Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 24, 2021
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Short pastry filled with dates and nuts (Klaicha)

Klaicha is the sign of Eid. On the first day of Eid al-fitr and Eid al-adha, klaicha is served in the morning with tea, while family members, friends and neighbours visit and greet each other.

For the pastry
3-4 c. (750 ml-1 L) flour (depending how light you want the klaicha to be)
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1 package yeast pr 2 heaping tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
sweet fennel
½ c. (125 ml) melted ghee or butter
½ c. (125 ml) water or an equal mixture of milk and water

For the filling
Dried, pitted dates, walnuts, shredded coconut, sesame seeds, ground cardamom, rose water, cooking oil, and/or sugar, in various combinations
oil or beaten egg to brush
1-2 tsp. (5ml-10ml) black seeds

Sift the dry dough ingredients into a bowl and mix (if using the yeast, follow the instructions on the package). Make a well in the centre and add the melted ghee or butter. Use your hands to crumble the mixture together.

Add the liquid ingredients and knead until you get a firm smooth dough. Cover the dough and let rest for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

When the dough is ready you can either: roll out the dough to ½-inch (1.25-cm) thick, cut into rounds, glaze with oil or beaten egg and bake in a medium oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes or prepare one of the following fillings:

Mix walnuts with an equal amount of sugar and a dash of ground cardamom. Place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or use a mortar and pestle.

Mix shredded coconut with an equal quantity of sugar and a drop of rose water or ground cardamom.

Soften the dates by frying over low heat in a little oil for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool before using.

Soften the dates as above, mix with sesame seeds or a mixture of crushed walnuts and sesame seeds, and add a drop of rose water.

For walnut or coconut fillings, make small balls of pastry (the smaller they are the prettier they will be). Spread them open, fill and seal the dough around the filling. Smooth into balls or crescents.

For date-based fillings, roll out the dough to about ¼-inch (6-mm) thick, spread the filling on it and roll the dough over the filling to make a long cigar shape. Cut across the roll with straight or diagonal cuts.

Place the pastries on a greased baking tray. Brush them with oil or beaten egg and sprinkle with black seeds (if using). Bake at 320°F (160°C) until slightly golden on top. Enjoy hot or cold with tea. Makes about 1 lb (500 g).

Klaicha keep for a few months in the freezer or for a few weeks refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag. Warm them in the oven or microwave before serving.

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