Learn how to make Sigara Borek, a simple and savory pastry made with minced meat, onions, spices, raisins and almonds. These little cigars make a great appetizer and are fun to make with friends. These baked gems are easy to make and can be reheated easily. Make these for or at your next gathering.
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Do you spend much time on Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is the modern day rabbit hole. Just look up List of Dumplings on Wikipedia.
See what I mean? This is my life. Food blogging is a ‘creative’ outlet for many of my passions. One is learning about new food. Another is eating new foods. Oh, and photographing food. See a pattern?
I hope you have as much fun discovering new food as I do. If not, because it’s a Tuesday night and you just need something quick and easy like Orange Ginger Pumpkin Soup with Miso, or Pasta with Anchovy and Cashew Sauce. I get you. That happens to me too. Enjoy and take on the week!
But if you love the discovery, Wikipedia is your friend. Some of my favorite searches include List of Soups and List of French Dishes. I’m feeling a little excited and guilty for sharing this with you. The ‘bug’ might bite you and next thing you know, you will start a food blog too.
I double-dog dare you. LMK how that goes, okay? I will cheer you on.
Well, this post is a result of diving into the List of Dumplings on Wiki. Borek isn’t on there but somehow by clicking on through some of the links I ended up with Borek. I am so glad I did. My head is swimming with all of the possibilities like Middle Eastern Meat Fatayer. I’m kind of giddy about this.
Onward to the deep dive into what borek is and step-by-step on how to make borek. Borek is a very flexible cuisine. I have included some borek fillings ideas below.
What is borek?
Borek, also known as Burek, is a family of baked pastries that likely originated in Turkey, the homeland of wheat. The dough is a phyllo or something called yufka, a stretched, unleavened dough that is usually layered with butter or olive oil in between the layers. The pastries are usually baked.
This borek is called a Sigara Borek, they look like little cigars or cigarettes. Since 2011 though, some bakeries refer to them as Kalem Borek to distance these dumplings from smoking, I think. I’m not sure about that little nugget. If you have some insight, leave a comment so that we all may learn.
Borek is common to the north and eastern Mediterranean, north Africa and up to the Balkans. It’s popular, for good reason.
You can re-heat these by baking them in the oven, they will keep their crispness. You can heat them in the microwave too. They will taste just as great but will be softer on the outside than if you bake them again.
These are fun to make with friends.
Various Common Borek Fillings
Each region and family has their favorite recipes for borek. Sometimes it’s just a matter of what’s available. I personally liked the cumin, coriander, cinnamon trifecta with the raisins and almonds. I am going to try a vegetarian version and a dessert one too.
- feta cheese
- curd cheese like ricotta
- ground meat or sausage
- green peppers
- green peas
- custard with a sprinkling of powdered sugar for a dessert version
- regional spices and relishes like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, harissa, chutney
Names of Borek by Country
- Albania- byrek, burek, or lakror
- Greece- boureki or bourekaki
- Bosnia- pita
- Tunisia and Algeria- brik
Enjoy these and let me know how they turn out. What did you do differently? Did you try other fillings?
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