Use self-isolation to brush up on your cooking skills and create Ramadan-ready dishes perfect for iftars and beyond — starting with a tasty Tashas Café Baklava
Famed for its salmon fishcakes and chicken pot pie, Tashas Café tops the list of Dubai eateries to visit post-isolation. In the meantime, Natasha Sideris — founder and creator of Tashas Café, Flamingo Room and Avli — is sharing some of her best recipes to recreate at home. Originally published in Tashas Café Classics cookbook, here’s the secret to Tashas sensationally syrupy baklava.
“The best baklava I have ever had was in Istanbul. I am so convinced of this that I’m not going to apologise to any Greeks, even if it would be safer for me to do so,” says restauranteur Natasha Sideris. “The experience of this light, crispy delicacy will stay with me for a long time – despite the fact, as I said before, that I don’t like sweets.”
- 12 sheets phyllo pastry (1 box)
- 150 g unsalted butter, melted
- 200 g pistachios, roasted
- 200 g almonds, roasted
- 200 g walnuts, roasted
- 8 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 750 g sugar
- 1 ℓ water
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Roast the nuts until browned and then chop them finely. Mix the nuts with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Take 3 sheets of phyllo pastry and brush each sheet on both sides with the melted butter. Lay them on top of each other again. Scatter about a quarter of the nuts and brown sugar mixture evenly over the buttered pastry. Roll the pastry diagonally to create a long roll. Spiral it in a round baking dish about 30 cm in diameter. Repeat the process until all of the nuts and phyllo sheets have been used and the baking dish is full. Bake for 40 minutes.
While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. Boil all the syrup ingredients together in a pot. The liquid will reduce. When it becomes thick and syrupy, remove from the heat and set aside.
When the baklava is ready, remove it from the oven and pour half of the hot syrup over it. Allow it to rest and absorb all the syrup. Pour the remaining syrup over the baklava once the first half has been completely absorbed. Leave the baklava to cool to room temperature and serve with Greek coffee.
Tashas Cookbook is stocked at all Tashas locations, and currently available via Deliveroo for Dhs240; Tashascafe.com