Getting Ready with Eggplant Borek

Our trip to Turkey is getting dangerously closer. No, I am not ready and have a lot to do at work and shopping wise…yet on the other hand, I am so ready to get on the plane and just go! I feel like I just need my passport, purse, camera and some warm coat and boots to get on the plane and all those things are always within five feet of my reach anyway.

Several weeks before a big trip, we normally start eating through the freezer and the pantry in an effort to clean and make room for all the things we will bring back from Turkey. It is good exercise since it lets me discover what I have in the depths of my freezer. It is amazing how many mysterious Ziplock bags one can discover through this process, yet still resists against owning a Sharpie to put the dates and contents on the bags.

So we are almost there. Several nights of dinner from freezer, and I can officially wipe it down. I found a package of triangle yufka, the type I normally use to make cigarette borek or individual boreks.  But I did not want to deal with frying or wrapping each, one by one, so I did make it like a tray borek: thin layers of yufka lined with sauteed eggplant in the middle.  It turned out to be a light borek, the type you can eat a big slice with a glass of ayran and not need a nap afterwards.You can make this with 3-leaves of yufka.

This time, I was craving for eggplant filling, with lots of onion, parsley and a touch of Aleppo pepper. Normally my mom adds ground beef to the eggplant saute as well, but I decided to keep it vegetarian for this borek.

If you don’t have traditional Turkish yufka (phyllo dough) but the regular ones that is sold at the stores, you can make this with either one roll or two rolls (1 package has two rolls). If you are making with one roll, you should use 1/3 of this filling, and it will be a thin borek. If you want to use both rolls, then use 2/3 of this filling and increase the milk mixture by 1/2 cup of milk or add more if you use it up. 2 rolls will fill up the depth of 10 by 14 inch Pyrex dish.

So while I am eating this, and making endless lists of whatelse I need to do and to buy in the next two weeks, I should probably add Sharpie to the list and be more detailed with my freezer contents when I start to fill it up again.

Eggplant Borek (Patlicanli Borek)

  • 3 leaves of Turkish yufka (phyllo dough) ( I used the triangle cut yufka such as here. It has 28 leaves)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup of plain yogurt
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs

Filling

  • 2 lbs of eggplant (cubed very small)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato or red pepper paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 green onions (finely sliced)
  • 1 big bunch of Italian parsley (leaves finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (more or less based on your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Salt the cubed eggplants and let it sit for 15-20 min, wash and dry.

2. Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy pan, add onion and saute until it turns yellow.

3. Add dried eggplant cubes, stir for five minutes. Add tomatoes.

4. Whisk the paste with water, add water to the pan. Cover and let eggplant cook for half an hour.

5. Open the cover, if there is a lot of water, cook until most of the water was gone (there should not be much though.

6. Turn off the heat, add green onions and parsley. Stir to combine. Add all spices according to your taste.

Borek:

1. Mix milk, yogurt, eggs and oil.

2. Butter the pan (I used 14-inch deep dish pizza pan. If you want to use 9 by 13 or 10 by 14 Pyrex dish, you might only need 1/2 to 2/3 of the filling.)

3. Layer yufka pieces in a single layer, brush milk mixture. Put the second layer, brush with milk mixture. Go until you put a little bit more than half of the yufka you have on hand (I like to have a tad bit more on the bottom layer than on the top.

4. Once you are done with the half, layer the filling. Put the second layer, one by one, again brushing with milk.

5. Once done, cut into big squares or triangles, pour the rest of the milk mixture. Sprinkle with nigella seeds or sesame seeds.

6. Bake at 375 degrees, for 45 minutes or done (golden brown on top and bottom)

 

 

 

 

 

15 Comments:

  1. by Lan - angry asian
    9:49 pm
    Jan 27, 2013

    Im just like you, i dont own a sharpie & i never label my ziplock bags. It adds a bit of mystery to our cooking sometimes.

    Safe travels!

  2. by Ilke
    9:50 pm
    Jan 27, 2013

    Thank you Lan :) Hope it will be a bit warmer than it is now…

  3. by Tina Clarke
    11:22 pm
    Jan 27, 2013

    Where do you buy Turkish yufka in Charlotte?

  4. by Tina Clarke
    11:23 pm
    Jan 27, 2013

    Where do you buy Turkish yufka in Charlotte? This looks delicious. I will definitely give this a try this week. I love eggplant.

  5. by Ilke
    10:29 am
    Jan 28, 2013

    At Halal International Market on N. Sharon Amity Road. There is also Cedar Grocery on Central Avenue that I have heard that it sells Turkish stuff.

  6. by Ozlem's Turkish Table
    7:12 am
    Jan 28, 2013

    Ilke merhaba : )

    Delighted to find your blog! Loved your patlicanli borek!!:) I publish Turkish and med recipes at my blog too and would love to keep in touch with you – will give your blog a link at mine: ) If you’d like to visit my blog it is http://www.ozlemsturkishtable.com
    selamlar, sevgiler
    ozlem

  7. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    12:00 pm
    Jan 28, 2013

    I just bought a pack of triangle pastry from a Turkish store ;-)) Your borek looks fabulous!

  8. by Heidi
    2:48 pm
    Jan 28, 2013

    Sounds yummmy! I love eggplant and borek! Thanks for the recipe. Beautiful photos too.

  9. by Shelley
    3:57 pm
    Jan 28, 2013

    Borek casserole! Sorry, I coudln’t help myself- the pics look so much like a casserole dish. As a big fan of casserole, it looks delicious to me. Can’t wait to hear about and see pics from your trip home. Safe travels!

  10. by thyme (Sarah)
    5:50 pm
    Jan 29, 2013

    Ilke, I am so excited for your upcoming trip! This borek looks delicious as I love eggplant but always at a loss for exactly what to make with it. I go through these intense periods of research and blog hopping about info. on Istanbul and then I get overwhelmed and just push it all away. I can’t wait to hear about your trip.

  11. by john@kitchenriffs
    9:50 pm
    Jan 30, 2013

    I really need to get a Sharpie too. I always put stuff in the freezer figuring I’ll remember what it is. And I do, for the things I use reasonably soon. But something always gets pushed to the back, then I forget what it is. Anyway, this is a terrific recipe! Love the look of it, and you have such nice light in your photos. Good stuff – thanks.

  12. by Mrs Ergül
    10:49 pm
    Feb 28, 2013

    I miss the yufka I had in Turkey. Can’t wait to be back!!! Hope you have had a great trip!

  13. by dana
    12:53 pm
    Nov 17, 2013

    I made this along time ago and it was very good. I cant remember if I removed the skin from the eggplants and recipe doesnt specify?
    Thanks

  14. by Ilke
    12:46 pm
    Nov 24, 2013

    I peel the eggplant normally in stripes, so I leave some part of the skin on.

  15. by irene
    2:11 am
    Feb 1, 2015

    This Borek looks good….I never thought of using those Turkish ‘triangle’ yufkas. I always have those on hand because my husband loves cigarette boreks…with cheese….but now I’ll try and make boreks with those triangles. I’m lucky we have a great Turkish store near me in the city…they carry all Turkish products…because if I couldn’t find Salca Biber, or Mehmet Efendi coffee or Apple tea I would be doomed. My daughter goes to Law School In Brighton, UK and she said there are so many Turkish stores and restaurants there that she just picks up what she needs. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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