Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Bulgarian Shopska Salad

The Shopska salad is a very popular dish in Bulgaria, I made this with the Bulgarian Bean Soup as a part of the Culinary Journey around the globe, in the Blogging Marathon # 44

While I was searching for this recipe, I learnt that this is a hot favorite amongst the tourists and that it tastes best with Rakia, the local spirit.This salad is the invention of the Shopps' and this name is derived from the region called Shopluk. Long time ago, this was one of the few recipes that survived the early socialism and were made to impress the foreigners who visited the country!

Traditionally, White brine cheese is used. I could neither find that[obviously!] nor find its replacement - feta cheese. So used the regular cheese. I am sure there will be loads of difference in taste, yet, I wanted to try this version..

I used:

Tomatoes- 2, chopped
Capsicum-1/2, chopped
Cucumber- 1, small, chopped
Spring onion leaves- chopped from 2 stalks
Green chilies- 1, chopped
Grated cheese for topping

For the dressing

Olive oil- 2 teaspoons
Vinegar- 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing. Take the diced veggies in a bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to mix.Just before serving sprinkle the cheese and serve.

Bon Appetit...

Bulgaria - Soupa Bob | Bob Chorba | Bulgarian Bean Soup

From Afghanistan, I am now taking you to Bulgaria in the Culinary Journey around the globe, a part of Srivalli's Blogging Marathon #44.

There were a lot of countries to choose from for the letter 'B' and I have chosen Bulgaria.It is situated in South Eastern Europe and is also called Republic of Bulgaria.Now some  facts about this country before going on with the recipe
  • Some of the things like the electronic computer, car air bag, digital watches were invented by Bulgarians.
  • Though Bulgaria is part of the European Union, its currency is not Euro but 'Lev'.
  • The Bulgarian yogurt has a unique flavor and consistency which is a characteristic to hte Lactobacillus Bulgaris, a strain found only in the Bulgarian air. The people attribute their wellness and long life to the fact that they have this yogurt regularly.
  • The Rila Monetary in the Rila Mountains houses the famous Rafail's cross. A monk took 12 years to carve it out of a single piece of wood and it is adorned with over 1500 minute figurines!
  • There is a replica of the Eiffel Tower in the Golden sands resort.
  • The water in the hot water spring in Separeva Banya village is as hot as 103 degree C!
  • A very different thing about the mannerism of the people is that they nod their to say NO and shake the heads to say YES!
  • It is the home to the rare Black sea seal of which very few are alive today.

Cuisine of Bulgaria:

It is a very diverse cuisine and many still prepare the traditional of dishes that have been handed down through the ages. The most important ingredients in the cuisine are Yogurt and White brine cheese. These two are always present in a meal in one form or the other.Potatoes are also famous in their cuisine and use them in soups, salads, stews etc.Cold cut meats and other speciality meats are also consumed.A wide range of vegetables are cultivated and used in the rural areas. Fruits are also a part of their menu.Rakia is a popular Bulgarian spirit.

Some of the popular dishes of the cuisine include...

  • Banitsa - A dough with various fillings such as cheese, spinach, rice and meat
  • Tarator - Cold cucumber soup
  • Cheverme- a whole lamb roasted on a spit
  • Shopska Salad - a local favorite mixed veggie salad
  • Kyopolou - Eggplant dip
  • Mish mash - A type of omelette
  • Moussaka
  • Sarmi - Stuffed Vine leaves
  • Milk Banista - A dessert

Now, by the time I made this soup, my folks had gotten into the habit of tasting and liking my soups and salads. Lil Angel loved the salad and Lil Dude enjoyed soup along with the rest of us...

The Bulgarian bean soup is a sort of 'national dish' and the monastery version is a vegetarian one.

Now for the Soupa Bob we need:

Serves- 2
Cooking time- 45 minutes
Adapted from various sources

I used:

White beans- 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1, chopped
Carrot- 1, small chopped
Vegetable stock-4 cups
Ginger and garlic, minced- 1/2 teaspoon each
Red chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Mint leaves- a handful
Oil- 1 teaspoon

Soak the beans over night. Wash well the next morning and pressure cook it with enough water. Drain and keep the beans aside.

Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion , ginger and garlic till the onion is soft. Add the tomato and saute. Out in the chopped carrots and vegetable stock and simmer till the carrot is just cooked. Add chili powder, pepper powder.

Add salt and mint leaves. Let it simmer and thicken a bit.Add the cooked beans and let it come to a rolling boil. Break a few beans with the back of a ladle so that the  soup thickens some more. You can also puree a handful of cooked beans and add to the pan.Remove from heat and serve hot....

Serve hot as such or with a few bread pieces...

I also made the Shopska salad that you can see in the background.Be sure to check out this famous salad recipe..

An InLinkz Link-up

Bon Appetit...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Afghanistan - Borani Kachalu | Afgan Potato Salad

In my previous post,Aush / The Lentil Noodle soup from Afghanistan, I had mentioned about a potato salad from Afghanistan. This is a cooked salad, a type of curry, that is very different and it has yogurt in it!!!

Potato Salad...

Adapted from The Spice Spoon
Serves - 2

I used:

Potatoes- 3,peeled and cut into 1/2 " discs
Tomato puree- 3/4 cup
Chili powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a large pinch
Garlic -2 pods minced
Ginger- a small piece , minced
Salt to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Yogurt- 1/2  cup
Dried mint powder- 1/2 teaspoon

In a bowl, whisk yogurt with salt and add dried mint leaves. Mix and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add teh minced garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute. Add the tomato puree and then add the red chili powder, turmeric powder and mix well.Add the potato discs and mix so that the tomato and spices coat the potatoes.Add salt, sprinkle water and cover and cook till the potatoes are soft . If there is water even after the potato is sooft, cook uncovered till the dish is dry and the puree coats the potato.

Let the potato cool completely. Before serving, drizzle the yogurt-mint mixture and serve as a side / salad.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#44