Potato Börek Swirls (Patatesli Gül Böreği)
These Börek swirls are stuffed with spicy potatoes and baked until beautifully golden and crisp. These classic Turkish Börek Swirls are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They taste just a delicious cold, so they’re great for packed lunches and picnics.
Potato Börek has always been a firm favourite of mine, and it’s something I used to enjoy ordering at Turkish bakeries before I went vegan. Unfortunately, most of the Börek pastries that are sold in restaurants and bakeries contain yoghurt and egg, so I created a vegan version to satisfy my Börek craving, and I can confirm it tastes just as good, if not better.
What is Börek?
What distinguishes Börek from many other savoury pastries is that it is made from a dough called ‘yufka’. The dough is rolled out to create thin sheets and then cooked for a few seconds so that it is easier to preserve. Yufka and filo pastry look similar, however filo pastry tends to be a little thinner, so when making any kind of Börek recipe, I’d suggest you use double layers of the filo pastry to create the same thickness as yufka.
Where to buy Yufka
In Turkey, this type of dough is incredibly easy to find as it’s sold in almost every supermarket. Outside of Turkey you’ll be able to find it in any Turkish or middle eastern supermarket, or you can purchase it online as they’re sold in airtight packages and have a long shelf life. If you’re unable to find yufka, filo pastry will do, just make sure to use double layers.
How to serve Potato Börek Swirls
Börek can be eaten at any time and any occasion. If you’re serving them for breakfast, I’d suggest serving them with a simple side salad made with cucumber, tomato and olives, and of course, a warm glass of Turkish tea. If you’re serving them for lunch or dinner, you can serve them as a side dish with other dishes such as soups or stews. They’re also perfect for a packed lunch as they taste just as delicious cold.
I’ve used a combination of Aleppo chilli flakes, garlic, parsley and dill to flavour the potato filling, but you can get creative and add additional spices such as smoked paprika or cumin, which will give the filling an earthier taste. Another favourite of mine is zucchini Börek, so why not give that a try too!
Ingredients for the Potato Börek Swirls
Olive oil: A bit of olive oil will help to bind the ingredients in the filling. For extra depth of flavour, use extra virgin olive oil.
Onion: You’ll find that most savoury Turkish recipes call for onion. The addition of sautéed onions adds delicious flavour to almost any dish!
Aleppo chilli flakes: The Aleppo chilli flakes add a slow-building heat and a delicious earthy, fruity taste to the dish. You could use different types of chilli flakes, but bear in mind that different types of chilli will have different levels of heat, so make sure to add it accordingly.
Tomato Puree: You could leave the tomato puree out, but I find it adds a bit of acidity with balances out the creaminess of the potatoes
Garlic: A few teaspoons of garlic granules will add a delicious savouriness to the filling. Make sure to use garlic granules or powder rather than fresh garlic, as fresh garlic will be too overpowering in the filling.
Parsley and Dill: A bit of fresh parsley and dill will add a pop of colour and a lovely, fresh flavour to the Potato Börek filling. If you don’t have any fresh parsley and dill, you can use 1 teaspoon each of dried dill and parsley instead.
Potato: Use Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes for an extra creamy filling
Salt and pepper: A bit of salt and pepper will help to season the filling.
Yufka: Yufka and filo pastry look similar, however filo pastry tends to be a little thinner, so when making any kind of Börek recipe, I’d suggest you use double layers of the filo pastry.
Vegan yoghurt : Make sure to use a Greek-style vegan yoghurt as it has a more savoury taste when compared to regular yoghurt. For this recipe I used the Alpro Greek-style vegan yoghurt.
Plant-base milk: I’ve used almond milk for this recipe, but any unsweetened plant-based milk will do.
How to make Potato Börek Swirls
Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Add the prepared potatoes into a pot of salted water, and boil on a medium heat for around 20 minutes, or until soft; you should be able to mash the potatoes with the back of a fork. Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
Add a little olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onions for 7 minutes, over a medium heat, until they’re golden brown. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute. Add the cooked onion mixture to the pot of drained boiled potatoes along with the garlic granules, Aleppo chilli flakes, vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper, parsley and dill. Mash the ingredients until just combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the oil, vegan yogurt, almond milk, salt, and pepper.
Lay 2-3 pieces of the yufka or filo sheets to create an 18-20 inch width, then brush the yufka sheets with the yogurt and milk mixture. Bushing the yufka or filo sheets with this liquid mixture will give them more flexibility and will make them easier to work with.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of the filling and spread out in a horizontal line. Carefully roll into a sausage shape and then into a swirl. You may find that you get a few tears, but don’t worry as you can cover them up with pieces of leftover pastry. Repeat these steps until all the pastry and filling is used up.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas Mark 5). Brush the Börek swirls with the remaining yogurt and milk mixture, then sprinkle sesame and nigella seeds on top of each one. line a baking tray with parchment paper and carefully place the Börek swirls on the tray. Bake for about 1 hour until golden brown.
How to Store and Reheat
Store the leftover Potato Börek in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply place in the microwave for 30 seconds or bake for 15-20 minutes in a 180C preheated oven. To freeze the Potato Börek, wait until they’ve cooled down completely, then place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to a month. To reheat, remove the Potato Börek from the freezer and allow them to thaw, once they’ve defrosted, bake them in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or in a microwave oven for 1 minute.
Notes and Tips
This Börek recipe is great for preparing in advance as they can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
Most pastries tastes best fresh, but Potato Börek tastes just as delicious the next day.
If you're using filo pastry instead of yufka to make this Börek recipe, I’d suggest you use double layers of the filo pastry to create the same thickness as yufka pastry.
Be careful when handling the unbaked Potato Börek Swirls as they can easily break apart.