Traditional Borek – The Ramadan Series

Borek Recipe Tradtional North African Algerian Moroccan Tunisian Brik Somosa Phylio Pastry Ramadan Recipe

Have you ever tried the delight that is Borek? What are Boreks you say? Well, They are a North African savoury treat wrapped in pastry, much like Spring Rolls or Samosa, They are crispy, fresh & flavorful & can be filled with many wonderful things!

In my husbands country of Algeria, the household is just not complete in Ramadan without the traditional Algerian Shorba (soup) & Borek
THIS is the pivotal part of a successful Iftar meal! (the meal when breaking the fast in Ramadan)
They are essentially a starter & come in many shapes & can contain a wide variation of fillings.

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Today I will show you 2 of my family favourite fillings. Algerians traditionally use mince as a base & add many other things like olives, cheese or potatoes. The beauty of these, is you can actually fill it with ANYTHING you fancy, even leftovers!

Borek is wrapped with a special dough/filo pastry which you can find in many supermarkets in the fresh & frozen sections, you can use spring roll pastry too, but I find it quite “stiff” & tears easily, it’s best to find proper Brik/Dioul as they are called in Algeria.
I use this exact brand –
  

They are the best for me because I like to make Borek in bulk and freeze ahead to save time during the day while fasting. But feel free to try others & see what works best for you!

Ok, so on with the recipes! The first is a traditional recipe that I’ve adapted to suit my taste, like I mentioned before, you can add anything! 

Mince & Potato Filled Traditional Borek

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author thrifdee77

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb of Minced Beef/Lamb
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp of Ras El Hanout Spice Mix See Below
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 TBSP Maggi Liquid Seasoning See Below
  • 2 TBSP Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Small Potatoes Cubed & Boiled
  • Handful Fresh Parsley Or Coriander Chopped
  • 1 pack of Phyllo/Dioul dough sheets

Instructions

  1. In a non stick pot fry the mince, (I don't use oil as it's naturally fatty & will produce it's own oil)
  2. Add the chopped onion once the mince lets off the oil & fry together till almost translucent
  3. Add minced garlic & give a stir to incorporate
  4. Add in spices & liquid seasoning & stir well & break up with a spatula till browned
  5. Once browned add in potatoes & cook together for a few minutes
  6. In a bowl mix the eggs together & make a well in the center of the pot & add the eggs in the middle & scramble
  7. Once eggs are cooked mix together with meat/potato mixture
  8. Make sure you keep breaking up the mixture with your spatula, you don't want lumps that may break your pastry later
  9. Finally add Parsley, mix & take off the heat & allow to cool
  10. Once cooled you can begin to wrap your Borek
  11. Stick the edges together with some beaten egg & lightly fry in hot oil
  12. Drain on kitchen towel & serve hot!

Recipe Notes

You can try a healthier option & bake the Borek in the oven by rubbing them with butter & placing them in a baking dish.
Just make sure you line the dish with butter so they don't stick!

 Another variation of Borek filling –

Chicken, Bechamel & Sweetcorn Filled Traditional Borek

If you're not a sweetcorn fan, you can swap it to mushrooms, or completely omit them from the recipe.
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author thrifdee77

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb of Minced Chicken
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 TBSP Oil
  • Handful Fresh Parsley Or Coriander chopped
  • 1 Can Sweetcorn drained
  • 1 pack of Phyllo/Dioul dough sheets cut in half
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1/2 Pack of Butter not margerine
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • 2 TBSP All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 6 Laughing Cow Cheese Triangles
  • 1 Tsp Mustard optional
  • 1 Handful Coriander/Parsley

