Sunday, March 15, 2009
Vegan Rusks (Nistisima Koulourakia)
A little bit about Greek Orthodox religion...
Clean or Green Monday, in Greek called Kathara Deftera, marks the beginning of the Great Lent, known as the Sarakosti, the forty days of fasting which leads to April 19, the Greek Orthodox Easter. It is called "clean" because it marks the start of the Lent period during which our bodies and spirits are "cleansed" to prepare for accepting the Resurrection.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Cyprus and Greece, a day of great celebration.
Those who strictly follow the fasting of the Great Lent, do not eat meat or any products derived from animals, such as eggs, milk, cheese etc. The Great Lent is also a very good opportunity to cleanse our bodies from all the "toxins" and turn to greens and legumes. Greek and Cypriot cuisine offers an amazing variety of fasting dishes, called Nistisima. For today, enjoy the Vegan Rusks. Easy to make and very delicious!
1 packet of self-raising flour
3 tsp of baking powder
250 ml of sugar
250 ml of ouzo (the famous Greek drink)
250 ml of oil
250 ml of fresh orange juice
2 tbsp of aniseed (slightly crushed)
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and knead until you have dough of consistent elasticity.
Cut them into bite-sized pieces (see picture) and place on a baking sheet in preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Make sure that after ten minutes, you spray the little rusks lightly with water and turn down the heat 15 degrees Celsius.