“Borag (also spelled beorek, boreg or börek) is a popular staple in many Armenian and Middle Eastern households. Every Armenian family, bakery, and ladies church guild has its own recipe for these savory pastries that is often passed down for generations. “This egg-free, dairy-free Vegan Spinach Borag with Fillo is as pleasing as the traditional cheese version we all grew up with, but with a healthy twist,” says Dikranouhi “Dee” Kirazian, author of the essential Armenian Vegan cookbook that she published in 2013. “The number of people around the world cutting down on meat and dairy, or reducing these foods from their diets entirely, has been rising over the last decade, and this recipe offers a delicious option,” she adds.
Borag is thought to have originated in Central Asia, and is found in the cuisines of many countries, from Greece to parts of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is considered the Armenian version of the Greek tiropita and spanakopita, and is also part of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish traditions. Borag is made from thin, flaky dough known as fillo (phyllo) or yufka. It is often made in a large pan and cut into portions after baking (like this version), but many people and cultures make individual pastries, too. In Armenia, borag usually consists of dough folded into triangles and stuffed with cheese, spinach or ground beef, and the filling is typically spiced. A popular combination is spinach, feta, parsley, cottage cheese (or pot cheese), and a splash of anise-flavored liquor (such as raki).
1 1lb. package fillo dough pastry (28 sheets in total)
1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil for brushing the fillo and the baking dish
1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil for sautéing the vegetables