x

Food

Sweet Treat for Great Lent: Tahinopita from Cyprus

April 12, 2021

Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, is nutrient-rich, and used in many sweet and savory Greek and Cypriot dishes. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, tahini may help lower bad cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. It also contains some protein, fiber and many nutrients, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and some B vitamins as well. The high amounts of magnesium and phosphorus may help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. Though relatively high in calories and fat, tahini contains healthier, unsaturated fat and antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. As with all things, moderation is the key.

Homemade tahini is also a simple two-ingredient recipe, 2 cups toasted sesame seeds and 2-4 tablespoons olive oil, ground together in a food processor until smooth, will make 1 cup of tahini. The following recipe for Cypriot tahinopita, a delicious sweet usually enjoyed during Great Lent, but just as tasty throughout the year, uses store-bought tahini to save time.

Kypriaki Tahinopita

For the dough:

8 cups plus 4 tablespoons unbleached, all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

A pinch of ground mastic

A pinch of ground machleb

3 cups water, or as much as needed

For the filling:

2 lbs. tahini paste

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 cups sugar

To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, mastic, and machleb. Add the water gradually as much as needed, you may need less than the 3 cups, depending on weather conditions and humidity, and knead until the dough comes together. Continue kneading until the dough is shiny. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rise.

To make the filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini paste and the cinnamon, mixing well to combine. Add the sugar and whisk well since the mixture will be stiff. Set aside.

To assemble the tahinopites, divide the risen dough into 13 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. While working on one dough ball at a time, cover the remaining dough balls with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a rectangle 5 inches by 12 inches, spread with 2 tablespoons of the filling, leaving 1/2 inch border around the edges of the rolled out dough. Fold the long side of the dough over the center covering 2/3 of the dough, then fold the other long side over the remaining 1/3 of the dough. Stretch the folded dough slightly, then fold in half lengthwise and shape into a long roll about 32 inches long. Take the two ends and swirl them to form a rope shape, roll the two ends in opposite directions to form two snail shell shapes. Place one snail shape over the other and press together to form the classic tahinopita shape. Set aside on a lightly floured tray, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise. Continue with the remaining dough and filling. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the tahinopites have risen, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, and bake in the preheated over for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the baking process. Place the freshly baked tahinopites on wire racks to cool completely before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate if preferred.

RELATED

McDonald's is expanding sales of its meatless McPlant burger to hundreds of locations.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.