I used to joke that the word paçanga (pronounced ‘pachanga’) sounds like a Spanish dance, and when we were researching this book, I got two shocks. First, it is the name of a type of music popular in Cuba since the late 1950s; and second, there are scholars who claim the dish was brought to Anatolia by Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition in the sixteenth century. I hope that’s true, because then this dish would represent a blend of three communities that contributed greatly to Turkish cuisine—the Armenians, with their pastırma-making skills; the Bulgarians, with their dairy farming; and the Spanish Jews, with their sophisticated technique (and the name).
Cut the yufka into eight wedges. Grate the cheese. Halve the tomato and thinly slice. Remove the stalks from the chillies but leave the seeds.
Divide the pastırma or cold meat into strips about
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add a drop of water to the oil. If it sizzles the oil is ready. Dunk the böreks into the egg mixture, two at a time, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Pan-fry the rolls for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil and then repeat with the remaining börek. Serve on a platter for people to help themselves.
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