About Tori Avey

Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...

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  1. Gem says

    5 stars
    Looks great! Kobete is eaten in Turkey but is not a Turkish dish but a Crimean Tatar one and it’s actually more traditional to serve it with meat than (chunks but also minced) chicken, yours looks exactly like my Tatar grandma’s 🙂

  2. Andrea says

    Hi I am planning to make this in a different shape. I want to roll it up like a log in the puff pastry and serve it along side a vegetarian pastry filled with butternut squash, goat cheese and mushrooms. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  3. Annette de Moya says

    5 stars
    Wow. This is an excellent version of the Galician Empanada (northern Spain-Empanada Gallega). My maternal grandmother is from Galicia Spain and we have been eating a very similar version of this dish all of our lives. Hats off to your husband’s family for passing on this gem from generation to generation. As a genealogy enthusiast myself this gives me double joy. We don’t necessarily use phyllo dough, it can be made with bread dough, and the fillings can vary, and can be made ahead. In Cuba it is mostly made with a kind of shredded chicken Fricasé, but it can be made with any meat, including tuna or any kind of fish. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Lauren says

    5 stars
    I made this on the week end. It took me longer than I expected, but it was worth it, soooooo delicious!!! I served it with a homemade spicy tomato sauce, but it really didn’t need it. Also, I have frozen it cut into slices/portions. I gave a piece to a friend who said that it heated up from frozen well, probably best to thaw a bit first; try a bit of aluminum foil over the pastry in the oven, remove to crisp it up lastly.

  5. Paul S. says

    3 stars
    It’s missing something. More spice, maybe. I found it to be neutral in flavor. I used meatloaf mix ( beef, pork, veal). Didn’t have access to lamb. That’s the only substitution I made. It won’t go to waste. Maybe it’s supposed to taste the way it is. It was a lot of work to be disappointed. Oh well.

    • Tori Avey says

      Sorry to hear that Paul. The lamb adds a lot of flavor here. You can certainly up the spices if you felt it needed more punch. We don’t cook with pork or veal, so I can’t say if that’s what made the difference here. My family loves it exactly as written, and we love spice.

  6. Cheri Levy says

    Wow, I am really excited to try this! Tori – loving your site, loving your descriptions/ photos and the whole idea of blogging your food memories. Having one child who has Celiac’s Disease and another with Type 1 Diabetes – the foods that everyone can eat (and likes) becomes smaller every day! I am so excited about this because my children will eat Shepherd’s Pie and this filling is so similar and I have slowly been introducing more Mediterranean flavors to them. I plan to leave some of the filling outside for my daughter to add to rice since she can’t eat gluten – OR I may attempt using a Gluten free pastry dough for small borekas if feeling ambitious. This meal may be called Tori Saves Sukkos! Will keep you posted 🙂

    • Ashley at ToriAvey.com says

      Hi Charlene, Tori’s assistant Ashley here. This recipe is pretty hearty, so I think a nice green salad would pair well with it.

  7. Reuven says

    thanks for a lovely recipe .

    Here is one in return , its called Hatzilim me’maleh , and not a drop of cheese !


    2 big aubergines is enough for 5 to 6 portions ( depends on how greedy you are)
    500g mince beef or lamb
    2 onions
    4 cloves garlic
    3 eggs
    matzah meal
    oil for frying
    1 tin chopped tomatoes
    2 bay leaves
    chopped red pepper

    sweet papirka
    caraway seeds
    cardamom seeds/powder
    black pepper corns

    cut aubergines in 2 inch door step rounds and make a cut through the centre of each one almost through to the end which will open like a mouth. Think of the letter “E” ( you are slicing open the thick round through the centre almost to the end so that you can stuff it )

    mix mince meat with chopped onion and garlic
    season with salt and pepper
    open the mouth of each aubergine slice and stuff with a ball of meat so that the slice is gaping ( think of letter “V”) but dont break it in two.
    dip the assembly in seasoned beaten egg and roll in matzah meal
    briefly fry each aubergine/meat chunk in oil on all sides till browned

    making a sauce:

    fry chopped onion/garlic
    1 tbl sweet paprika
    1 tin plain chopped tomato in juice
    add yemeni spice mix (HAWAYIL)
    chopped red pepper
    2 bay leaf
    add 1 cup water
    simmer till reduced by more than half


    dont leave out any spices, they are all important flavours
    if you cant get any , rather dont make the recipe !

    2 teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns
    2 tsp cumin ground
    1 1/2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
    1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads
    1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
    1 teaspoon of turmeric

    add stuffed aubergines to a spacious casserole dish
    cover with sauce and add 1 cup water
    bake in very hot oven (200 deg C) for about 1 hour
    spoon over the juices

    be’teavon !

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