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Banitsa- back to Bulgarian roots

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Few weeks ago I met a very interesting girl whose name is Dan and she comes from Bulgary. Eventhough I didn´t know her before, from the beginning we had so much to talk about and one of our topics was Bulgary. Probably many of you didn´t know that I am half Bulgarian. My dad and half of my family comes from there and after meeting Dan I had someone who could I share various facts about this country, its traditions and of course about the food. She reminded me my family´s roots and it brought me to prepare one of my favourite and traditional Bulgarian recipes- Banitsa.

For those who have no idea what it is, I am sure you gonna be surprised by this very simple and tasty recipe. In general, it´s a savory cheese pie and it´s absolute classic in Bulgaria. You can find it at every Bulgarian occasion and it is usually served warm with plain yoghurt. Every single time I visit my grandma, banitsa is already cooked for the whole family and I still remember like it was yesterday when she was teaching me how to prepare it. There are more variations of this pie with different fillings but this one is my favourite and easy to prepare because you don´t need many ingredients for it.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g  balkan cheese (sirene), mashed with fork
  • 5 Tbs  plain yoghurt
  • 12 pastry sheets (phyllo)
  • 50 ml sparkling water
  • 50g butter (unsalted)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  • Put eggs in a bowl and whisk until they are mostly liquid. Add the crumbled cheese, yoghurt and mix well.
  • Grease bottom of a pan with butter and cover it with three phyllo sheets. With a spoon spread part of the egg-cheese filling, sprinkle it with sparkling water, cover with three sheets of phyllo, and continue layering filling and phyllo sheets. (Finnish with phyllo sheets).
  • Cut (carefully) in rectangle pieces.
  • When finished, pour the top of all the sheets with the rest of the butter and water.
  • Put into an oven and bake for about 25 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crusty.
  • Serve warm with a plain yoghurt.

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