I walked into the hostel kitchen the other day to find my Kazak flatmate Diana and her friend Anastasia (don’t both of them sound like princesses? : ) ) making a traditional Kazak dessert for their department’s final function to mark the end of the academic year ( 😦 ).
This dish is called chak-chak (I discovered that if you say Kazak chak-chak enough times, it becomes a tongue-twister) and is a bit complicated to make, but totally worthwhile.
What you need:
For the strips,
2 cups flour
1 tbsp vodka
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying
For the syrup,
300 gms honey (usually one squeezy bottle)
250 gms dried apricot pieces
a handful of raisins
almond powder (to go the extra mile)
What to do
In a deep mixing bowl, combine eggs, flour, salt and vodka and bind it into a dough. Divide the dough into tiny balls, and on a clean, flat surface, roll it into a thin round sheet using a rolling-pin. A good indicator of whether it is the right thinness, is to see if the rolled out dough is transparent enough for you to see the surface underneath.
Like in the picture below, for example. If I tried to roll our dough, I usually end up with the map of a country, as my mother likes to say.
Now make horizontal cuts on the circle to make strips, and further cut these to make really tiny strips.
(As you can tell, it’ll take a while to make this pile)
Heat oil on a high flame and once heated, reduce it to medium. Fry the strips in batches till golden brown and keep aside.
In another pot, pour the honey and heat it on medium flame, till it boils.
Now combine the honey, the strips, apricot and almond powder into any shape you like. Remember to work fast, because the honey can crystallize very quickly.
Diana and — decided to spell out “Warwick” with the chak-chak. Cute isn’t it?
Once its cooled, you can cut it into pieces and serve. Enjoy!