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Daktyla (Ladies’ fingers)

Daktyla kyrion (meaning ladies fingers) and is one of the most known Cypriot pastry desserts made with phyllo and a filling with pounded almonds, which are mixed with cinnamon, sugar and blossom water and then sweetened in an aromatic syrup.
This is one of the many Cypriot specialties offered during the pre-lenten period  called “Sikoses” in Cyprus.
The word “sikoses” derives from the verb σηκώνω = sikono, meaning lifting.  Sikoses is the ten day period before lent when the lifting of all the meat takes place before Easter.  As most of the Cypriot traditional recipes, these were made with simple ingredients which were always available in any household.   A very old recipe with few ingredients but so delicious.
Making daktyla used to be quite a difficult job, having to roll out the dough  into very thin phyllo but nowadays  it is much easier if  using a pasta machine, although the procedure is time consuming as it takes some time to make them.
My mother at the age of 55
I remember my mother would make them quite often and she used to roll out the phyllo the traditional way, by hand.  She always needed some help and she would call me to help, as by the time I was 10 -12 years old  shes was about 55 years old and suffered from rheumatism.   The remaining five siblings were either married or lived abroad.  The youngest of them all was my brother and he was seven years older than I and my first sister was  seventeen years older than me, so I was the only one left to help her.
At the beginning she would tell me to press the edges with a fork and gradually year by year I helped her even more and would even roll out the phyllo, until I got married and then bought a pasta machine, which made things much easier.


I always love using my leftover syrups when making “glyka tou koutaliou” (Greek fruit preserves).  You should try them using bergamot syrup, as the taste is amazing!

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

The Almond stuffed pastries called Daktyla are my entry for Let’s go Nuts with Almonds, hosted by JZ, of Tasty Treats.

I am also sending this recipe to In My Box, hosting this month’s Sugar High Fridays #53, created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy


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26 Responses

  1. Dear Ivy how beautiful are your stories ! I’d love to make these sweets with you sometime!!!

  2. Wow Daktyla looks yum…..The process may be long but the end results make me drool…….Thank you for such a beautiful and adorable award.

  3. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever had these…they look familiar. (Are they similar to “poura” (cigars)?) Anyway…delicious looking Ivy!

  4. Mmm, syrup with orange and spices sounds divine!

  5. Thanks ever so much for the award! I am so flattered…

    These Ladie’s fingers look so good! An exquisite treat!



  6. These sound delish Ivy – almonds and orange blossom water make for an interesting combination. Love your photo montage.

    Thanks for the award! I am very honoured.

  7. JZ

    wow, Ivy!! I really have to admire and comment on your determination! Making daktyla seems to be such a long process, but you have left me longing for more :-). The pictorial tutorial is awesome…

    Thank you so much for sending this to Lets go nut – Almonds!!
    What an amazing entry!!

    Thank you so much for the adorable blog award too… First one in a long time 😉 I really appreciate it! 🙂

  8. Ivy, good post…a reminder for me to try these…I have them bookmarked to try out in a cookbook.

  9. Thankyou for passing mle the award.
    It is always wonderful to learn new kind of food from your place.
    This one looks so delicious and going throught the recipe i can say it must be really really yummy to eat these.

  10. I know its a lengthy process but its certainly worth the effort. We laso have swwets like this in India which are deep-fried and then coated in thick sugar syrup, and I know how good they taste.:)

    Thanks for considering my blog “Adorable”, Ivy.

  11. I have njoyed daktyla in many a Cypriot friend’s home and they are extremely good. I always want to try desserts such as these or diples, but HATE frying at home … I need to get over that though because I am missing out on some yummy dishes!! Thank you for the recognition! XOXOXOXO

  12. First of all congratulations on your awards Sis, and thank you for bestowing it upon me as well. These pastries sound incredible. They are almost like filo Spring Rolls and very, very tempting.I admire you so much. I don’t think I would spend the time to prepare my own filo. We can get a thicker grade of filo that give our dishes that “almost homemade” feel, we can also get wholewheat filo as well.

  13. Efharisto, Ivy! I value this award and your friendship. I will write a blog post about this award soon when I have had time to think about who else to bestow it to.

  14. Aw, thanks Ivy! I really appreciate the award! Those Lady Fingers look awesome! I imagine they are very satisfying to crunch into.

  15. mmm… i can believe these must be a winner amongst kids. we have similar treat using spring roll wraps, though we use banana instead of nuts. i still do it for my family sometimes, though I myself cannot eat it. put some nutella in it, surely they will be finished before you know it!

  16. These sound great, and the pictures do it justice. We make a similar sweet dish, with mixed nuts, sugar, coconut, raisins and semolina. I like the idea of this filling and also using filo pastry, I have yet to be brave and use it. You are doing good to keep the tradition and making home made filo pastry. It is wonderful to keep such traditions alive so that we can pass it on to the next generation. Nothing beats home made food 😀

  17. I love these, especially for the filling. I can’t resist anything with almonds. They look so scrumptious! Thank-you so much for passing on your award to me. Your as sweet as these Daktyla!

  18. Hello Ivy

    I know these very well, but only ever as daktyla. My father loves them and would go crazy if I made them for him!!!

  19. I’m adorable? Aw, shucks. Thanks a bunch, Ivy.

  20. The Daktyla sounds good and yummy, I don’t think anyone would feel that they are fasting for lent! Congratulations for the award! and thanks for passing on to me 🙂 You’re truly truly adorable!!!

  21. These look SO fabulous! I have never had them before! Thanks for the award! 🙂

  22. Well worth the effort I am sure! And thanks for the award Ivy. I’m flattered you thought of me. Your quite charming and adorable yourself.

  23. […] leftover phyllo.  During lent I always make some usually when I have some leftover phyllo from daktyla.   These are made quite bigger from daktyla and during frying, halvas melts and becomes like […]

  24. Those look SO yummy and I can just imagine them with that hint of bitter orange water. Yum! And thank you for the cuteness award – how fun!

  25. Dearest Ivy, You will think I’m so rude! I haven’t said anything for a while, not even thank you!!!! Sorry girl… I don’t spend as much time in front of my Pc lately plus I feel a bit lazy about blogging… Hopefully the excitement will come back soon.
    Thank you so much, you are a great FRIEND♥

    Your lady fingers look so tasty and crunchy… Mmmmmm 😀

  26. Fred

    A recipe that’s about 2000 years old ?! Amazing !

  27. Koulla

    I bought your cookbook and made them. No words to describe how delicious there were!
    Regards from London,

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