People of Ankara and everyone who has lived in Ankara at some point in their life knows what Aspava is. But for those who are outside of these groups, it would be useful to explain it. Aspava is a doner wrap restaurant with a unique service type in Ankara. I am using plural form as there are different Aspava restaurants that are independent of each other. Although the restaurants are independent of each other, they have the same common points. Döner wrap called ssk for short is prepared with a sauce, with the addition of onions and grated cheese. A mixed salad with lots of pomegranate syrup, french fries drizzled with the doner kebab sauce, tzatziki and cheese mushrooms comes as treat, and when these treats are finished new plates comes again as treat. I short the treats are unlimited.
What Does Aspava Mean?
According to Nişanyan Dictionary, Aspava is the acronym of Allah Sağlık Para Aşk Versin Amin, which means May God Give You Health, Money, Love, Amen. It was first used in 1959 by Murat Davman, the hero of the detective novel created by the author Ümit Deniz, and became popular in this way.
If you haven't been to Aspava before, there are some things you need to know about it in order not to go to Aspava as soon as you go to Ankara. Aspava restaurants are pretty shabby restaurants. Of course, there are those who do this, but in my opinion, they do not have the quality and hygiene level to go and eat with the family. Rather, they are restaurants where you can stop by at late night after some drinks or get stuffed without paying a lot of money. I recommend that my friends who went to Aspava in their youth and missed it after years, not to go to Apava again and make their own aspava at home instead of being disappointed.
Thus, with a delicious cacik made of homemade yoghurt instead of a juicy cacik, home-style crispy french fries instead of frozen french fries, a delicious arugula salad with fresh ingredients instead of a salad whose ingredients are doubtful whether they are washed well or not and baked mushrooms, a full-fledged Aspava table can be set at home.
I did not work on a separate doner recipe for Aspava. I followed my home made doner recipe, which I have been making for years and which I do not believe it is possible to do a better version at home. Again, I got an amazing result. I say it at every opportunity, but I want to underline it once again. The quality and taste of the meat you use in homemade doner is very important. You can use a meat you always buy with your eyes closed. If you are going to use a meat that you do not always use and do not trust it, it is not possible to do anything for its flavor, but to guarantee it to be be softer, leave the meat in the refrigerator overnight after marinating and put it in the freezer the next day. In this way, the meat waiting in the marinade will be softer.
Aspavan lavaş is cooked in the oven, in wood fire, not in a pan like standard lavaş. What you need to do to get the wood fire effect at home is to fully preheat the oven and the baking pan at the highest heat setting, and while cooking the lavaş, place the pan on the top shelf of the oven and cook the lavaş quickly at very high heat, without allowing it to dry out. Do not worry if for some reason all or part of the lavaş becomes dry and hard. It will soften when you sprinkle water on the dry area with your fingertips and wait a little.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 1 kg of beef in large pieces,
- 1 small onion,
- 1 teaspoon of yogurt,
- 1 teaspoon of tomato paste,
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar (of any kind),
- 1 teaspoon of thyme,
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil,
- 1 heaping tablespoon of butter.
- 2.5 cups of flour,
- 1 cup of warm water,
- 1 teaspoon of salt.
- 1 tablespoon of butter,
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
- 1 tablespoon of flour,
- 2 cups of water,
- 1 onion,
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese.
- Grate the onion for doner,
- Add yogurt, tomato paste, vinegar, thyme, salt and olive oil and mix,
- Add pieces of meat and mix until all pieces are covered with sauce,
- Take the pieces on a large piece of cling film and wrap them in a thick strip,
- Put it in the freezer and let it rest for 5-6 hours,
- Mix flour and salt for lavaş,
- Start kneading the dough by opening the middle and slowly adding the water,
- After obtaining a dough that does not stick to the hand, make a lump and cover and rest for 10 minutes,
- In the meantime, start heating the oven to 250 degrees with the baking tray,
- Knead the dough again and make eight equal sized balls,
- Open one of the meringues in a rectangular shape about 40 cm long,
- Sprinkle a little flour on the heated pan in the oven,
- Spread the lavash you have opened on the hot pan, put it on the top shelf of the oven and cook until there are small bubbles on it and take it out of the oven,
- Roll and bake the remaining pieces in the same way,
- Take the meat out of the freezer and finely chop it with a large and sharp knife,
- Melt the butter in a large skillet, put the meat slices in the pan, and stir constantly on high heat until the water is released and it is lightly browned,
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan,
- Add flour and tomato paste and fry,
- Add half of the water and mix until the tomato paste is open,
- Add the remaining water and salt, bring to a boil and remove from the fire,
- Place one of the lavash on a cutting board,
- Place one-eighth of the doner in the middle lengthwise,
- Sprinkle grated cheddar on it and drizzle a ladle of sauce,
- Sprinkle finely chopped onion in half moon shape and roll it up,
- Cut the wrap into four equal parts and take it to the serving plate,
- Serve with a green salad with lots of pomegranate syrup, cacik and french fries on the side.
Enjoy your meal...