Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Essays | Recipes | Gallery

These dry biscuits with sesame seeds are sold by street vendors throughout the Middle East. In Turkey, Kandil Simidi are included on the table spread for Kandil Geceleri — celebrations of the Prophet's conception, birthday, Ascent, the revelation of his mission, and the Night of Power — when the mosques are lit throughout the night.
Total time: 2 hours
Dough preparation: 45 minutes
Baking: 30 minutes
Cooling: 45 minutes
3-¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
2-¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ cup (1-½ sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup olive oil
6 tbsp. milk
1 large egg
6 tbsp. water
Milk or lightly beaten egg
Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the butter, olive, milk, egg, and water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir together to form a soft dough. Dust your hands with flour and roll walnut-sized pieces of dough into "snakes," 8" long by ½" thick. Fold each snake in half and twist it along its length. As you wish, pinch together the ends of each "snake" to form a circle, or leave them straight. Place them an inch apart on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush them with the milk or egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake on the center rack of the oven for a half-hour, or until golden. Cool them on wire racks and store in a tightly closed container. Serve with tea or coffee, yogurt, cheese or jam.

Makes 24 simit.