Cigar Pastries with Feta

Sigara Böreği


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

Filo pastry – yufka, in Turkish – has been known to the Turks for centuries, and is still made across Anatolia by housewives wielding three-foot rolling pins, oklava. To replicate their effort would be a counsel of perfection: easier to use commercial filo pastry.

Simple to make, impressive, and utterly delicious, these cigar pastries are perfect Ottoman finger food, good for meze and parties. Just don’t expect them to last long once they’ve been served.


  • feta cheese 200 g/8 oz
  • egg 1
  • parsley, mint and dill a big bunch, chopped fine
  • filo pastry 5 sheets
  • olive oil 3 tbsp


  • Crumble the feta into a bowl and mash it with a fork, then add the egg and the chopped herbs and mix well.
  • Stack five sheets of filo on a board and slice them through to make ten five inch strips. Keep a damp tea towel handy to pop over the filo so it won’t dry out.
  • Lay a strip on the board, running away from you lengthways. Put a teaspoonful of mixture on the near end, and roll it up. Halfway along, turn in the sides to tuck the ends in. Roll it up until about an inch from the end of the sheet, which you should wet with a brush. That seals the filo and keeps it rolled.
  • As you finish them, put the cigars in a dish under another damp tea towel.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot, fry half the cigars for about five minutes, turning now and then to brown them all over. Remove them to a dish covered in kitchen paper to drain the oil, and fry the other half.
  • Eat them straight away. You can make different stuffings, with baked aubergine or some roasted pumpkin mashed with feta and dill, for instance, or spicy lamb mince.