Turkey Bstila

This crisp, golden, flaky, filo pie has long been a favourite of mine, and makes a lovely lunch or buffet dish. It is based on a Moroccan sweet and savoury pie. The amount of sugar and spices and fruit it contains might surprise you, but I urge you not to stint on these. Leftover turkey meat becomes a real treat prepared this way.


  • 5 eggs
  • ½ pt / 280 ml strong turkey stock
  • 4 oz / 110 g butter, melted
  • 18 sheets filo pastry
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 oz / 110 g flaked almonds, cooked in butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • lb / 680 g cooked turkey meat, off the bone
  • 4 oz / 110 g chopped dried fruits, e.g. apricots, etc.
  • 2 oz / 60 g pickled lemons, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • almonds, olives and mint, to garnish


Beat the eggs with the stock, and cook gently in a non-stick frying pan, almost as if you were making scrambled eggs, stirring continuously. When lightly set, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

Brush a shallow 10 × 8 in / 25.5 × 20.5 cm dish with melted butter. Brush two sheets of filo pastry with melted butter and fit into the dish with edges overlapping. Fit in four further sheets of pastry, cut to the size of the dish, and individually brushed with melted butter. Sprinkle on half the sugar, almonds and cinnamon. Pour the egg mixture over this, reserving 3 tablespoons. Lay six more sheets of pastry on top, trimmed to fit the dish and each one brushed with melted butter.

Cut the turkey into ½ in / 1cm.chunks. Mix it with the dried fruit, pickled lemons, if using, cardamom, cumin, coriander seeds and the rest of the sugar, almonds and cinnamon. Lay on top of the pastry. Spoon the remaining egg mixture over the top, and smooth over. Cut four more sheets of pastry to fit the dish, brush with melted butter, and lay over the filling. Fold over the overlapping pastry as neatly as possible, and fit the remaining two trimmed and buttered sheets on top. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for 40 minutes. Increase the temperature to 200°C / 400°F / Mark 6 for 10 minutes to cook to golden brown.

To serve, turn the bstila on to a serving platter, and garnish with almonds, olives and mint leaves. Serve hot or cold.