Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with Baklava

A much awaited Muslim festival is here. DYK that Eid is known by different names in different countries? It is known as Ramazan Bayram which means Ramadan Feast or Seker Bayram meaning Sugar Feast in Turkey. People chiefly enjoy the dessert called "Baklava", which is also our recipe for this auspicious occasion. Elder people are kissed on their right hand denoting special regards and respect for them. In  Philippines, which is basically a Christian country, Eid is considered as a national holiday and is known as Wakas ng Ramadan.

In Indonesia, Eid-ul-Fitr is called Idul Fitri or Lebaran. Muslims pay visit to the resting place of their dear ones and pray so that their souls can rest in peace. Muslims in Africa also celebrate Eid with great pomp and show, feasting throughout Ramazan with their family, friends and ofcourse delectable food such as Mutton Biryani. Now I'm hungry :P . Baklava is a popular dessert of  Middle East. It is basically a sweet and rich pastry made up of layers of filo. It is stuffed with chopped nuts. It is assembled or held together by honey or sugar syrup. So without any waste of time, let's start the sugar feast with a sugar dessert. Here we go!
¾ cup Water,
½ cup Honey,
2 sticks Butter,
1 cup granulated Sugar,
4 cups chopped Walnuts,
16 oz thawed Phyllo Dough,
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
For Garnishing:-
2 tablespoons chopped Walnuts for garnishing,
2 tablespoons chopped Pistachios for garnishing.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Thaw baklava as per package instructions. This must be done overnight in the fridge. Place it on the kitchen slab for 1 hour before you start preparing the recipe.
  2. Trim phyllo dough for fitting the baking dish. You can trim one stack at a time. Then cover it with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Moist the bottom and sides with melted butter.
  3. Prepare honey sauce now. In a saucepan, add ½ cup honey, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and ¾ cup water. Bring it to boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Let it cool.
  4. For preparing Baklava:- Preheat oven to 325 D. F. Grind walnuts in a food processor till finely chopped. Take a bowl and add 4 cups walnuts and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Place 10 phyllo sheets in baking pan one by one. Brush each sheet with butter. Keep phyllo covered with damp towel. Spread ⅕ of walnut mixture over phyllo dough.
  6. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then layer of nuts. Then add rest 5 sheets. Brush the top with melted butter. Cut pastry into 1½ inches wide strips in rectangular shape. Bake at 325 D. F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Immediately add the cooled syrup uniformly over the hot baklava. Let baklava cool completely. Keep overnight as such so that syrup is fully absorbed.
  8. Garnish with walnuts and pistachios. Serve!
Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!

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