Banitsa (Banica or Banitza) is a traditional Bulgarian food. This dish can be eaten hot or cold, any time of the day, even for breakfast! Some people add spinach or pumpkin as well. I’ve tasted the spinach one and it was divine! However, this one will be only the plain version of Banitsa.
I tasted it years back and had not eaten since… Until recently! I have come across Banitsa recipe in a food magazine and couldn’t wait to try to make it myself! So here it is! This is my second attempt, the first one was pretty good but still I felt that it needed some improvement and so I have changed the recipe and made my own version. The Feta cheese is pretty salty so don’t be tempted putting too much filling into filo pastry sheets (My first attempt was a pretty salty one – I put way too much Feta cheese in! Well, to my defense: I was hungry!).
There are a few different ways how it can be done and I am sure Bulgarian women have their own way (and definitely a better way) of making this delicious dish but in general, they all are pretty simple and fast (if you are not using homemade filo sheets, that is)!
In many recipes the individual filo “snakes” are placed in an oven proof dish creating a large spiral. I rolled each filo “snake” into individual spirals and placed them in the dish. This way it was easier to serve. You simply take as many filo spirals as you like. I hope you will like it!
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Step 1: Ingredients:
40g Unsalted Butter (or vegetable oil)
150g Natural Greek Yogurt
200g Feta Cheese
1 medium-large egg
Filo Pastry sheets (6-7)
¼ Tea spoon Baking Soda
Makes: 4 portions
Step 2: Method:
Place the Feta cheese in a medium size bowl and crumble it using a fork.
Add the egg, Greek yogurt & baking soda and mix until all ingredients are well blended.
Prepare your oven proof dish (20 x 15 cm or any medium size round cake tin) by brushing it with melted butter (bottom and sides).
Place a clean textile kitchen towel on your working surface. Place one filo sheet onto the towel.
Brush the filo sheet with melted butter. Spoon dollops of feta mix onto the sheet (don’t put too much as Feta tend to be quite salty).
Once done, roll the Filo sheet into a sausage and then brush with butter again. Now roll again into forming a spiral shape. Roll it gently as the Filo sheets are quite fragile.
Place in oven proof dish & continue until the whole dish is full/or until you use up all Feta filling.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot or cold!