Flija

Flija made with “saç” is a specialty from the traditional Albanian cuisine, that is mostly prepared in mountainous areas. It is most certainly one of the typical Albanian dishes that everyone local will recommend.

                            

Ingredients

  • Batter:
  • 3 kg flour
  • 2 Litres water
  • 2 spoons of salt
  • Extra:
  • 2 jars of cream cheese


Filling

  1. 1 margarine or butter
  2. 1 cup oil
  3. 2 tablespoons yoghurt or kaymak



Fliya, feliye, maznik, or palačinke, are only a few names for a type of a pancake baked in a pan placed underneath a hot earthen lid or in an oven.

There is no fixed recipe for these pancakes that are popular in Kosovo*, and there are a lot of varieties around. The essential ingredients are flour (either wheat or corn flour), water, cooking fat (butter, butterfat or cooking oil), salt, eggs, sour milk, and milk fat. The secret to a good fliya pancake is in the baking process, the batter and the pouring process. "Fliya has two batters. The first consists of eggs, water, flour and baking powder. The second consists of yoghurt, or curdled milk, cream and butterfat. A layer of dough is applied, baked, the coals are removed and the second layer of yogurt, cream and buttermilk is poured, followed by a dough batter and so on," Sanela Idrizović, a language teacher from a village in the Prizren municipality, explains.Fliya may be served with tea, cheese, yogurt or curdled milk or jam - whichever way you like it. Nowadays, fliya mostly features in large social gatherings, weddings, births, and other ceremonies and social events.

"I have noticed that foreigners working for different international missions relish these pancakes”, says Idrizović.Fatima Mustafa, an 80-year-old woman from Prizren, has been using the same fliya recipe for 60 years. She always uses fresh spring water.


Flija could be considered a pie, however, mostly it is plain and is layered like a pack of pancakes (crepes). It is baked with cinders: the batter put on a pie-pan is covered with a “saç”- a metal dome over which hot cinders are placed to bake the dough.

The saç (the lid) warmed on cinders, is put on the pie-pan which contains the layered batter of the flija. While you’re preparing the batter you’ll notice it looks much like pancake or crepes batter. After pouring each layer on the pie-pan you coat the layer with melted cream cheese and bake it individually under the saç. The process is long, but the results are delicious!



Flija is served with sour milk or yoghurt, pickled vegetables, cheese, honey, jam or ajvar 



Preparation

Mix the margarine or butter, a cup of oil, two tablespoons of yogurt or kaymak in a bowl. This mixture is used as filling between two layers of batter for flija. If you are planning to bake flija on an open fire make sure you have enough space. It can be a corner of your garden or an empty space in your yard.The most important thing during baking is to keep the “sac” at the required temperature. First, light the fire and wait until it reaches a certain temperature. Then cover the “sac” with the ash generated from the fire. The ash helps keep the heat of the “sac” and maintain the desired temperature. Grease the baking pan, then pour a layer of batter leaving triangle shaped gaps and cover the pan with the hot “sac”. After a while the first layer is baked. Put the “sac” back on the fire while you put a layer of the filling mixture and then another layer of batter in the empty spaces. Cover it with the “sac” again. It is important to put some filling on the baked layer of batter.This process is repeated until you have run out of batter and filling mixture. If you want it to have a delicious crust, bake the last layer a bit more. Preparing flija is really hard work. However, there are no words to describe its irresistible taste. Flija is served with yoghurt or ayran.



Subpages (1): Albanian Burek
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