Diples (Δίπλες)

Dec 16th, 2008 | By | Category: Dessert, Frying, Greek, Honey, Nuts, Olive Oil, Recipe, Snacks, Spices

My family comes from the northernmost province of Greece, Macedonia but today’s recipe is from the opposite end of mainland Greece, Laconia. Although Diples are home to much of the Peloponese, the Byzantine town of Mani is where these Greek fried turnovers come from.

One would expect a rich heritage of cuisine and recipes to come from a bountiful region but the area around Mani is rugged, unkind to agriculture. Many of our ancestors lived in poverty, having to feed many mouths with creativity and resourcefulness.

Diples are one of the many examples of Greeks and their ingenuity in the kitchen. Many of the best Greek dishes are simple, using few ingredients and to this day, enjoyed by Greeks and lovers of Greek food.

My introduction to Diples came from the many Greek festivals I attended at our parish, St. Nicholas. Much like ancient times, the ladies (including my mom) would team up and make an array of dishes and treats to sell for the Festival.

From old times until present, Diples are still made to be presented at the grand table for a special occasion like a wedding, engagement, baptism or nameday.

Recently, my father (and our parish church) celebrated the nameday of St. Nicholas and my mom and I were keen on attempting this Southern Greek treat for donation at the church bake sale.

My mom used to assist is making Diples with the other ladies from the church auxiliary and the preferred method was to utilize a pasta machine. From scanning many recipes on the Internet, the machine is not necessary (no pasta machine in ancient times either) so you may want to still attempt this delicious treat by simply rolling out the dough as thinly as possible.

If you’re experienced with handling dough and have made some pasta, you should get have no problem in preparing the dough but as my friend Ivy from Kopiaste concurs, the skill is in quickly folding the dough during the speedy frying process.

Diples are a very traditional dish, little has changed with how they are made and I encourage you try this wonderful dessert from Mani. If it’s your first time, get someone to help you.

I’m submitting Diples as part of Eat Christmas Cookies, the second anniversary event hosted by Susan of Food Blogga. Diples are a Christmas and festive treat and I have it on Susan’s good authority that Diples rock!

My mom & I put some Greek CD’s on and set to make Diples (which took an afternoon). This is a large recipe and you might want to halve if but if I may say, make this Big, Fat Greek batch and give some to friends and relatives. Here’s to some southern Greek comfort, by way of Diples.

Diples (Δίπλες)

12 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder

5 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup olive oil

juice & zest of 1 lemon

2 shots of Ouzo or Metaxa brandy

vegetable or olive oil (or 50/50 combo) for frying

Syrup
2 kg. bag of sugar

1 cup of honey

5 cups of water

Garnish
finely chopped walnuts

ground cinnamon

  1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, add the eggs and beat with a hand mixer for about 7-8 minutes. Add the oil and liquour and mix until incorporated. Now add the zest and lemon juice and mix well.
  2. Add dry to wet in gradual amounts and mix with your hands. Drop the mixture onto a floured work surface and knead your dough becomes a smooth ball, slighty firm. Divide into small pieces (size of a small apple) and cover with plastic cling wrap. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes and use this time to set up your pasta machine.
  3. Treat a dough ball with flour (and flour the pasta machine) and pass through the either of the thinnest two settings. Fold your sheet and pass through the pasta machine (set to the same position) and repeat 6-7 times. Lay out the sheet on a table-clothed lined surface and cut into approx. 1 foot in length. and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Add oil to a large frying pan to the depth of about 1 inch. Your oil should be at about 350F. You will need two forks to fold the sheet of dough like a rolled carpet.
  5. Carefully place your dough sheet into the oil and tap it a couple of times to submerge it entirely in the oil. Now quickly fold it three times to form a rolled shape like a carpet. Remove as soon as light yellow colour has formed and place on a paper-lined baking tray. Repeat until all your sheets of dough have been fried into Diples.
  6. To make the syrup, add all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and then keep the syrup warm.
  7. Have a large colander nearby with a large bowl underneath it so as to capture draining syrup. Dip your Diples in the hot syrup and toss them about three times to coat them with syrup remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the colander. Repeat until all the Diples have been dipped in syrup.
  8. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Diples can be served immediately or stored in trays covered tightly by plastic cling wrap in a cool, dry place.

