22 January 2007

Kyopoolu

This is a quintessential Bulgarian dish. Well, the name of the dish sounds Turkish, so the whole dish is probably Turkish as well.

It is eaten as a "meze", that is a starter to line the stomach for the rakia. Lundulph likes to dip bread in it. I like it as a spread on toast.



Note that the quantities are very approximate.

Ingredients

7 (500 g) bell peppers
2 (600 g) aubergines
1 large clove of garlic
5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 chili (optional)
3 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)

Method
  1. Roast the peppers and the aubergines. Lundulph and I took the trouble of bringing back a pepper roaster from Bulgaria. This is basically a cannon-shaped device with ceramic inner walls, metal outer walls and a lid. It is powered by electricity, when it heats up, peppers and aubergines are put in, the opening is covered with the lid and a few minutes later the vegetable comes out roasted. I've seen one of the celebrity contestants of Masterchef roast a pepper with a mini blow torch, but the easiest would be to roast the peppers and aubergines directly on the hob, if you have an electrical one, or on a dry pan on a gas hob. Putting them under the grill would probably also do the trick, they need watching and turning. They are ready when the skin goes black. Place them in a deep casserole dish and cover with the lid and leave for 15 - 20 minutes. The chili is optional, but if you choose to add it, it should be roasted in the same way. Alternatively dried crushed chili can be used.
  2. At this point, it should be very easy to peel the peppers and aubergines. Remove also the seeds from the peppers and rinse off any remnants of skin. This is quite messy.
  3. Now place in a deep bowl, add the garlic, olive oil and salt and blend to a cream with a hand blender. Or if you have a food processor, that works as well. Alternatively, chop everything very finely and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the chopped parsley and walnuts (we don't like kyopoolu with walnuts, so we don't put any in). Stir through.
If you do this quickly, the kyopoolu will still be warm when it's done and is very tasty with hot toast. But it's nice cold too. Store it in the fridge and stir through when serving after that.

I have successfully frozen it too, though it tends to go a bit watery afterwards. A better way is to roast peppers and aubergines, peel and wash them and then freeze in the right amounts. Then just blend together. As for garlic, if it's Friday, I tend to put more garlic in, as I like it as garlic-y as possible. Lundulph doesn't agree, reckoning the amounts I put in completely dominate the dish.

We had a Bulgarian meze dinner tonight with turshia, ham, toast and rakia, in addition to the kyopoolu. It was very nice indeed.

And what I fogot to mention is that on the picture above, I used 3 green, 2 red and 2 yellow peppers, which is why it looks a bit like poo. If you only use green peppers, the colour will be pine green and it'll taste less sweet. If you only use red peppers, then it'll be more orange in colour and taste sweeter too, of course.

An idea that just struck me is that if you cool it in the fridge, then pipe it onto small crackers or pieces of toast, it would make nice canap├ęs.

No comments: