The homesickness remedy – banitza

No matter where you are in the world or how long you have been away from home, at some point nostalgie hits and you find yourself looking back at all those beautiful childhood days spent at your grandma’s house or the endless summer nights at the beautiful seaside all ending with a greeting of the sunrise. Whenever I get this nostalgic feeling for Bulgaria, there is only one thing that can cure my empty hole and bring me back to the ground – food. There is no surprise that food plays a vital part of the tradition and culture of a certain country. Something so simple can tell us so much about our ancestors and just a small bite of a favorite dish can take us down back to memory lane and make us feel home. My personal remedy for homesickness is banitza – a Bulgarian classic made with philo pastry stuffed with white cheese, eggs and yoghurt. Every Bulgarian household has its own family recipe to make this beloved dish, but today I will share with you our secret recipe. The reason why it is so special to me is because it reminds me of me of my grandma. Ever since I was little, every time I visit my grandmother, she would greet me with a tray full of this delicious rich goodness. Two years ago, I even went specially to her place, so that she could teach me the arts and crafts of making her banitza. Today I have decided to share her amazing recipe with all of you and dedicate this post to her. Along with the talented photographer Teodora(@teodora.has.a.story) we spent one whole afternoon cooking, laughing and filming this treat while trying not the eat the whole tray before taking the pictures. 

Ingredients:

1 packet of filo pastry 

200 g yoghurt 

5-6 eggs 

½ tsp. baking powder 

Sunflower oil 

30 g butter

300 g White cheese 

What to do?

First make the filling by mixing in a bowl the eggs, yoghurt and baking powder. 

  • Crumble cheese in a separate bowl. 

Crumble cheese in a separate bowl. 

  • On a flat surface lay one sheet of filo pastry (If it’s too thin, stick two with one another with oil) 
  •  Brush it well with oil then layer with around 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture and add the crumbled cheese on top. 
  • Fold up from one of the side edges and roll until you have a cylinder. Place on the baking tray. 
  • Repeat process with the other sheets of filo.
  • When you have used all of them. Brush them with oil once again and pour over the remaining mixture of eggs and yoghurt. If you have used up all of it, make more by. Mixing one egg and 3 tablespoons of yoghurt. 
  • Finally cut your butter into tiny pieces and place on top. 
  • Place in a preheated 170-180 C oven and bake for 30-40 mins.
  • Take out of the oven, cover it with a table towel and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
  • Enjoy it on its own or with some yogurt on the side. 

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