Israel, United Arab Emirates – Kashkaval Potato Bourekas

by Adelina Aida

Bourekas is the puff pastry dish from Israeli cuisine. This is made by a pastry of phyllo dough. This is the triangular-shaped baked pastry, having the filling of different stuffing like any chicken, cheese, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc. This is the bakery item, cooked by using Filo dough to stuff the stuffing and baked it in the way. This is topped by adding some seeds like sesame, poppy, nigella seeds, etc. This is a savory snack but many varieties are formed like the sweeter version by adding sweetened coconuts, nuts, fruits, jams, etc. This snack all depends on the filling.

There are many alternative names for Bourekas :

  • Burekas
  • Bureka
  • Boureka
  • Borekas
  • Burekasim


The word boureka or borekita is the Judeo-Spanish word. This word borrowed the Turkish word, BUREK. Burek is a similar dish from Ottoman Empire, it is flaky pastry soft dough filled with stuff.

Judae-Spanish language is known to be the LANGUAGE OF FOOD. The food names explained in the “the last Judeo-Spanish remains

As the Turkish food writer said,

“Ladino is the borekitas of the granmama”

Names by regions are :

  • Judeo-Spanish, boreka
  • Ottoman Empire, börek
  • Turkish language, Bulema
  • Israeli Language, Bourekas

Bourekas is called as :

 ”the Israeli equivalent of Jewish-American bagel and cream cheese”


  • Turkish cuisine
  • Palestinian cuisine
  • Levantine cuisine
  • Israeli Cuisine
  • Middle Eastern cuisine
  • Arabic cuisine


burriche or burricche is the name of the dish from ancient Israeli cuisine. This dish is the HALF MOON SHAPED PASTRY. This was the ancient pastry cooked and baked from the old-time as the traditional dish from the bakery.

1478 to 1800 :

At the time of the Ottoman empire, the Sephardic Jews invented a dish by traditional empanadas and created bourekas.

1948 to till date :

The state of Israel’s independence in 1948. There were many dishes from Sephardi Jews adapted by Israeli cuisine. Boureka is now very popular and served with :

  • Israeli salad
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese


Israeli cuisine was influenced by the Mediterranean region. The transportation of food like fruits and vegetables, dairy products and fish makes the impression of other dishes and the use of ingredients in Israeli cuisine. New fruits and vegetables like Avocado and Oranges made them cook food by using these ingredients. This made the influences of new ingredients to Israel and consumed in their way.

The tradition of Israeli culinary started in 516 BCE. The Old Yishuv were lived in Ottoman Syria that began in 1881. At that time, they called that influenced cuisine Jerusalem Sephardi cuisine. After the Jewish immigration, new cooking styles were adapted by using local food, especially vegetables.

As Israeli culinary developed cooking styles of new fruits and vegetables. Chefs began to invent new dishes from new ingredients.


  • Salads
  • Appetizers
  • Soups
  • Dumplings
  • Grains
  • Pasta
  • Poultry
  • Baked dishes
  • Rugelach
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Egg dishes
  • Breads
  • Sandwiches
  • Confectionery food items
  • Sweets
  • Drinks


The traditional snack dish was made in a triangular shape. A triangular shape is very convenient to make and very easily formed. But now there are many different varieties of bourekan made. There is a small pastry known as PIZZA BOX. This is more like a small pastry square box filled with pizza stuffing.

“Turkish Bourekas” are small round-shaped bourekans made by adding any simple or basic fillings.

Now there are many different and beautiful shapes are made by using this Phyllo dough to make pastries, patties, etc.



Phyllo is the unraised dough used in many dishes. It is also known as unleavened dough because it is not raised by using any raising agent for the dough to fluff up. This is mostly used in Baklava and also in this snack, bourekans. Phyllo means thin and leave, flaky texture. This is also called “pleated or folded bread”. It was invented at the time of the Ottoman empire.

The dough is kneaded by adding ingredients like flour, egg, oil, and water. It is rolled up thin and folds are made by using butter and oil in each layer. The dough is stretched in by hands and using rolling pins. It needs to be super thin layers and flakiness in each layer is seen properly.

List of filo-based pastries

  • Baklava
  • Banitsa
  • Borek
  • Pastizz
  • Zelnik
  • Tiropita
  • Gibanica
  • Sapanakopita


It is a type of cheese made by using Cow’s milk or sheep’s milk. kashkaval is the cheese translated as “yellow cheese”. In Albania, this cheese is known as kaçkavall. This is a semi-solid cheese type usually yellow in color.

The people of Balkan called yellow cheese cașcaval, so the name KASHKAVAL is named after this name means SIMPLE CHEESE.

It is originated in :

  • Serbia
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria


Before baking, the phyllo dough is topped with some seeds :

  • Poppy seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Nigella seeds
  • Za’atar
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Pretzel salts, etc.


  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Haminados
  • Mah’buj
  • Bisbas
  • Tahini sauce
  • Israeli salad
  • Malawach
  • Tomato sauce
  • Israeli pickle


  • Shoko b’sakit
  • Sachlav
  • Zivana
  • Ice Café
  • Arak
  • Raki
  • Limonana


  • Phyllo dough sheets : 10
  • Potatoes : 3 medium sized
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Black pepper : 2 tbsp
  • Eggs : 1
  • Kashkaval cheese : 1 cup
  • Roasted Garlic cloves : 4
  • Olive oil : 2 tbsp
  • Parsely : 4 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds : 1 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds : 1 tbsp


  • To make filling we need to boil potatoes, in order to boil it soft add potatoes in the water and bring it to boil and add 1 tbsp of salt. It will help to peel of the skin easily.
  • Boil the potatoes until they are soft and preparefor further step

  • Now next step is to peel off the potatoes when they are at room temperature, mashed them completely into paste. Add the dry ingredients as pepper, salt to mix it well.
  • Add parsely and roasted garlic cloves into the potatoes for nice flavor and color.
  • Add 1 egg to the mashed potatoes for the soft consistency, add one more if required.
  • Take a sheet of phyllo pastry and add a spoonfull of mashed potatoes with another spoonfull of kashkaval cheese and make it a nice triangular shape.
  • Prepare as many as you want from this phyllo sheets and fillings.
  • From this filling, 10 to 12 bourekans are easily prepared.
  • Sprinkle the poppy seeds and sesame seeds on the top before baking.

  • Preheat the oven for 350 degree before and bake it for 20 minutes on 280 to 300 degrees
  • This amazing snacks are ready to serve.
  • Serve it with Israeli salads and crushed tomatoes.

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