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Showing posts from April, 2014

The 'We knead to bake' project 2014 - Flaounes (Cypriot Savory Easter Cheese Pies)

 Aparna Balasubramanian's selection this month is Mediterranean, perfect for spring weather. Flaounes  are a traditional Easter dish made on Good Friday to break the fasting for Lent. A signature dish in Greece & Cyprus, Flaounes have a filling of Sheep's milk cheeses (that are referred to as Flaounes cheese) that are typically made by the local Cypriot shephards. Tangy and salty, the cheese makes for a perfect pairing with little nuggets of raisins embedded in the filling.

It isn't absolutely necessary of course, to hunt around for these special cheeses, sharp Cheddar, combined with mozzarella makes a great substitute. I used Ricotta Salata and a Greek 'melting' cheese called Kasseri.





Two other in the ingredients that are characteristic of Flaounes are Mastic and Mahlab


Mastic is the resin from a Middle Eastern shrub, while Mahlab is obtained by powdering the pits of a wild cherry. It adds a rather musky aromatic flavor to the dough. There are no acceptable sub…

Bitter, Sweet,Sour, Spicy & Salty - Thats what life is all about!

One definite advantage of not being a W.A.S.P (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) and claiming origins from a former third world country is that you get to celebrate almost  everything twice. Two names, Two Birthdays (one on the official date you were born, the one that you register at school with, the other, your star birthday, which is calculated according to the Hindu Calendar ), and festivities of cultures from the mother land & adopted home. Who says life can't be a string of events to celebrate?

And so, today was New Years, the religious one. As with many of the different communities in India, New Years is celebrated in April, which was the case with the Western world until some pompous  Roman figurehead decided that the New Year should begin in the middle of the freezing winter. (and gave us April Fool's day as a rather lame substitute). This day is venerated as Bihu in Assam, Baisakhi in Punjab, Poila Baisakh / nabobarsho in Bengal, Vishu  in Kerala and Varsha pirappu …