I have recently fallen in love with a new cookbook Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe. It is all about Middle Eastern food, and I am a huge fan. If I had to pick one cuisine, I would pick Middle Eastern cuisine any day. It is light, it isn’t too spicy and it is refreshing.
So this book has a lot of recipes that I can actually try. The recipes are easy and are pretty clear on what has to be done at what time. The ingredients are simple (another reason I love Middle Eastern food). I have plans to try most of them , now that I have left my job in favor of M.Phil.
I adapted the Lamb Sausage Katmer with Pistachio Yogurt recipe. This recipe is basically a breakfast item. It is a savory flatbread filled with lamb mince meat. Did you know very few cuisines highlight lamb meat? Most of them use beef or poultry. Middle Eastern food showcases lamb meat. The dough for this recipe is called Yufka dough.
My version is an adaptation of the recipe, so there are some differences from the original version. I used red chili flakes instead of the Maras Pepper. I also used Red chilli powder instead of the red chilli paste. I also didn;t make the pistachio yogurt, because pistachios are way too expensive for an experiment and the original recipe required 3/4 cup of pistachios. I made my own version of labneh.
3 1/3 cup flour, plus more if required
2 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten 1
/4 cup vegetable oil, flavorless one
2 tbsp vinegar
Oil or Ghee, for cooking
450 gm ground lamb meat
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
Red chili powder, to taste
Salt, to taste 1 egg white
2 tbsp chopped onion
500 gm yogurt
Juice of 1 small lemon
10 – 15 pistachios
A handful of fresh coriander leaves
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Olive oil, to drizzle
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl combine the water, milk, egg, vinegar and 1/4 cup oil. Beat to combine. Make a well in the dough. Pour the egg mixture in the well. Start to mix the egg mixture in flour. When all flour in incorporated, knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
If it is sticky, add flour in small quantities until it isn’t too sticky. If it is slightly sticky , it is fine, because it will adjust when left for a couple of hours. divide dough into 12 portions, Cover with a tea towel, Parchment paper or plastic wrap and let refrigerate for at least 2 hours , preferably overnight.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix with hand until thorughly incorporated and smooth. Set aside. Mark twelve portions before using the meat filling.
Whisk yogurt to make it smooth. Take a wet cheesecloth, lay it down on a strainer place over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cheese cloth. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie to make a packet of yogurt. Leave the yogurt to strain for 4 – 5 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove yogurt form the cheesecloth and place in a food processor or a bowl. Add the coriander leaves, pistachios, salt and pepper. Process or use a hand blender to mix the ingredients until smooth. Pour out the yogurt into a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over the yogurt. Refrigerate until use.
Roll out a dough ball into a 6 – 7 inch disc on a lightly floured surface. Take two pieces of plastic wrap (I used a polythene bag), Take a meat portion and make a small disc. Place the disc between the plastic wrap layers. Roll out the meat into a circle slightly smaller than the dough disc. Place the flattened meatball on the dough disc. Make a hole in the center and roll the dough outwards (as shown in the image below). Cut the dough on one side, making a long rope. Make a coil of the rope, tucking the ends inside. Make all katmers similarly. At this point you can freeze the katmer until use.
Take one katmer and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the katmer out, with a light hand, into a circle of 5 inch. Take care not to tear the dough anywhere. Brush both sides lightly with oil or ghee. Heat a pan and place the katmer on the pan. cook on medium low heat until cooked on both sides, at least 4 minutes per side. Remove the katmer from pan and cover with a tea towel to keep warm. Cook all katmers similarly.
Serve katmers with labne for breakfast or lunch. Happy Cooking !!!
|Making the katmers|