Adventures in Peace (Corps)

Şora (Shora) a Savory Treat

A couple of weeks ago Arzu made a savory danish-like food called şora. Şora is commonly sold all over Xaçmaz, and maybe even Azerbaijan, so when she told me that she was making it I didn’t give it a second thought. She prepared the dough just like she would for the freshly baked bread that she makes every other day by letting it rise for a couple of hours, then punching it down, then letting it rise again, and punching it down. Just before the final punch down, furniture in the living room started to be rearranged. Chairs around the dining table were moved out of the way. A special oil cloth was brought out to cover the table with, along with a board to roll out the dough. The ladies of the house (Arzu had a relative over. Not just any relative, but an expert şora maker) covered their heads with schmatas, and for the next 3 hours stood around the table talking about this and that, watching TV, and preparing şora.

Did any of you see Monsoon Wedding? You know the scene when all the women are hanging out under the pagoda singing and having the pre wedding henna party? That was my favorite scene from the whole movie, and that is kind of what watching these ladies make şora was like. I felt like I got to witness a tradition that has been passed down from mother to child since I don’t know when, and I got to capture it all on film. Gəl (come), let me show you.

Divide the dough.

Rolling the dough

Slapping the dough on the rolling board

 

Pot of Melted Butter & First layer of dough

Rolling the Layers

Cut Bowls

Filling

Flattening

Egging

Final Product

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14 responses

  1. I love this thank you.

    March 1, 2011 at 5:01 am

    • Thank you for visiting my site. I’m glad you enjoyed the posting. Be well.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:42 am

  2. Sharlene Basch

    In the picture filling the dough, what is the filling made of? Can it be filled with different things?

    The picture of putting the butter on the first layer, the dough is so thin you can see the print of the cloth underneath. It reminds me of Mitch, Stacey and David’s bubby, she made her own filo dough from scratch.
    She would roll it out so big it would cover the whole table and and hang over the edge like a tablecloth, it was tissue paper thin. She would make delicious knishes or make strudel.

    It’s amazing how some things are the same, no matter what part of the world you’re in.

    Mom

    March 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

    • Yeah, it’s amazing how thin she rolls the dough. I will see if I can find a recipe for it and post it online, but the filling is a combo of flour, butter, turmeric, cumin, salt, eggs, milk and probably something else that got lost in translation. Traditionally şora is filled with these ingredients. You may find regional differences, but they will likely not differ by much. I think you could fill it with anything, and yes, the dough is much like the dough you would use to make knishes.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

  3. Shizzy

    So, how was it?!

    I Googled “Şora” to see what the filling is (didn’t find it) and found another PC volunteer’s blog (from 2010 in Siyazen, it says). The process must make quite an impression on those seeing it for the first time.

    Love the mew layout, the pics, your stories, and YOU!

    xoxo – Sheila

    March 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

    • They are great. How could it be bad? Butter, flour salt. Three of my favorite ingredients.

      Thanks for your detail in using the ş in spelling şora. It takes more work, but it looks so much better than shora.

      I looked online too for the recipe, but could not find it. However, my site mate, Lannea, sent me a website in English with AZ recipes right after I posted this. Talk about synchronicity.

      We need to make a Skype date my dear. It’s been far too long since we got shizzy. what is better for you nights or mornings? Send me a personal email and let me know.

      love you tons lady. Muwah!

      March 1, 2011 at 8:40 am

  4. I am extremely impressed and very hungry now. The perfect, uniform thinness of that dough is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing G!

    March 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

    • I knew if anyone would love this post it would be you.

      I finally figured out how to post other people’s links on my page, and you are now on there, or at least your website it.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

  5. Josh

    Hi Glendene,
    Great to hear from you again. I guess reality is really setting in there with the winter. I imagine it is quite challenging. Last week I was out in Westlake Village and stopped by to see your mom (briefly- she was on her way out for a busy day). The weather was, of course, much better than yours.

    Did you know that today is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corp! Happy P-Corp Day.

    I can well imagine wanting to eat all those pastries during the bitter cold winter.

    I am curious about your work now. What project(s) are you working on?

    Love you.

    Josh

    March 1, 2011 at 10:36 am

    • Mr. Josh,

      Would love to schedule a Skype date. That way I can fill you in on all the haps in Xachmaz. Nights work well for me, what about you?

      xo, Denie

      March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

  6. Monica Erickson

    Yum! Can I get some???

    How are you, my friend? I miss you!

    xo – Mon

    March 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  7. Looks yummy. I’m not as interested as everyone else about the recipe for the filling; I’m trying to learn how to make stew in the crockpot. Once I get that down, baking is next so long as I can get a bunch of older ladies to come over, smoke, make dough, drink a little and speak in a foreign language.

    Nice posting! Enjoyed the read.

    Love, me.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

  8. stacey

    Meat filling for savory or fruit for sweet. Just a fun way for the girls to hang and kibitz.

    Food is fun!!

    me

    March 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

  9. Lori

    Oh, yum! I was also wondering what the filling was, and it sounds great. It looks like something I’ve seen before in bakeries here, but I don’t remember where. My grandmother (Bubbie) also made shrudel from scratch, with paper-thin layers of dough. Loved the photos. And didn’t have trouble reading the color of the text….

    March 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm

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