Spiced Potato-Filled Filo Pastries

Preparation info

  • Makes about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

Serve these North African filo pastries as part of a Middle Eastern mezze assortment or on their own as an appetizer. Shaped like a strudel, they would be a great accompaniment for grilled fish or roasted lamb with Moroccan or Middle Eastern spices. These can be assembled far in advance and may be refrigerated or frozen unbaked.


  • 2 large baking potatoes (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 hard-cooked large egg, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • ½ pound filo dough
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Peanut oil for deep frying


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the potatoes until they are soft and mash able, about 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut each potato in half and scoop out the pulp. Either mash the pulp or press it through a ricer.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes more.

Combine the potatoes, onion mixture, both eggs, the parsley, and mint. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cut the filo into strips about 12 by 3 inches. Keep the strips covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.

To assemble, brush a strip of filo with melted butter. Top it with another strip and brush it with butter. Place a tablespoon of the filling about 2 inches from the top of the strips and fold the top corner of the dough over the filling and to the opposite edge so that it looks like a triangle. Continue folding the dough like a flag until the entire strip is folded. Or place the filling at the top of the strips, tuck in the sides, and roll up into a cylinder. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling.

Deep fry the pastries, a few at a time, in peanut oil in a deep fryer heated to 350°F until golden. Or bake on baking sheets in a 375°F oven until puffed and golden, about 7 minutes. Serve hot.