International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Sigara Boregi

A plate of sigara boregi, Turkish cheesy roll ups

(Turkish cheese-filled filo appetizers)

Image Creative Commons by Wikimedia: CMoi

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These cigarette-shaped (sigara), savoury pastries (böreği) are a common addition to any Turkish mezze spread. Sigara boregi are most often filled with cheese, but a ground beef filling is tasty too. Also known as sigara börek or kalem (pen) böreği.

Makes about 30 pieces

Ingredients

  • Feta cheese -- 8 ounces
  • Egg, beaten -- 1
  • Parsley or dill, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Filo dough -- 8 sheets
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  1. In a bowl, mash the feta, egg and parsley or dill together with a fork until smooth and well mixed.
  2. Stack the filo sheets on a work surface and cut into quarters to make equal rectangles. Stack the resulting quarters on top of each other and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Working with one piece of filo at a time, smear about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture in a line along a short edge of the filo, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the bottom. Take care not to put too much cheese into your sigara, as they may pop when you fry them if you overfill them.
  4. Fold in about 1/4 inch of the two long sides of the filo, and then roll the filo up from the bottom to form a cigarette shape. Moisten the top edge with a little water to seal. Place the completed sigara boregi on a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with another towel. Repeat with the remaining filo and cheese mixture.
  5. Heat the oil to about 375°F and fry the sigara boregi in batches until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining sigara.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature with a Turkish meal or a variety of mezze dishes.

Sigara Boregi Variations

  • Spinach-Feta Filling: Stir 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped spinach into the feta mixture.
  • Meat Filling: Saute 1/2 cup finely chopped onion in some olive oil. Add 1/2 pound ground beef and saute, breaking up, until cooked through. Drain excess fat, and stir in 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (optional), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool before filling sigara boregi as described above.

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