They sounded familiar but I hadn't had one until this summer when we happened to be in gorgeous Sydney for the Vivid Sydney light festival. The festival sees the entire city light up every night in the most creative, gorgeous way and it is a sight to behold. While the festival is on the for the week, the streets are filled with lovely street stalls and one of them sold Gozleme. It seemed to be a hot favorite and so we stood in line for a good 20 minutes to get a hot, steaming Gozleme fresh off the pan.
It was delicious, crispy, flat bread stuffed with spinach and feta, full of flavor.
Back home in India, we wanted to have it one more time, and like most international foods, if you want to have something a little bit out of the ordinary, you have to make it yourself. Chennai is behind most cities in India in the diversity of its cuisine. It is getting more adventurous every year but still very far away from other cities in India.
Anyhow, I decided to make the gozleme. Having got the recipe off the web, here goes. (a small note here: I got the recipe from a website called Ozlem's Turkish Table. This website is quite a gem. She has step-by-step instructions for most recipes and every single item on there looks do-able and delicious! Do take a moment to go through her website. I've bookmarked half her savory pastries!!). It came out quite perfectly. Do give it a try. Its easy and even the kids love it.
(recipe from Ozlem's Turkish Table)
For the flat bread:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
8 g Dry Instant Yeast
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Plain Yogurt
260 ml Warm Water
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
200 g Spinach Leaves, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
230 g Feta Cheese
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, or Chilli Flakes, or Red Pepper Paste, to taste (optional - you can make the filling as spicy as you'd like or omit it completely)
Combine about half the warm water, salt and yeast in a bowl and leave aside for 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy. Now combine the flour, yeast mixture, olive oil, yogurt, salt and the rest of the water. Combine all the ingredients and knead until a soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 5 balls and keep aside, covered in a damp cloth, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and knead well to release the flavors and make the onions softer. I ended up sauteeing the onions and blanching the spinach leaves.
Now roll out each ball into a thin, flat round. Fold the top and bottom edges of the round until they meet in the middle.
Spread the filling in the center and then fold the left and right sides until the filling is covered.
Press the edges together to seal.
Repeat for the remaining dough.
Heat a non-stick flat or griddle pan. Brush one side of the gozleme with olive oil and place, oil side down, on the pan and let cook for 5-6 minutes until browned. Brush the other side with olive oil and flip over and cook until both sides are brown.
Repeat for the remaining gozleme.
Serve either cut up into squares or rolled up. Attack! :)