For the month of May, Rafeeda challenged us to bake some Arabic treats for Home Bakers Challenge. She gave us a choice of both sweet and savory bakes. When I first saw the list, I decided on baking the crunchy sesame seed cookies. But in the last minute changed my mind and picked a savory bake.
I am glad I decided to bake mushroom spinach cigars. These cigars would make a nice party hors d’oeuvre. I would not say these are the best I have tasted but these were indeed different and I liked munching the cigars.
The filling for the cigars is mushrooms & spinach. The recipe we were given called for allspice, coriander and cinnamon. I do not like too much cinnamon and hence substituted it with black pepper. I made half the filling with the spices mentioned above and the other half with coriander, black pepper, garam masala and green chilies. I liked the filling prepared with garam masala and green chilies. The recipe below is full recipe of the filling I liked, although I made 1/2 the recipe. In the notes section I mentioned the spices I used for the other filling. Just substitute the spices but the rest of the recipe is as given below.
Source: Australian Women’s Weekly – Middle Eastern
Total Time: 32 – 40 minutes
Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 – 15 minutes
Baking Time: 10 minutes
- 1 ½ tbsp. Oil
- 1 cup or 1 medium Onion Chopped
- 2-3 Green Chilies chopped
- ¼ tsp. Black Pepper Powder
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Garam Masala
- ½ tsp. Coriander Powder
- 1 tbsp. crushed Garlic or Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 10 z. or approx. 3 cup sliced Mushrooms (I sliced the mushrooms ½ – ¾” long slices)
- 6 oz. or 170 grams Spinach chopped 3 cups
- 2 tsp. Lemon Juice (I forgot to add it)
- 6 sheets of Filo Pastry Sheets (Each packet comes with two rolls of pasty sheets and each roll has 10 – 12 sheets. You will only need 6 sheets)
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- Thaw filo pastry sheets as per the instructions on the box, which is 2 hours at room temperature.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry onions and green chilies until onions begin to become translucent. Add garlic or ginger garlic paste and sauté until raw smell of ginger is gone. Add the spices and cook until spices are roasted. Sauteing onions and spices takes about 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and sauté uncovered until mushroom slices shrink in size and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add spinach, lemon juice if using, and cook until it wilts and liquid has evaporated. This would take about 3 minutes.
- Let the filling cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with an aluminum foil and butter it.
- To prevent filo sheets from drying out, cover the sheets with parchment and then with a damp kitchen towel.
- Line a cutting board with parchment or wax paper and place three sheets of filo sheets together, brushing each sheet with some butter. Cut the layered sheets into 8 rectangles. Place about 1 – 1 ½ tbsp. of mushroom filling along the shorted end, width of the rectangle. Roll the sheet over the filling and roll it up. Sides can be folded in while rolling but I did not do that. Make remaining cigars in the same way. I cut the other stack of 3 filo sheets into 12 squares but I liked the cigars that were rolled up with rectangles (sheets cut into 8 rectangles).
- Place the cigars on lined baking sheets and brush the cigars with butter and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until baked. Temperatures vary from oven to oven and make sure cigars are baked.
- Spring roll sheets can be used instead of filo pastry sheets.
- For a different flavor try these spices ½ tsp. black pepper powder, ½ allspice powder and ½ tsp. coriander powder instead of green chilies, garam masala, pepper powder and coriander powder.
- I used layered 3 sheets as the recipe called for but felt I could have added one more sheet.