It’s a public holiday here in Kosovo and everywhere’s quiet – a communal lazy stretch of a day, a gentle get-up-and-see-what’s-in-the-cupboards kind of breakfast. Kosovo has a perfect breakfast recipe for days like this, and it’s most perfect when eaten with honey.
‘Llokuma’ may sound like Turkish delight, and there must be some etymological connection, but they are nothing like Turkish delight in consistency. Sometimes they’re translated as ‘wedding doughnuts’ because they’re traditional to serve to a groom’s party on their journey to collect the bride. But ‘doughnuts’ doesn’t translate them properly either. They are puffed balls of deep fried dough that you can eat with sweet (ah yes, honey – or jam or Nutella) or savoury (most frequently something like tzatziki. Perfect for hangovers). And like the best breakfast dishes, they are made from ingredients you’ll have around the house. This is my friend, Shpresa’s recipe, as noted by me while I watched her cooking on a weekend away.
Beat 2 eggs in a bowl.
Add a cup of yoghurt.
Add half a cup of sparkling water.
Add 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
In a larger bowl, mix 450g of plain flour with a tablespoon of baking powder and a palmful of salt.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold together.
Add more flour if the mixture is too wet – it shouldn’t stick to your fingers – and then decant from the bowl and lightly roll in flour on a surface.
Press out to ½cm thick.
Cut into rectangles 3cm x 5cm.
Put into smoking vegetable oil (at a depth of a little more than ½cm).
The llokuma should puff up to four times their thickness in the oil. Turn them as soon as they start to brown. Eat immediately.
Makes 32 pieces
This recipe, and many others, are in my book, Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo, now available on Amazon
The recipe will also be modelled and tasted at the evening of stories and cookery from Kosovo being hosted by culinary anthropologist Anna Colquhoun at her Islington demonstration kitchen on 5 May. More details here