Saturday, 24 October 2015

Globecooking recipe : Bastilla (Morocco)

Bastilla or pastilla is a filo pastry pie, traditionally made with pigeon, but I used turkey instead. My inspiration for this dish came from the fabulous Not Quite Nigella blog so make sure you head over there first, to check out her recipe using a whole chicken and a step-by-step video made with her Girl Next Door, whose pleating puts mine to shame ! Funnily enough, just as I was arranging all the ingredients I needed, the postie dropped off this month's Kitchen Trotter box which has a Moroccan theme - very serendipitous because I used some of the spices from that for my Bastilla !


ingredients :

a good glug of olive oil
1 large clove garlic
3 onions
1 cupful of fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil but coriander would be more authentic - mint would work well too)
4 turkey fillets, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp each of ras el hanout, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, salt, coriander, chermoula (or similar, depending on what you have in your spice rack)
4tbsp sugar
3tbsp orange blossom water
a pack of filo pastry
ground almonds
honey and cinnamon to serve (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions and garlic.

Finely chop oodles of fresh herbs.

Collect up all of your Arabian-themed spices - I used chermoula, ras el hanout, cinnamon, ginger and coriander, as well as salt and black pepper. 

Toss all the dried and fresh herbs and spices in with the onions.

Add the finely diced turkey breast and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and cooked through, then add enough chicken stock or water to just cover the meat. I added a paprika Knorr stock pot for good measure. Taste and add extra spices if required.

I love the fact that this recipe uses a product that I have had lurking in my cupboard, unopened, for months - orange blossom water. It has a lovely, slightly bitter, orange flavour and I'll be experimenting with this in sweet and savoury dishes now.

Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has almost all absorbed then add the orange blossom water and sugar and cook, stirring, until the remaining sauce goes syrupy. Turn off the heat and leave to go cold.

Pile three sheets of filo pastry on top of each other. Place a dollop of meat mixture in the middle of the first sheet, top with a tablespoon of ground almonds.

Fold in the filo and pleat all round. It's actually easier than I expected.

Add another dollop of meat on top, pile on some more ground almonds, then repeat the pleating with the second, then the third sheet of filo.

Flip them over and put them on a baking sheet. Brush with a little oil.

Bake at 180° for about 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

They're beautifully sweet and spicy, juicy and crispy - a real explosion of tastes and textures in your mouth. Traditionally they should be drizzled with honey and cinnamon when you serve them but I didn't want to add too much sweetness.

*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***

If you want some more Moroccan treats, how about trying Briouates stuffed with Spinach & MeatChakchoukaChicken with Olives & Preserved Lemons or Kefta Meatball Tagine?

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  1. That looks fabulous Cheryl!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the recipe. It's a keeper isn't it! :) And what lucky timing with the spices too! :D

    1. Definitely worth trying with other flavour combinations - thanks so much for sharing it on your blog:)

  2. This recipe is something different and looks very good.

  3. Love the look of this, will have to give it a try

  4. I have never heard of ras el hanout or chermoula? are they names for spices I might know ,or do they sell these in the supermarkets?

    1. They're both typical Moroccan spice blends - you should be able to find them in the supermarket or else just mix together whatever you have - paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, etc

  5. Yummy! Please do add my badge. Thanks for linking x

    1. The badge is there at the bottom of the post ?