Saturday, October 30, 2010

Burikot - Hebrew for "great fried food"

Recently I went to Or Yehuda with my friends Ran and Ilana to have Burikot (plural for Burik or Burika), a traditional North African dish that is basically a filled triangle of fried dough. Ran had been telling me about this place for sometime, and we finally found the time to go try them.

The thin dough is filled with either a potato filling, that has the consistency of mashed potatoes, or an egg. The dough is then folded over the filling to make a triangle shape and then deep fried. The dough gets a great fried crisp, while the filling is cooked enough to heat it up without overcooking the filling. The potato has a great taste and consistency, while the egg is perfectly poached. My favorite version was the egg, which was cooked really nicely in mine. The Burik can be eaten on its own or made into a sandwich with hot pilpel chuma (or just chuma) sauce spread inside.

Our burikot being fried

A perfectly cooked egg burik

The dish is considered North Africa, specifically being attributed to Tunisia and Libya. I'll let the Tunisians and Libyans fight over who is the real originator of the Burik. The use of pilpel chuma would tend to lend credence to the Libyan claim. However, chuma is so similar to Tunisian Harissa, that its really difficult to say.

Our sandwich bread and chuma sauce waiting for the burikot

Stacks of burikot dough and chuma sauce

Or Yehuda has a bad reputation amongst many Israelis. It is a poor town, and it suffers from higher rates of crime and other societal ills than lets say...Northern Tel Aviv. However, Or Yehuda does have a strong representation from a variety of different ethnic groups. Jews from Georgia, North Africa, and Ethiopia, amongst others call Or Yehuda home and Burikot are only one of the culinary reasons worth visiting if you have the time.

Savor Israel

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