Tabak borek

 This is Tabak Borek, our favorite traditional Tatar dish.  These are very small dumplings made of a simple dough (flour, egg, water and salt),  filled with ground meat (beef and lamb) and onion. They are boiled in water, drained, and then topped with sizzling butter, red pepper flakes and garlic yogurt. It takes a long time to make but is so worth it.

This is a recipe for a small batch, as I make it for me and my hubby.

Prepare the filling:


half pound minced lamb
half pound minced beef
one small or half large onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Mix everything with a fork, without overworking it.

The dough


3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water


Sift the flour and salt, form a mound and make a hole in the middle. In a bowl lightly beat the eggs, water and olive oil. 
Pour the mixture in the flour, and using your hands mix and work the dough. The dough should come together and feel supple and elastic, and a little soft. Add little more flour if needed. 
Using a rolling pin or even an Italian pasta machine roll out the dough very thin, not as much as an yufka though. 
Fold the dough and cut in 1 1.5 inch strips, then place the strips one on top of other and cut it in 1 1.5 inch squares. 
Keep the dough squares covered with a damp towel, as the dough will dry fast otherwise, and you need to maintain it elastic.

Place a little of the filling , as much as a nickel, in the center of each dough square. Fold the dough in half, diagonally. Pick up the triangle, and turn it around your finger, in order to get the two long corners on top of another, then straighten it, to look like a tiny hat or "ear, as shown in the photo below.
It takes a little practice, but practice makes perfect!
I will do my best to add some photos as a guide for this traditional method. It is very time consuming, and usually this dish is prepared by more family members, for example me, my mom and sister would do this together. Of course if you want to make just a batch, it is not so hard, and does not take more then an hour total. 

Put a large pot with water to boil. When you are done with all the tabak borek, dump them in the boiling water, and let boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain and place on the serving dish.

In a small sauce pan melt half stick of butter, and get it sizzling hot. Pour immediately over the tabak borek. Sprinkle over some crushed red pepper.

Traditionally we serve tabak borek hot with cold yogurt on top. You can also add minced garlic to the yogurt, as many Tatars, including me, prefer.

Ash bolsin!

1 comment:

  1. this is mouthwatering! we have a similar dish in Jordan we call it Shushbarak extremely delicious and cooked in a Jordanian yogurt sauce, i will post about it as soon as possible on my blog.