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© 2008 – 2010, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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58 Comments to “Diples (Δίπλες)”

  1. Mary says:

    I won’t be able to try these before the holidays, but I’m going to make them first free stretch of kitchen time I have once things are back to normal. They look really good, Peter.

  2. Peter G says:

    These are addictive and def part of the Xmas selection of sweets. The frying part is a little tricky and yes you need to be quick.

  3. Elra says:

    Goodness me, fried food never sounded this good! This diples are not just the average fried crispy and sweet things, this is divine!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  4. Christina says:

    Those sound really special! I love how light and flaky it looks.

  5. kat says:

    Crispy, fried & sweet…sounds like heaven

  6. Helene says:

    I would not have any problems eating this. I could not stop at one.

  7. Nate-n-Annie says:

    that is a lovely snack! The Greek Festival in San Jose is half a year away, and already you’ve given me a craving.

  8. Stacey Snacks says:

    Peter,
    My grandparents used to buy these at the Greek Bakery in Astoria Queens, NY where they had their shop. They were sprinkled w/ powdered sugar and I loved them!
    You brought back nice memories.
    Stace

  9. NikiTheo says:

    I tried making these. And tried. And tried. I quit at some point and just buy tons of them at the summer Greek fests and church bazaars…. I think my church’s Philoptochos makes them better anyway!

  10. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    It just doesn’t get much better than baking traditional cookies from your culture with your mom. This are so lovely, Peter.

  11. Elle says:

    Those are beautiful! And what a great way to spend some time with your mom.

  12. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  13. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  14. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  15. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  16. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  17. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  18. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Fabulous! A yummy treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  19. MeetaK says:

    The Peloponnese is my favorite area in Greece. We spent a lovely vacation a couple of years ago (travelogue on my blog) and fell instantly in love with it.

    That’s where I first had this – delicious and you have given me the recipe to make it at home! Hugs!

  20. jodimop says:

    I love those diples! They look crunchy…Too much work though. I have never bothered!

  21. Happy cook says:

    WOw they looks so drooly delicious. I have never had them.
    I looks so crisp. Wish i had a chance to try them.

  22. ΕΛΕΝΑ says:

    Yes, this is a typical christmas sweet. We like diples not only at Christmas, but any time.
    Of course there is a difficulty to prepare them, especially if it is the first time.
    That’s why it is said that diples need two persons, especially for the frying part.
    Και του χρόνου Peter:))

  23. Judy@nofearentertaining says:

    Your Diples look incredible. I would buy them…sadly I missed our Greek bake sale this year!!! Nice that you and your Mom make the time to bake together!

  24. Maryann says:

    You know, Peter, these are very Italian with the olive oil and brandy in the dough. I love all your food.

  25. Marianna says:

    I never make these (although I'd love to) bc I have an issue with sweets that need to be fried lol (not for health issues, I just find them to generally be tricky, like you said with the dough and rapidity etc). Yours look lovely, I'm sure you are going to have an absolutely delicious table for Christmas! Have a fantastic & healthy Holiday Season Peter!

  26. ~~louise~~ says:

    They look heavenly, Peter.

  27. Katherine Aucoin says:

    I have tried these at the Greek festivals we have gone too and they are wonderful. I’m thinking after the new year, I may get brave and try these. I haven’t made pasta before, but I think I’m up for the challenge.

  28. The Short (dis)Order Cook says:

    I’m always happy to see fried pastries anywhere. I’m loving the syrup that goes on top. I also love the addition of ouzo. That really sets these apart from other fried pastries.

