Boreks are a Turkish cigarette pie – made with puff pastry and typically stuffed with something spicy, like spinach and feta, minced meat etc. For a dinenr party recently, I had a Middle Eastern menu with Falafel sandwiches and Moroccan 7 veg stew with couscous. I wanted something from the region for dessert but not a dish like semolina halwa which would taste too Indian, or anything else that required intensive labour – I’m quite lazy that way.
Suddenly, I remembered that we had puff pastry sheets at home and decided to try my hand at a dessert using puff pastry. Given my somewhat temperamental oven, I wanted a dish that could be cooked on the stovetop, so a fried puff-pastry would be the easiest, I figured. But what would I fill inside???
Date halwa, of course!!!
1.5 cups deseeded dates
½ liter warm milk
Jaggery to taste
½ cup almond shards, roasted in ghee
Soak the dates in the warm milk for half an hour. Then put into a saucepan and cook over a low flame until meltingly soft; add jaggery to taste, allowing for the fact that readymade puff pastry tends to be a bit salty, so the halwa has to compensate. Whizz in a blender until pureed. Mix the almonds in and set aside.
Roll out the puff pastry dough as thin as a chapatti. Cut into 2 inch squares. In the center, spoon out about one and a half teaspoons of the date halwa, then fold the square into a triangle. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges and add a decorative crimp.
Fry in hot vegetable oil, or if you have a cooperative oven, bake for 10 minutes until golden.
Serve hot with pistachio icecream.