Dear Reader, I can’t promise you a very exciting intro to this post, sorry but you’ll have to bear with me till the end of this memoir which I’m about to tell you.
Last year, mid-July, we, my hubs and I, were driving back to Istanbul from Gallipoli where my in-laws reside each summer. While in the car, browsing through radio channels, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian ones… We stumbled upon one and were quite puzzled because we could swear we recognized the language, it sounded exactly like the Eastern Black Sea Region accent of Turkish. It felt like we could understand what it was saying but no, we couldn’t. Then we found out that it was the radio channel of Pontic Greeks who migrated to Greece from Black Sea Region of Turkey in the last century. There were dozens of words I could recognize in the songs besides the accent and the sound of it as a whole. “Sirona gel sirona” (come and join the siron) was one phrase upon hearing we went “hey, did you hear that?”. Yes, dear reader, Black Sea Region is where siron and Pontic Greeks come from. It is the name of both a dancing style and a manti-like dish. The song was probably talking about the dance unless the songwriter was a food-maniac like myself and took the trouble of writing a song about a dish. Oh no, even I haven’t done anything like that, yet!
I’m an epic fail when it comes to dancing, but here is the recipe to the food version of siron:
Ingredients: (feeds 3-4)
2 sheets of yufka (Turkish pastry sheets) or you can use fillo pastry instead,
2 cups of beef broth, you can make it by boiling 2.5 cups of water with 1 beef bouillon,
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cups of plain yogurt, whipped
A pinch of salt,
A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
A pinch of sumac (optional)
A pinch of dried mint flakes or chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
Once you find the ingredients, making siron is pretty easy. Homemade yufka would be even better if you are skillful and courageous enough take the challenge. The amount of the ingredients is for a 25-30cm round shallow baking tray, like you see in the picture below.
Cut each pastry sheet into halves and roll them as tightly as possible before cutting up those rolls into 1-inch discs. Place the discs into the tray, again see the picture below. Meanwhile don’t forget to prepare the broth and set aside to cool off, it needs to be at room-temperature when the discs are ready to be moistened.
Mix yogurt, garlic and salt thoroughly. Put aside.
Bake siron at 200 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes, till the discs brown up nicely.
Remove from the oven. Spoon all of the broth over the discs slowly.
Melt butter in a pan. Add redpepper if you like. When it’s frothy it’s ready.
Take 10-12 discs into a serving plate, top it up with yogurt sauce, pour 1 tablespoon of butter onto the dish and serve immediately with sumac and/or mint.