Wednesday, March 18, 2009


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, 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.

Once I did though it felt like being a kid again, going to the bakery and getting a nice cinnamon scroll, pulling it apart and eating it bit by bit. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and truth has it, they are addictive. Perfect all hours of the day. Not too sweet for breakfast, perfect for a snack and excellent with my long black in the arvo. They are very heavy though so my massive rolls were far too big for one portion, but even more reason to share with your family.

I hope you share them with yours too, but please don't burn your mouth as they are very hot.


Ivy said...

Thanks for the mention Trish and you are doing a great job recreating recipes from our country. I wish I had some right now. I was planning to make tahinopita again and give more accurate measurements as this was one of my first recipes, written the first months I started blogging and I prepared the recipe mostly by experience. I do say 2 - 3 glasses of water which is probably too much but in the procedure I mention to add the water gradually until the dough is ready.
Guess what I made last week. Do you remember Kifylla? I hope to post them soon.

---trish--- said...

Hello Ivy

I must be an idiot for missing that! Obviously my glasses are not strong enough. None the less, it was actually quite nice without the water anyways, but I will try them again soon the proper way.

I don't know Kifylla by name, but I'm sure if I saw them I would be jealous that I didn't have any.

Donna-FFW said...

Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog. I adore it. This looks absolutely fantastic as does your other dishes! I can't wait to go through it all. Nice to meet you!

---trish--- said...

Hello Donna

Thank you so much, I'm really glad you like my blog.

Well if you have an requests of things for me to try, please let me know as I am always looking for new challenges : )


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what this is so I'm definitely trying it.

Thanks for sharing and inspiring,


Angie said...

Ouch! That was painful! Btw, those rolls looks really good and I bet taste even better. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

---trish--- said...

Thanks so much, but you should check out my new site which has a lot more, and definitely better photography!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ivy
I'm actually from Cyprus and tahinopittas are much flatter (thinner) and much darker when done right.