Recipe: Syrian Borak Zaitoon (Pepper & Olive Pot Pies)

Written by
Mike Prins
Published on
May 10, 2016 at 4:14:00 PM PDT May 10, 2016 at 4:14:00 PM PDTth, May 10, 2016 at 4:14:00 PM PDT

Do you have new Syrian neighbours? Perhaps your neighbourhood or church is welcoming a resettled family into your community. Even an attempt at food that tastes like home can go a long way. Here’s an authentic appetizer that is easy to prepare to help you say ‘Welcome!’ to a Syrian family that is new to your area.


Ajeen Dough:
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup canola oil
• 2 tsp instant yeast
• 1 cup milk (warm)
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ lb green olives, pitted & chopped
• 2 red bell peppers (fresh, sun-dried, or marinated)
• 1 white onion (small)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp sumac spice (optional)
• chili pepper to taste
• black pepper to taste; no salt (the olives are salty enough)


1. To prepare the dough mix the flour, yeast, and salt. Add oil and knead, then gradually add warm milk and knead until smooth. Cover dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for one hour.

2. While the dough is rising you can start preparing the filling. Start by cutting the onions, peppers, and olives. Add all three to a heated pan with olive oil and saute for 5 (or so) minutes.

3. Once dough has finished rising, lightly knead it, then gently pull off small amounts of dough and roll into balls that should be about the size of a golfball.

4. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls into oval patties.

4. Spoon a portion of the sauted filling onto the dough, after, fold up the dough at the side and pinch shut along the seam.

5. Pleace an inch apart on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes.

6. Serve warm, with whole green olives on the side and sahtain! (enjoy!).

*Special thanks to for this recipe. The site was started when its founder, Ghinwa, a native Syrian living in Iowa with a passion for Middle Eastern dishes, was unable to find good Syrian recipes online. Ghinwa’s site has become a resource for those welcoming Syrian refugee families into their communities. It compiles recipes, cooking tips, grocery lists, and even cultural tips and Arabic expressions — a fantastic source for authentic and easy-to-prepare Syrian dishes!