Algerian / Turkish – Baklava


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ABOUT THE DISH

Baklava is one of the most popular desserts ever made in this world. It is basically pastry which is made by adding nuts, pistachios over the filo sheets which is then baked in the oven. To finalize this dish an honey syrup is drizzled over this pastry which gives it a more emphatic look and an amazing sweet flavor. There are many countries in which this is famous from all over the Asia to the African region this dessert is made and every region has its own style of making it. This dessert goes way back to the times of the Ottoman Empire. It is a type of pastry which is so rich in flavor that if a person takes one bite of it he will eat the rest the of it quickly. It is very simple to make and requires very less ingredients. There are huge number of markets which sell these all over the world. Turkey is the country which is nowadays very popular for making these but Algeria and other countries are not so far behind. It is a family favorite dessert and also a very common dessert for a festive occasion.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

The origin of Baklava is still a mystery till today. There are many countries which claims its rights but it is never accepted. As it is quite popular in the Asian countries they try to take all its credits but these things are not true. The things which are accepted about it are that it came from the Assyrian empire around in 800 BC. It is said that at those times there were bread dough which were made into thin slices over which nuts and honey was added to make a dessert. It was baked and served at some special occasions. As the time went by this dessert became famous throughout the regions and then Assyrian Empire made a dough which was called Phyllo. It was more delicate than the earlier bread dough and could easily be turned. After this the trade grew in this country and more stuff were brought here like spices and rosewater which were also added to this dessert to give it more flavor. The rest is history and now it has become an essential part of Asian and African cuisine.

SIMILAR DISHES

There is a dish in the Turkish cuisine which resembles quite a lot with the Baklava and some say that it is the origin of Baklava. This dish is known as gülla. It is also a pastry dish and is made by filo pastry which is coated with milk and sugar. Lastly it is served with walnuts and pomegranates. It is popular during the months of Ramadan and the first gülla was made in the year 1330 this shows that it is a very old recipe.

There is also an Greek dessert Gastris which resembles Baklava . It has similar ingredients but the filling was quite different. The nuts were added at the bottom layer and then topped of with honey and sesame.

VARIATIONS

There are many countries which have their own versions of Baklava. Even the name Baklava is changed in these countries to accommodate their own language. These countries are as follows.

  • TURKEY : In Turkey there are also different regions inside it. Hence in some regions people use pistachios and almonds in Baklava and in some areas they use hazelnuts.
  • IRANIAN; In Iranian version they make the Baklava dry. They make diamond cuts to it and add rosewater flavor to it. In some areas they use cardamom spices as well
  • AZERBAIJAN: In Azerbaijan it is known as pakhlava. They use hazelnuts , Circassian walnuts and spices like saffron for its preparation.
  • GREEK: The Greek style Baklava is famous for its 33 dough layers which they do it because of the years of Christ.

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE THE DESSERT

  • Phyllo sheets
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cinnamon 1½ tsp
  • Melted butter 200g

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE THE SYRUP

  • Water 1 cup
  • Sugar 1¼ cups
  • Honey 1/4 cups
  • Rose water 1½ tsp
  • Lemon juice 2 tbsp.

STEPS TO MAKE THE FILLING

  • Take a blender and add the walnuts and pistachios in it.
  • Add the cinnamon powder as well.
  • Blend them until they are in small bits.
  • Set it aside for later use.

STEPS TO MAKE THE SYRUP

  • Take a pan over medium heat and add sugar in it.
  • Add the mentioned water in the pan.
  • Add the required honey and mix.
  • Also add the rose water.
  • Lastly add the lemon juice.
  • Mix well and let it boil over medium heat for 3 minutes
  • Your syrup is made set it aside for later use.

FINAL STEPS

  • Now we will assemble the whole dish before baking it.
  • Take a glass tray and a phyllo sheet on the base.
  • Take your melted butter and brush it over the phyllo sheet.
  • Do this again and again for 7 more phyllo sheets.
  • Then add the filling over the sheet.
  • Again add 5 more phyllo sheets over the filling.
  • Coat again with butter.
  • Add another layer of filling.
  • Again cover it up with Phyllo sheets.
  • Once done put the tray in the oven at 175 degrees C , let it cook for 50 minutes.
  • Once cooked take it out and drizzle your syrup over the hot Baklava.
  • Cut into pieces and serve.
  • Enjoy

TIME REQUIRED TO MAKE IT

  • PREPERATION TIME : 5 minutes
  • COOKING TIME : 50 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME : 55 minutes
  • YIELDS : 6-7 servings

NUTRITION FACTS

  • Calories  312
  • Total Fat  18g
  • Cholesterol  24 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates  27g
  • Sugars  15g
  • Protein  6g
  • Sodium  217mg
  • Potassium  144mg
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