I was really bored on Sunday and I did something new that day, I actually stayed home all day and only went outside to go for a walk around the block. To get through the day though I decided to whip up something new and after scrolling through Kopiaste.org, Ivy's amazing blog which has many traditional Cypriot recipes. Her blog brings back many memories of when I went to visit my relatives in the villages, and this is one of the things I have been dying to make for a long time.
See Ivy's Tahinopita recipe
Tahini, a lot of people mistake for tahina, which is a savory dip made from tahini which is a sesame seed paste. The dip also contains garlic, water, parsley and lemon juice and is a bit heavier than hummus but a great accompaniment to some nice fresh bread or with lamb kafta or shaftalia (Cypriot sausage).
See my savory tahina recipe
Tahinopita is usually made with a cinnamon dough which is then spread with a sweet tahina dip. It is then rolled and twisted into shapes.
Admittedly I did alter the recipe slightly, simply because I did not have any mastika or malheb, but I wanted to see what would happen it omitted, whether it would work, or just be a shear disaster. I made the dough, and as it was very wet, had to add a lot more flour to my mixture. I kneaded it and then let it rise for half an hour during which I made the sweet tahini dip from tahini, sugar and cinnamon (one of my favourite spices).
I cut the portions, rolled out each ball and spread the sweet tahina over it.
The next task is to successfully roll the dough into a sausage. Simple, some may thing, but as my tahina was quite thick, when I rolled it it ended up like a very large sausage which meant I was only able to twist them slightly. Usually when you make savory tahina you add water to make it thinner, so if you want a thin dip then add it, but I quite liked it thick. It was heavy but for people who actually like tahini, they will be able to handle it and really like it.
In my old school, non-fan forced, oven they took 20 mins to brown which was quite quick and I was very eager to try them. They were fat and looked like really nice knot rolls once baked. All crisp on the outside with a warm sweet filling, I was very eager to devour it. A bit too eager though as I went to bite into the staming hot bread, but because the tahina is also steaming hot, it actually burnt the top of my mouth which takes a couple of days at least to recover. I was then patient and let it cool down completely before eating the rest of it.
I hope you share them with yours too, but please don't burn your mouth as they are very hot.