Yesterday 1 May 2014 is an important day to Muslim Turks as it is Regaip Kandili (the night of Muhammad’s conception). A Kandili (candle) is a Mosque Festival called such as the mosques will be illuminated (no doubt originally by candles although today probably not). Last night Muslims prayed for forgiveness and hope.
There are in fact five holy evenings over the course of the Turkish Muslim calendar year and these five dates will change dependent upon the revolution of the moon for example Regaip Kandili will be celebrated on 23 April 2015. The five holy evenings are:
Mevlid Kandili – the birth of Prophet Mohammad (12 January 2014) Regaip Kandili – the night of Muhammad’s conception (today 1 May 2014) Miraç Kandili – Prophet Mohammad’s rising to the sky (25 May 2014) Berat Kandili – forgiveness of the sins (12 June 2014) Kadir Gecesi – the first appearance of the Koran to Prophet Mohammad (23 July 2014)
The Turk and his family are not particularly religious (although they always seem to be sacrificing animals) and they did not attend at the mosque last night however those practicing Muslims that attended worshipped and sang Mevlit which is a poem written for the birth of Prophet Mohammad.
The Turk warned me that there would be many visitors to our home last night as part of the tradition of Regaip Kandili and it is normal practice to give Kandil Simidi or Lokma Tatlisi to visitors so yesterday Daughter (with me as her sous chef) decided to attempt making the Lokma Tatlisi for the expected visitors.
Lokma Tatlisi is a Turkish fried sweet dough that is covered in a simple syrup (basically it is a doughnut with a syrup rather than sugar or cinnamon).
Daughter made a simple dough, 1 cup of warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of yeast. Mixed together with a well-oiled wooden spoon (oiling the spoon is integral to the success of the Lokma). She then left the dough for the length of the movie Mean Girls (firstly, how many times do I have to watch this movie? Secondly, “That’s so fetch”. Finally, it’s been 10 years since this movie was released? What the hell happened to Lindsay Lohan? Look at what drugs can do kiddies.) before getting back into it.
On our return Daughter prepared the syrup. At this point I realised that we did not have enough sugar so Daughter sent her sous chef from house to house to get enough for the 3 cups required. Most of the sugar is cubed so I was concerned that the syrup was not going to be successful. Daughter added the sugar, 1 1/3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mixed until boiling and then left to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Preheating the vegetable oil (sous chef was getting nervous at this point) she spooned the dough in by the tablespoon, 2 minutes each side until they were a golden brown colour. Drizzle syrup over these strange lumps of dough and eat.
Our Lokma were not pretty, they were not little balls covered in syrup. They were weird looking pieces of dough, in fact they looked like fish pieces, one looked like a chicken’s foot, others chicken nuggets or honey chicken but I swear covered in the syrup they were still pretty tasty. Daughter made enough for all of the family plus expected visitors and she proudly delivered them to each house last night.
I was pretty impressed with Daughter’s cooking although I was less than impressed with the mess that was left. Syrup from one end of the kitchen to the other, and on the stairwell outside. Thank you very much you little grub!