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Kypriaki Pitta (Cypriot pita – flatbread)

Cypriot pitta bread are much different to the Greek pitas. They are flat breads like the other pita but are different in shape and in taste. I’ve been in Greece for 27 years and have never found any, at least where I live. (After a year, writing this post, you can find Cypriot pitas in most supermarkets).
The only thing close to the Cypriot ones which I have found in Greece are the Arabic ones (which can open and be filled), although they are somewhat different in shape and in taste.
Cypriot pitas are oval shaped and are usually opened and filled with souvlakia and sheftalia and a dry salad, mainly tomato, cucumber, thinly cut cabbage, parsley, onions and pickles and lemon (no oil in added to this salad).
However, I remember years back in Cyprus when we had plenty of them at home, we used to open them and stuff them with halloumi (Cypriot sheep and goat cheese) and lountza, a Cypriot delicacy of smoked, fat free pork fillet) tomato, cucumber and anything else we liked. That was one of our favourite snacks of the day).
I was thinking of making pittas for a long time now but I could not find the recipe anywhere as I thought there was a special technique in making them to form a pocket.
The other day I was talking with a friend in Cyprus and were talking about food and when this came up she told me how easy it was to make them. As soon as we hang up I checked if I had yeast and I made the dough in no time. Didn’t even use the mixer and it didn’t need much effort to knead the dough. I was fortunate enough to have halloumi at home and together with ham, as I did not have lountza, tomato and cucumber we made delicious sandwiches.

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

When making souvlakia and sheftalia, grill the pitas on charcoal before filling.

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Sheftalia in Cypriot PitaSouvlakia

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4 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Hvi, it sounds like the Cyporiot pita has more in common with Arabic pitas.

    A photo would have been most helpful.

    Can one make a pocket and fill these pitas? If so, then they are similar to Middle eastern pitas.

  2. Ivy

    Do you mean a photo of the Lebanese Pitas? If so I will try and get some and place a picture of them. The Lebanese pitas are difficult to make them into a pocket and stuff them. A lot of effort is needed, as the two sides stick together and trying to split them, they usually break as the bread is more crispy. Instead of opening the pocket we usually put the food on top and fold them.

  3. Laurie Constantino

    I’m like you, I love Cypriot pitas. I have a Cypriot friend who taught me to make them and her tip is to preheat the baking sheet in the oven and then quick cook the pitas a few at a time. They make lovely pockets and are quite tasty.

  4. Ivy

    Just image how easy it was to make them. I should have asked for some help.

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