Today, I was introduced to another Turkish beverage (The very old among you will recall I waxed lyrical about AYRAN in an earlier blog). This one is called BOZA, and this is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
BOZA is a fermented beverage in Albania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. It is made from fermented wheat in Turkey and wheat or millet in Bulgaria and Romania. It has a thick consistency and a low alcohol content (usually around 1%), and has a slightly acidic sweet flavor. In the Republic of Macedonia boza is much thinner and lighter, and tastes sweeter. In Turkey it is served with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas, and is consumed mainly in the winter months. The Ottoman Empire was known to feed its army with boza as it is rich in carbohydrates and vitamins. In Bulgaria it is part of the traditional "Banitsa with Boza" breakfast. In Albania it is mostly produced and sold in the northern part of Albania; you can easily find it in the candy and ice-creams stores of the capital, Tirana. In southern Serbia, boza is produced and sold in the whole country. The variant found in Romania is called bragă, and it is sweeter than in Turkey and Bulgaria, but thicker and darker than in Republic of Macedonia.
From another source, I found the recipe for making the Turkish version::
For 5 – 6 cups
1. 1 cup bulgur ( ½ cup bulgur + ½ cup rice can be used as well)
2. 1 cup sugar
3. 8 – 9 cups of water
4. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1. Put the grains and 8 cups of water in a big pot and slowly cook it. If you like, you can soak the grains in the water overnight to help this process. Do not put the lid on. Cook until it is easy to mash the grains
2. Strain it through a fine colander by pressing hard and collect the thick juice; this will be your boza. You can discard the pulp
3. Add the sugar to the thick juice and stir well. It should be thinner than tomato paste, but not as juicy as tomato juice. If the blend is so thick, you can add more water to it. Put back on to low heat, and boil for about 3 - 4 mins. Pour into a glass bowl and let it cool down to about 120F
4. In another bowl, mix the yeast with warm water, and pour it into the big bowl. Make sure to mix well. Cover it with double layer cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and leave it in the room temperature until the bubbles appear. This can take up to 2 days, depending on how hot the room is
5. Serve it chilled. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve with dry roasted chickpeas (another Turkish/Middle Eastern snack), if you can have any. You may also need a spoon to get to the boza that is at the bottom of your glass/cup
I just saw this at the bottom of the Wikipedia article: Boza allegedly has the ability to enlarge women's breasts. It is also recommended to women during their lactation period soon after they give birth as boza stimulates the production of milk.
Given that my breasts are already quite big enough, thank you, I think I might not get into boza after all.