  29. Mediterranean kiwi says:

    diples are very similar to the cretan xerotigana – despite being lenten treats, they are our traditional wedding or baptism sweet

  30. Bellini Valli says:

    So many excellent dishes to conquer from all areas of Greece.To Canadian-ize them they might be nice also sprinkled with a cinnamon and sugar combination fresh out of the oil. They wouldn’t be authentic but they would be good also.

  31. Heather says:

    You should name these “dimples” instead, after the cellulite I’ll end up with after I eat the whole plate. :P

  32. Marjie says:

    These look light and beautiful, Peter!

  33. christophile says:

    Oh man! My folks love these! My mom never makes them at home anymore since they are so tempting (and also time consuming)! Delicious!

  34. glamah16 says:

    I am really craving these.

  35. Ivy says:

    They look lovely Peter. I am not sure if I am going to make any this year. Kai tou Chronou!

  36. Joan Nova says:

    These look tasty and I don’t recall ever seeing them at Greek Festivals but I guess I’ll recognize them the next time. Of course, the recipe calls for ouzo…doesn’t almost everything?! Opa!

  37. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    I love the name. Diples! For everyone! What a party treat!

  38. Maya says:

    What a great way to spend time with your mother :)

  39. Natashya says:

    Mmm fried cookies, the very best cookies of all..

  40. Gloria says:

    mmmm Peter, que hambre,que hambre, OMG, look so yummy and tasty!!!! xxxGloria

  41. Claire says:

    Stacey says you can find those in Astoria…. Hm… Astoria… I think that’s where I live, dammit!

  42. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    These are new to me — will put them on my list of cookies to try.

  43. Sara says:

    Those look so lovely. Thanks for sharing with us!

  44. fruttodellapassione says:

    12 eggs! Yikes! I might have to raise chickens. They look amazing! Definitely something I would like to eat. Don’t know when I’ll be able to make them myself, I might have more luck trying them on the Danforth the next time I’m in town!

  45. We Are Never Full says:

    mmm. i thought maybe these were stuffed w/ apples when i saw the pic, but they are like fried dough. really delicious-looking.

    happy christmas! these are better than the average cookie!

  46. ellysaysopa.com says:

    If you see a strange man knocking on your door, it’s my dad. He can take down about a million of these. I love them, too. My step-grandma always makes them but with her getting older (she makes them with a broom handle!), someone else is going to have to take on the tradition!

  47. Grace says:

    i can see why these are saved for special occasions–they’re fantastic!

  48. Jan says:

    Oooh they do look good Peter! But sadly, I don’t have a pasta machine. Yummy recipe though.

  49. janetching says:

    These are so good for the festive season. In Holland, they seem to have something like this too. I will get a chance to try it this year for the first time from my in-law. I wish I could try yours already.

  50. Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen says:

    Looks delicious Peter and perfect for something new to try this season…my daughters will be home tomorrow, just the thing to have those extra hands dig into…working wise I mean!
    Ronell

  51. giz says:

    a dozen eggs and deep frying – I’m so gonna die with a smile on my face – even if my arteries harden in the process. As always…Greek pastries are da bomb. One ouzo for the pastry and one ouzo for me.

  52. norecipes says:

    Peter, these look great! I can imagine myself polishing off a whole plate of these.

  53. Mary says:

    Peter they look delicious! I’m sure for someone who has no problem rolling out there own phyllo dough that these were no problem for you. But I think I need to find a Greek festival and try them there!

  54. Dawn says:

    Peter these look like homemade CRACK! I would not stop eating these….you are one addicting chef.

  55. Maggie says:

    These are beautiful and I love that you made them with your mom.

  56. Jude says:

    So light and crunchy looking.. Never had this before.

  57. Jeanne says:

    Interesting how so many culures have some version of crispy fried dough, either doused in syrup of sprinkled iwth icing sugar. I’d never head of these but they look fantastic!

  58. stamaknox says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am making them for the first time today for my father — Christmas present. Every single recipe is totally different. I am the most concerned about the twists. I have never seen the rolls. Only twists and knots and bow pinches. But these instructions are clear and useful.

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