Have you already tried Pastillas? Pastillas are a traditional Moroccan dish that was spread with the arrival of Moroccan Jews to the Maghreb countries as well as Israel, France and North America. Moroccan Pastillas have a unique oriental flavour and a complex and rich taste that will blow your mind. In this dish sweet, salty and savoury flavours are combined and everything is coated with several layers of crunchy filo dough.
I fell so in love with this dish that I could eat it every day. Unfortunately, folding the packets with the filo dough is a bit more work, so I only make the dish on weekends. I got this recipe from the really great cookbook “Greenbook” by Tim Mälzer. I have already cooked a lot of recipes from the book and recommend it highly to you. To make the Moroccan Pastillas vegan, you only have to use vegan butter or magarine and make sure that the pasta doesn’t contain eggs. The filo dough is usually vegan anyway. You can find the super thin filo dough in big supermarkets or in Turkish or Arabic supermarkets sometimes under the name „Yufka“.
Pastillas means “small pastry”.
The name of the dish comes from the Spanish word “pastilla”, which means “small pastry”. Pastillas in Morocco often contain meat or fish as a filling and are usually served as a starter on special occasions.
As a substitute for the meat I filled the Moroccan Pastillas with paprika, noodles and dates. The filling is fried and spiced orientally with Harassa, a Moroccan spice paste of chili, garlic, cumin and coriander. Then I stacked several layers of filo pastry on top of each other and placed the filling on top. Then I folded the dough over the filling and fried the Pastilla briefly on both sides in a pan. This makes it so deliciously crispy!
When you cut and bite into the Moroccan pastillas, the layers peel off, similar to croissants.
In general you can mix any vegetable of your choice into the filling of your Moroccan Pastillas. Just take what you like best. The Pastillas also tastes great with courgettes, onions or broccoli. They taste best when they come fresh from the pan, but they are also a real treat when cold. You can also prepare them very well in advance. If you want to serve them as a starter, then make the Pastillas a little smaller. I ate them as a main course and mine were about 10-15cm large. This way you have a little less work with folding the filo dough.
And now have a lot of fun cooking and enjoying this delicous Moroccan threat.
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 80 g dried dates without stone
- 2 cloves garlic
- 10 g ginger
- 100 g thin spaghetti
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp Harissa
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 4 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 4 tBsp fresh mint
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 40 g vegan butter or margarine
- 8 filo dough sheets also called Yufka
- Cook the spagetti in boiling salted water until they are aldente. Meanwhile cut the bell peppers and dates into fine cubes. Peel ginger and garlic and grate finely.
- Drain the pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water. Put the vegan butter in the still warm pot and let it become soft.
- Cut the cooled pasta into pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and fry paprika, dates, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes.
- Add the pasta and season with harissa, cumin, turmeric, salt, cilantro and parsley. Flavour with lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Warm vegan butter until it liquifies. Brush one half of a Yufka dough sheet with liquid butter and fold it in the middle. Do the same with a second leaf and place it crosswise on the first leaf (so that a cross is formed). Do the whole thing 2 more times so that you have a total of 4 leaves (8 layers of dough) lying on top of each other in the middle.
- Place some of the paprika noodle filling in the middle of the dough and press flat. Then fold the corners so that the filling is completely enclosed. The simplest variation is a rectangular packet, but it can also be made into a round shape.
- For the other Pastillas follow the same steps.
- For each Pastilla, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the Pastillas individually on each side for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.
If you liked this recipe for Moroccan Pastilla you may also like one of these other Moroccan recipes:
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