Instructions

  1. In a non stick pan, lightly fry the chicken mince in a little oil
  2. Add Onions & Garlic & keep stirring until incorporated
  3. Add Salt & Pepper & Sweetcoorn
  4. Once cooked add Coriander/Parsley stir in and take off the heat to cool down
  5. For The Bechamel Sauce -
  6. In a non stick pan melt the butter & add the flour, use a whisk & stir until they come together
  7. slowly add in milk while whisking stir well until all mixed in
  8. Continuously whisk so the sauce does not get lumpy it will be runny for a little while but DON'T stop whisking!
  9. Add Salt & Pepper
  10. At this point add the Cheese triangles & mix in, now you can add the Mustard if using
  11. Stir until smooth & thickened
  12. Add sauce to chicken & mix together & allow to cool to room temperature
  13. Once cooled wrap your boreks & use the beaten egg to stick them together & lightly fry

Recipe Notes

The butter in the Bechamel can make these Borek feel more oily, so baking these would work for those of you who want to try & keep it healthier, but they do taste the BEST when fried! 😉

This is just two of my favourite variations, but there are many, these are especially tasty with – 
Cheese & spinach
Tuna & Mashed Potato
Mince & Olives
Chicken & Peppers
You can wrap these how you like, it can be tight like spring rolls, triangle like samosas or square bricks, it’s up to you! 

Essentials – Ras El Hanout Spice Mix

What is this Spice Mix? Ras El Hanout Translated from Arabic as (Head Of The Shop) is a mix of spices of which it’s contents can vary depending on where you purchase it. While I have adapted these recipes to my own liking, the first recipe is pretty much traditional & like most Algerian/North African recipes you will see the reoccurring name Ras El Hanout this is MUST have in the kitchen, especially if you really like cooking flavorful food! I have seen lots of places call it Moroccan, but to me it is an Algerian spice because this mix is found everywhere in Algeria & in pretty much any dish! I find myself using it in lots of dishes, especially rubbing it on meat & sprinkling on potatoes before roasting.

    

Not so traditional is my addition of Maggi Liquid Seasoning this gives the mince a real flavor kick, you only need a few splashes, I also usually add this to anything with meat, goes nicely on lamb! Feel free to use your own spices & techniques these are just my preferred little tricks to make the food ultra tasty!

Making In Bulk & Freezing Ahead

This is the trick to saving HOURS during Ramadan! Boreks can be quick to prepare, but the rolling & filling can be time consuming. To make the best of my time in Ramadan, I make my Borek in bulk ahead of time and freeze, I usually do this once a week, no it does not impair the flavor or anything! you simply wrap them & once they’re dry (using beaten egg on the edges might leave edges a bit wet) stick them into a container or freezer bags & freeze. When you want to cook them, you simply take them out of the freezer before Iftar & seperate them & let the frost come off a little & then fry.

 So there you have my “not so traditional” take on Borek, What would you fill yours with? I would love some of your suggestions on sprucing up the recipe & having something new to add to the table this Ramadan! Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!!

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8 Comments

  1. 23/04/2018 / 9:29 pm

    These look delicious! And I think I have the majority of the ingredients already at home that it wouldn’t be too hard to make these.

  2. 23/04/2018 / 6:53 pm

    This looks delicious, Dee! I have never had borek, but it looks amazing! Ship these my way? 🙂

  3. 23/04/2018 / 12:33 am

    Yum that minced lamb/beef one looks delish! Thanks for sharing!

  4. 22/04/2018 / 6:55 pm

    Thrifdee77, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  5. 22/04/2018 / 5:50 pm

    This reciepe looks absolutely yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    • thrifdee77
      Author
      23/04/2018 / 11:08 am

      You’re welcome, thanks for visiting!

  6. 22/04/2018 / 5:33 pm

    Whenever I go to turkey I always eat Bal Borek – We can’t find it in Canada! Have never tried the savoury ones but it looks like I need to try making some now!

    • thrifdee77
      Author
      23/04/2018 / 11:08 am

      Oh yum! I simply adore Turkish borek, but the Yufka pastry is hard to find! I love the borek pies They make & twisted ones ones too!…. drooling now thinking of them 😋

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