16 August 2011

Brik pastry - Malsouka ملسوقة

Here is a peculiarly Tunisian specialty called Brik (it is pronounced like the word "brick").  A Brik is a thin sheet of pastry folded over into a pocket usually served with a filling of an egg, parsley, tuna and capers.  This is then deep fried for a few minutes until the pastry becomes crisp and a lovely golden yellow colour.  There are of course other versions of Brik with different fillings such as with chicken or ground meat or prawns or with cheese but the most common of them all is the typical egg Brik.  A Brik is usually served as an entrée at the start of a meal.  It is acceptable to eat it with your fingers as in restaurants it is often accompanied with a small dish of water with a lemon in it to rinse your fingers in afterwards. 

The thin Brik pastry is known as "Malsouqa" in Tunisian Arabic and as "feuilles de brick" in FrenchIn markets home-made versions of it are sold in multiples of six or it can be bought ready made in the refrigerated aisles of a supermarket.  The pastry can best be likened to spring roll pastry in its thinness although perhaps Brik pastry is even thinner than that.   It tastes delicious and light and is a good way to start a meal.  Bon appétit!

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