The queen of all Turkish pastries is borek. One dish that has made Turkish cuisine well-known worldwide is borek, which has been produced by hand in Türkiye for centuries. There are so many kinds of Börek that crossed continents that an entire encyclopaedia might have written about them.
Börek is a savoury pastry made from yufka, a delicate dough similar to filo. It can be filled with chicken, minced meat, unsalted Turkish cheese, parsley, or occasionally vegetables like potatoes, spinach, leeks, or fried courgette. For ages, nomads and travellers have eaten this delicate and flavorful dish. But it eventually gained a spot at the Sultans’ tables throughout the Ottoman era.
According to research, the nomadic Turks of Central Asia invented Börek in the seventh century. Börek reached the cuisines where Turkic people travelled when various Turkic people migrated from Central Asia to the west, bringing their favourite pastries with them.
It was such a well-liked meal in the Ottoman Empire that there were four Börek shops for every bakery in Istanbul at the start of the 16th century. Today, each area of Turkey produces a unique version of this delightful food. But you don’t need to apply for a turkey e visa and travel to Turkey to enjoy this delicacy. Here are five simple Börek recipes you can try at home:
- Gül böreği
You’ll adore how your tables will bloom thanks to the delicate Gül (rose) Böregi. Gül Böregi has a crunchy exterior and a velvety interior. You can offer your visitors this delicious pastry for breakfast or tea. Additionally, it is simple to prepare!
The phyllo dough is spread out and divided into four equal pieces on the counter. Cheese and finely chopped parsley are used to make the filling, which is then spread out on the dough’s wider side and rolled up. After being coated with egg yolk and sprinkled with sesame or black cumin, the dough is baked. What a lovely appearance and aroma it has! To be the kitchen talk, serve it to your loved ones and neighbours.
2. Paçanga. Böreği
One of the essential starters in Turkish cuisine is paçanga boregi. They are making it straightforward and quick. When having tea or dinner, paçanga boregi is cooked as a hot starter. Additionally, this Börek’s pastirma (a type of Turkish cured beef) filling adds a distinct touch.
Eight equal pieces of phyllo dough should be divided. Slice the cheese and pastirma. The tomatoes should be peeled and then finely chopped. On the part of phyllo, layer the pastirma, cheese, and diced tomatoes. Tightly wrap. Fry Paçanga Börei in hot oil until golden on both sides, then serve.
3. Su Böreği
Su Böregi is, without a doubt, one of the most well-liked pastries in Turkish cuisine. Su (water) Böregi is one of the unique tastes from the Ottoman era, and it has its name from the reality that the phyllo is boiled in water. It is made by layering cheese or minced meat between the layers.
Su Böregi has a history of at least 200 years and holds a significant position in Turkish culture. Rolling the dough thinly, similar to how you would like a Baklava dough, is a helpful Su Böregi tip. It is now offered on holidays, henna and circumcision parties, engagement parties, and even funerals. It used to be quite crucial in marriages as well. Mothers-in-law forced their future spouse to prepare some Su Böregi to test their culinary abilities. The bride-to-be might marry their son if the Börek were well-made.
4. Çiğ Börek
Cig Börek is the traditional dish of the Crimean Turks who migrated to Eskişehir. But its actual name is I Börek” sans the final letter. It is one of the city’s most well-known delicacies and, in Tatarian, means “delicious, beautiful.”
Cig Börek, made in Türkiye for at least 250 years, is made with phyllo dough filled with ground beef, onion, black pepper, and salt. It is fried in oil for 15 seconds and needs to be served hot. A superb Cig Börek must have thin, nearly transparent dough. Furthermore, it isn’t a true Cig Börek if the juices do not flow when you bite into it. Despite being cooked in oil, it has to be mentioned that the flavour is surprisingly light.
5. Sigara Böreği
This is a controversial topic. It was once up for discussion whether Sigara (cigarette) Böregi should be replaced with Kalem (pencil) Börek. It is the type of Börek that children prefer due to its crunchy texture, and you can find it nearly anywhere served, especially for breakfast. The filling of the simple-to-make Sigara Börei adds flavour to your meals. Anything is acceptable for use. The most traditional filling is made with Turkish white cheese and parsley.
Mix the cheese crumbles with the parsley that has been finely chopped. You can also include your personal favourites. Ensure all ingredients are well combined before cutting the phyllo dough into eight equal triangles. Put the phyllo pieces on top of the filling. Dip one end into a separate batch of scrambled eggs to make the dough stick together. Then, roll the dough into a thin cigarette (or pencil) form.
In a pan with some oil, add the Börek rolls. They are prepared to serve once you have confirmed that all sides are golden brown. Drizzle some ketchup on top to make it into a tasty breakfast treat that your kids will love.