BOZA
/Millet-Ale/

This is a popular Bulgarian drink also typical of other Balkan countries. The boza is a thick, fermented beverage (containing up to 4 percent alcohol) with a sourish or sweetish  taste. The boza is made of various kinds of flour (barley, oats, corn, wheat), but boza of best quality and taste is made of millet flour.

Here follow instructions for making boza at home. The recipe is meant for 5 littres.
 

 

BOZA
Ingredients
  • 5 l water
  • 2 teacupfuls flour
  • 2 teacupfuls sugar
  • 1 teacupful boza or home-made ferment
    Directions:
Slightly roast  the flour (to become rosy in colour). Take care not to get it burnt. Mix it with only a bit of lukewarm water. Pour the mixture into the pot filled with the rest of the water and put it on the plate. Add the sugar and leave the liquid to boil stirring it once in a while. Keep boiling for 5-6 minutes still stirring. Remove the pot from the fire and let it cool. Add 1 teacupful boza or home-made ferment. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 2-3 days to cause fermentation. When the boza is ready, pour it in bottles and store in a cool place (refrigerator).
 

 
 Home-made boza ferment
Ingredients
  • 1-2 spoonfuls slightly roasted flour
  • 1 teacupful tepid water
  • 1 spoonful sugar
    How to make the boza ferment:
Mix the slightly roasted flour (take care to keep it from burning) with the water and stir well. Add the sugar. Leave the mess in a warm place for 2-3 days to ferment, stirring it from time to time.

Note: The teacupful of boza or home-made ferment can be replaced by 6-7 moistened and crumbled slices of wholemeal bread /or toast/, or by 6-7 spoonfuls leaven. In this case before storage the boza has to be filtered (without pressing).

There is reason to suppose that for causing fermentation it is also possible to use a mixture of a little bit of yeast, water or milk, and a teaspoonful of sugar, left beforehand to rise.

Obviously, to become a good boza maker one has to experiment.

* * *

The boza ale has recently gained wider popularity. Here follows a quotation from the Bizarre News ezine issue of January 17, 2007:

 

Breast-Enhancing Beer Gains Popularity 

LONDON, Since Bulgaria joined the European Union, sales of Boza Ale, which claims to give women bigger breasts, has skyrocketed. European men have been purchasing the beer, made from yeast and fermented flour, for European women since the extra taxes were removed with EU participation, Britain's the Sun reported Monday. Bar owners and shopkeepers are also stocking up, the report said. The Sun said a Romanian man, Barmy Constantin Barbu, traveled across the Dunube River just to purchase a case of Boza Ale for his wife. "I really hope I see an improvement," Barbu said.


 

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The Bulgarian National Cuisine section is basically compiled and edited by Kaliroy Papadopoulou.
The boza recipe has been put together by Angelina Tetevenska based on information from experienced housewives.

Back to "Traditional Recipes"