Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turkish cooking lesson : Borek

I was invited by a friend to join a cooking lesson just around the neighborhood.  I knew it would be fun until I found out it will be conducted in Dutch (boo!) haha.  Well, i'm almost 1 year now in NL, and i would say i'm comfortable understanding de Dutchies.  I am still a bit shy to show them  the-dutch-in-me but i am getting there *wink*.  And just like love, FOOD doesn't speak any language. (i'm sure you fellow foodies would agree :D)

The class was run in a building in Utrecht where a worship room stands and a mini grocery where you can buy Turkish goodies.  And before we started cooking, we went shopping in the mini grocery to grab the ingredients for the day.

The dish was called Burek/Borek whatever it's real name is, it sounded good. :)  I've read in wikipedia about this dish but i was surprised with the different varieties of it.

And here's our Utrecht-style Borek
yummy-looking, isn't it?  read on to know how to make it.

I'm sure just like me, mostly everyone who's not well-versed in the kitchen, middle eastern or meditterenean cuisine sounds intimidating but be-scared-not...

What made this dish easy to make is the ready made thin dough, Yufka or Phyllo, unleavened flour that is oftenly used in the middle east.  You can get this in turks shop or anywhere in Lombok area in Utrecht  (i'm not sure where you can get this in Philippines or in Singapore though)

brushed oil on the rounded oven pan.  Ok, see that bottle of oil, we got that new and full, and see the amount that was used?  haha Shocked!  During the course, i noticed that it's normal for Turks to use a lot of it or better yet, they're fond of oil :D.  The phyllo was so thin that it's difficult to maintain it in one piece.  (check out the mess we did)

HT Hubbie loves borek.  But of a different kind with (gehakt or minced meat).  For the filling, we used 2 types of sausages (one that is similar to those you can get in cans and a fresh one), grated cheddar cheese and lots and lots of coriander.

just throw everything on top of the pan (easy, huh?) and more oil...whew!

we forgot the cheese but it was never too late.

if you think the thin phyllo makes this dish a light meal, think again...add more oil, then pour a cup of milk with flour all over...hmm..

use the remaining dough on top.  We cooked it on the fire instead of using the oven.  Our teacher, Fahtma, likes the conventional way :).  What's difficult with this method is you have to keep on turning the pan around so the dough is cooked evenly and it doesn't stick to the pan.  When the outer layer is a bit burnt, this was placed in the oven for 200C for about 10 mins.

it might not be appealing to the eye, but the taste said otherwise.

This was divided into 8 and i had a slice but it stuffed me like i had 2 slices of pizza or a hearty quiche.  And there's something with the deeg or dough that made this borek so tasty...whatever it is, i have to learn to read in Turks but since food doesn't speak any language then i'll stick to the ready made. :)

Have you done any unusual dish or attended any cooking lessons? :) Share your experience here :)


  1. This looks amazing. It looks like something you could have for breakfast too.

  2. Yes, it is. And it's pretty heavy in the tummy too! Nice way to start a long day!