Mum’s Turkish Pide
I’ve been thinking a lot about why we eat what eat at our dinner table. Having spent more than 30 years outside of India and travelling to different continents- the dinner table is nothing but a cultural mess. We don’t stick to rule books. We mix biryani flavours in our Lebanese Kibbeh, lasagna is always made vegetarian with shallow-fried eggplants, our wontons we learnt from our neighbour in China is made with a Delhi style cabbage momo filling and spicy chutney and as much as my mom calls Paris her favourite city (to the point she says she wants to die there- she is weird, I know) she finds their food bland. What is it that over the years, my family has come to accept food from certain cultures and disregard others? Why isn’t jollof rice a staple in our diet? Why is Saturday pizza night a staple even though we only spent a week in Italy unlike couscous from Tunisia where we lived for three years? Why is that we only love using whipped cream frosting for our cakes and NEVER buttercream?
I asked this to my mother when she was making pide today:
“Will you make the kibbeh I made the other day, when I leave?”
She didn’t think twice. The answer was no.
“But it is by far the easiest thing to make. It’s a 20 minute dish.”
She agreed it was delicious and easy. The Pide she was folding into a boat seemed like a rather more difficult procedure than just pouring hot water over raw dalia. This Pide is something my mom started making when I left home for college and my parents shifted to China. She had a hard time coping with her nest being empty, so she did what she does best. She cooked out the loneliness and went to the deep depths of youtube cooking. She fell in love with Maangchi, who technically in her head is her soulmate. She came across various youtube channels and stumbled upon this dish. Turkish Pizza, she calls it.
“It’s so simple- like pizza but easier!”
I don’t know how it is easier, but in her head it is. So I do not question it.
“Your dad loves it. We make it when we go travelling. I fold it fully like a pocket and we eat it when we’re on the bus or the car.”
My so called introspective wannabe intellectual questione seems so pointless now, this hasn’t been about accepting cultures or not. It’s about the fact that my mom cooks for us. Perhaps we didn’t take in certain dishes because of the taste but it’s honestly at the core been about memories we had at the dinner table enjoying those dishes. Couscous never made it because I was a tiny brat, wontons had to have momo chutney because my dad loves spicy food and and whipping cream was used because it was the quickest way to make Camby’s black forrest cake when he was nine. When my brother and I left home, we left behind all of our memories for our mom. She still thinks of us like that. We are always 18 or younger in her head. I love couscous and I make it all the time for myself now- but you’ll never see this in our family table. My kibbeh is never going to belong. Though we might have made a new memory there is no sense of familiarity.
This pide, I guess works wonders for her because it manages to taste like our childhood and gives it a new twist- I guess its an ode to change: from old to old+new.
Mum’s Turkish Pizza (Pide) (makes 6)
Ingredients for the Dough:
1.5 tablespoons instant dried yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoons salt
250- 300 ml lukewarm water
Combine all ingredients
Knead for 10 minutes till you get a windowpane. It should be pretty smooth and elastic.
Cover with cling film or a wet cloth and let it rise for 4 hours.
Ingredients for the filling:
4 tablespoon oil
5 cloves garlic chopped
250 gram minced chicken
4 tomatoes blitz into a pulp
4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoons salt
50 ml tomato puree
1 green capsicum diced
1 red capsicum diced
Take a medium pan, on medium heat pour in the oil, chopped garlic and minced chicken. Wait till it is slightly golden brown or looks cooked.
Now pour in the tomato pulp, sugar, chilli powder, salt and tomato puree. Lower the heat in your stove to the lower, cover your pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Now add in the diced capsicums let it cook for another 5 minutes, with the lid.
Let it cool
6 eggs (optional)
olive oil or egg wash
1 onion sliced (optional)
Coriander and mint (optional)
Preheat your oven at 180C.
Line your tray with parchment paper.
Punch your dough and dive it into six balls. Keep the dough covered. Take one piece and shape it into a fat oval. (1.5 inches in height) with a rolling pin
Gently lift the dough rectangle to the lined tray. Fill the centre with the cooled mixture. Fold over the sides to enclose the mixture like the picture into a boat shape.
Then brush the edges with the oil.
Now pour in the grated cheese into the sides of the dough and on top of your mixture.
Crack an egg in the middle of your boat and sprinkle in the salt.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Garnish with the slices of onions on top, with mint and coriander.