Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How to make omach

Lets start our journey through the local food practices of Bulgaria with one simple and delicious breakfast. It's called omach and it is typical for Chernichevo - the native village of my father.

Chernichevo is a mountain village - it is located in the south part of Eastern Rhodopes. It is a remote place, with old oak and beech forests, sumptuous meadows with herbs and junipers, and invigorating springs and streams. As being distant from the modern civilization, Chernichevo preserved many of its ancient traditions, like omach - a unique food that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Appetizing color of the dish comes from the red pepper.
Recipe: omach for 4 people. 

Ingredients: one onion, four spoons of flour, fat (sunflower oil or olive oil - optional), a teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon salt.

Step 1: 
Peel and chop one large onion. Sauté the onion with a little fat (enough to cover the bottom). Allow the onions on fire until it begins to turn yellow. If you prefer a stronger taste, lift the lid, so that the onions become golden-brown in color.

Step 2: 
Add a teaspoon of paprika and stir. Immediately after the red pepper, pour a liter of water and season with salt to taste.

Step 3: 
Until the onion is sautéing  (almost frying), put 4 large tablespoons of flour in a broad and shallow bowl. In the pile of flour make a hole and add one spoonful of water in it. Squish the flour (in Bulgarian this squishing is called " to omachkam" which probably gave name to the meal "omach"). The goal is to make small semi-doughy pieces - like large crumbs.

Here's a closer look:

Also, flour can be rubbed with hands.

Finally, after being squished, flour should look like this:

Step 4:
So while you had prepared the meal, the water with onion and red pepper is boiling on the fire. Add the flour, stir and let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Then remove omach from the heat, pour it in bowls and eat while warm. Perhaps with a slice of bread.

Basically omach is a lean and a light dish, but if you like, you could add animal products. For example, while suffocating onion, you can use butter instead of vegetable oil. Also, this meal perfectly fits together with crumbled cheese on top. It's all about your personal taste.

Enjoy your meal!

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