 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup of water. Boil for ten minutes then stir in 1/4 tsp of rise water and 2 tablespoons of runny syrup.
I used my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer and when all is incorporated and kneaded (the more you let the machine do its thing, the softer the buns going to be), let the dough rise till double in size. Then gently punch it down, and form about 19-20 small balls. Fill each ball of dough with cream cheese and place it in a circular pattern inside a well greased 9 inch pan. Any round pan will do, but don’t use Pyrex glass!
This is a keeper and I would definitely be making this for guests during teatime treats!
I was watching on YouTube the Turkish Food Travel video and she was making this beautiful braided bread. And I was thinking, why not? I could use some of the dough to make hotdog buns. But first I’ll try making this potato filling bread.
The dough was easy to assemble with a mixer. I bloomed one packet of yeast into 1/2 cup warm milk and 2tbsp sugar. And once bloomed, added the other ingredients: egg, olive oil, bread flour, salt. Leave the dough to double in size and then you’re ready to fill it with the filling.
For the filling, I boiled potatoes and then over a stove, stirred them with olive oil and garlic, smoked sweet paprika and since I had some kale, added that in too. Oh, and some leftover hotdog ends.
Take some dough out and then roll thin. I wished I had rolled the dough thinner but this turned out ok too. Then place the filling in the center.
I’ve always wanted to make kunafa or kunafe. The first time I baked this it was a disaster because sometimes it’s not just about following a recipe, but about using the right tools to make it a success.
I discovered this Egyptian food blogger who has beautiful, absolute beautiful, pictures posted of her baking. Definitely a professional set up but besides being a pretty blog, her recipes look very doable and simple, especially for Asians who cannot get the right kind of ingredients to make Middle Eastern fare.
However, I still made a mistake. The mistake which I made when I first made kunafe two years ago was to bake it in a glass dish. No no no. Never again. What happened was the bottom layer did not get browned and the insides pastry were not crispy. So this time round, I used a baking pan. This time round, my mistake was not raising the kataifi or kadaifi (shredded phyllo) pastry up to the sides of the pan. The result? An ugly cheese line all around the pie. Sigh.
Cosmetics aside, the end product was fantastic and I’ll definitely be making this when guests come. If we can ever have guests this year… 😞
You can find the recipe and the blog site which I’m in love with Here
Decorate with rose petals and crushed pistachios. See what I mean by the ring of cheese? 😅
The Girl asked for Arabic rice today. I usually make mandhi rice or some form of Arabic rice other than the National Saudi dish- kabsa. Why? Because nobody has taught me how!
But today, I took out a recipe from this amazing book called Feast and followed to the T her kabsa recipe. This recipe called for meat, but I used chicken instead.
Here’s the recipe from the book:
I’ve decided to use the pressure cooker instead. First, sautée the green chilli and onions. Fry until onions are soft. Then add tomato paste and ginger garlic paste. Stir well and then add the chicken to brown. Once browned, add the tomatoes, spices and water. Then pressure cook till done.
Remove chicken and set aside. Grill the chicken in the air fryer or oven when ready to serve.
Add the soaked basmati rice, grated carrots and salt to season. Cook till done.
To serve, fry some sultanas and almonds and sprinkle over rice and chicken. And it’s done! A simple simple dish to make but very flavourful!
I used a pressure cooker next but you can just add some water and salt, leave it to cook. Remove chicken once they are tender.
Add carrots and rice and cook. Now, this is where I failed badly. Because I used a pressure cooker, I couldn’t gauge the liquid amount. And so the rice was a disaster. It was too soft and mushy. So I made another batch of rice, cooking it in the rice cooker instead. I followed the same steps but omitted the carrots this time round because I had used up all the carrots I had for the failed attempt. The rice cooker is always the best choice! I will never cook rice in a pressure cooker again. What a waste of food and effort!
I must say that this recipe is for keeps. I ground the cardamom myself. As well as the black pepper. I think making your own spices do make a difference to the overall fragrance of the dish. Try this Saudi National dish and your lockdown days will be a tad cheerier. Ma’assalama 👋🏽