I love phyllo dough. Whatever you make with it comes out delicious (ok, yes, most of the time, depending on you too..). It is a very commonly used ingredient in Turkish cuisine and I grew up with all sorts of fillings and types of phyllo dough. This one has meat – not my favourite ingredient as I am not much of a fan of meat, but it reminds me of home so I like this little pastry.
About 3 years ago, I posted a Turkish dish with many memories: manti, aka dumplings. This recipe is one other version of it, some call it “high society dumplings” and I absolutely have no idea why they call it that.
There are several differences between this pastry and the other, more traditional dumplings: this one is made with phyllo dough while the other one has different dough, this one is baked and the filling is greasier and spicier. Also, these are individual, big pastries and one pastry can fill a person quite good.
There are many different brands of phyllo dough sold in the markets. In the Turkish markets in Itäkeskus, there is one “baklava” dough which has about 15-16 sheets, and considering you use 2 sheets per pastry, you can get about 7-8 pastries with it. I used this dough, so if your pastry package has more sheets, or if you want to use more than 1 package, you just need to increase the amount of other ingredients accordingly.
If you don’t want to use meat and want to make a vegetarian version, you can use a spicy potato filling, like the one I have in this recipe. Other than the filling, for the rest of the dish, you can follow this recipe.
Do not omit the yogurt sauce. It is what makes this pastry dish genuine and also it makes it lighter. Whether you are making the meat version or the vegetarian one, do not omit yogurt. Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(makes 7-8 pastries, for details about it, check the text above)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size onion, diced
400 gr. ground beef
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 or 2 dl (or about 1/2 to 1 cup) parsley, depending on your taste, chopped
2 tbsp water (or more, check step 10)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (you can substitute this with olive oil)(or more, check step 10)
1 package phyllo pastry sheets (mine had 16 sheets and was 35x45cm in size)
To put on top:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried mint
200 gr. Turkish yogurt
1. In a medium pan, put olive oil on medium high heat for about a minute, then add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes, until they are translucent.
2. Add ground beef and continue stirring and cooking.
3. When the meat is almost cooked, add tomato paste and stir.
4. When the meat is fully cooked and the liquid from the meat goes away, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and continue cooking and stirring for about 2 more minutes, then take it out of the heat.
5. Add parsley and mix. Put the filling aside to let it cool.
6. Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare oven tray(s) with baking paper(s) on.
7. In a small bowl, put water and vegetable / olive oil and mix / whisk well.
8. Open the phyllo pastry package. If you are using frozen phyllo pastry, do not forget to thaw it in advance. Take 1 sheet from the pack and spread it on your counter/table. Brush gently with oil/water mixture. Put a second phyllo sheet on top and brush this one with oil/water mixture as well.
9. Close to the long side of the rectangle on your side, put a line of filling. Roll the pastry gently to make it into a tube, then roll the tube to make a spiral shape.
10. Transfer each spiral on prepared oven tray(s). Before going into the oven, brush the surface of each spiral with oil/water mixture. If the mixture you made initially is not enough, just make more mixture. Bake the pastries in the oven, in medium rack for about 20 minutes, until the surface is lightly browned. Take them out of the oven and let them cool while you prepare the topping.
11. To make the topping sauce, put olive oil in a small saucepan and warm it in medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and dried mint in hot oil and fry the spices/herbs a bit. Be careful, they may easily burn, so watch them. The idea is just to make them fragrant, not burn them. For serving, put some yogurt on each pastry and then pour some of the spicy sauce. Enjoy the pastries when they are fresh, with tea or as a main dish with some light salad.