United Arab Emirates – Baklava


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by Adelina Aida

This is a very special dessert famous in the world. It is a very popular dish originating from the United Arab emirates. Baklava is a pastry dish that is layered with the nuts filled in each layer or the center of each piece. This is more like a Filo pastry. This pastry is made up by using a thick sugar syrup having some flavors into it for a strong aroma and honey can also be used instead of traditional aromatic sugar syrup. It is like a crispy, crunchy pastry dipped into honey, having nuts chopped inside. It is such a delicious and mouth-watering dessert. It is served after lunch or dinner and can be consumed as a sweet snack. Many flavors can be added to make an exotic dish like cinnamon, almond, lemon. citrus fruits, berries can also be added to make It more delicious and refreshing effect.

FILO, PHYLLO PASTRY

Filo is a pastry of many thin layers. The dough of filo pastry is left unraised because of getting thin and equal crunchy layers. Any fermenter and yeast are not added to the dough. The dough has many healthy and delicious ingredients for buttery and amazing taste. Butter, flour, eggs, sugar, any essence of flavors are added to make it more prominent.

The layering of thin sheets of dough is done by buttering every layer to make it visible and prominent layering. Furthermore, many nuts of choice are added either in each layer or at the center of each piece. Some would like to add only almonds, some have walnuts as the choice.

Stretching of the dough for filo pastry is very important. When the dough is kneaded and smooth enough, stretching is done by hands or rolling pins. Marble slab is used to make it more stretchy and having a layering effect. The dough is folded and twisted many times by adding butter or oil.

Many dishes are made from FILO PASTRY

  1. Baklava
  2. pastizz
  3. Tiropita
  4. Borek
  5. Banitsa
  6. Strudel
  7. And many more.

This dish is famous in many other countries, are the following below

  1. Turkish
  2. Arab
  3. Emirati cuisine
  4. Iranian cuisine
  5. Levantine
  6. Palestine
  7. Maghreb cuisine
  8. Cuisine of Caucasus
  9. Central Asian Cuisine

HISTORY OF BAKLAVA

This dish is originated from Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Turkish is a very famous Ottoman cuisine, having many dishes. The word Baklava came from the Mongolian Language. It is also known as BAGLABA in the Persian language.

Meaning of the word Baklava is ”TO TIE UP”, ”WRAP UP”.

A similar dish from Turkish cuisine is GULLAC. Gullac is the same pastry dish that is dipped into very creamy and flavorful thick milk custard instead of sugar syrup. It has the main ingredient is Pomegranate.

REGIONAL VARIATIONS OF BAKLAVA

1.Greek Style Baklava

In Armenian Cuisine, the use of cloves and cinnamon is very common even in desserts. So it is very important to add these spices and herbs into the baklava. It is also a very crucial factor of making baklava in Greek-style to only make 33 layers of the pastry filo dough while making baklava. This represents the years of JESUS.

Cloves and Cinnamon with 33 layered baklava is the main dish of Armenian Cuisine.

This is also known Pakhlawa.

2. AZERBAIJAN PAKHLAVA / PAXLAVA

This dish is known by the name PAXLAVA in Azerbaijan. It is a yeasty pastry with many other nuts and some spices. Hazelnut, Persian walnuts, Cardamom, Cloves, Peanuts and cinnamon are the main nuts to add to paxlava. This is also a very important presentation of paxlava to cut into a diamond shape.

  1. Layers should be 9 to 10
  2. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and saffron are the main flavors
  3. The thickness should be of 2mm
  4. Shape is diamond
  5. Glazed with honey

3. GANJA BAKLAVA

Ganja baklava has following additional elements :

  1. Almonds, pistachio and walnuts are main nuts to be add on
  2. Sugar syrup or honey poured on the top
  3. 18 layers of fillo pastry
  4. 3 layers of butter
  5. 10 layers of almonds
  6. Rose flavor is common

4.IRANIAN VERSION OF BAKLAVA

  1. Small diamond cuts
  2. dipped in rose water
  3. Green cardamom powder is used

FLAVORS OF BAKLAVA

  1. Chocolate flavors
  2. Almond flavor
  3. Pistachio flavor
  4. Rose flavor
  5. Saffron flavor
  6. Walnut flavor
  7. Cinnamon flavor
  8. Honey baklava, etc.

NUTRITIONAL VALUES

CALORIES = 230

TOTAL FAT = 11 GRAMS

PROTEIN 3 = GRAMS

CARBOHYDRATES = 35 GRAMS

INGREDIENTS OF BAKLAVA

  1. Phyloo pastry = 40 sheets
  2. Butter = 250 grams
  3. Cinnamon powder = 2 tablespoons
  4. Eggs = 2
  5. Honey = 1/2 cup

FOR SUGAR SYRUP

  1. Sugar = 2 cups
  2. Water = 1 cup
  3. Rose water = 1/2 cup
  4. Cardamom powder = 1 teaspoon
  5. Lemon juice = 4 tablespoons

NUTS

  1. Almonds = 4 tablespoons
  2. Walnuts = 4 tablespoons
  3. Peanuts = 4 tablespoons
  4. Pistachio = 4 tablespoons

COOKING METHOD

  1. Start with phyllo pastry, take one sheet and add brush butter over the top and add another sheet over it. Repeat the step by adding butter over the sheets. When 40 sheets are buttered, roll up with the rolling pin.
  2. Chop the nuts fine and start adding nuts to each layer of the pastry with some drizzle of honey to make it stick to the dough.
  3. Cinnamon is also added to the point of layering with nuts.
  4. Now set 300 degrees oven and brush egg over the top of the pastry to make it more colored when cooked.
  5. Bake this pastry for 15 minutes and in a meanwhile start making sugar syrup.
  6. For sugar syrup, add water, rose water with sugar in a cooking pan and bring it to a boil.
  7. Boil it for 5 minutes to maintain the accurate consistency then add lemon juice to cut the sugar level properly.
  8. The pastry is cooked, add sugar syrup on the top and set it to absorb all the syrup and remain juicy and moist.
  9. Add chopped nuts to the top and serve.

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