Ramadan recipe: Tunisian brik with shrimp

Throughout the holy month, 'The National' is teaming up with Table Tales to share daily recipes to experiment with at home

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 14, 2021. Ramadan Recipes by Nejat Hadriche. Tunisian brik in Arabic it is called fatma fingers. It is made by shrimp and tuna. Victor Besa/The National Section: lf Reporter: Hanan Sayed Worrell
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 14, 2021. Ramadan Recipes by Nejat Hadriche. Tunisian brik in Arabic it is called fatma fingers. It is made by shrimp and tuna. Victor Besa/The National Section: lf Reporter: Hanan Sayed Worrell

Join The National and Table Tales on a culinary journey around the Middle East to savour the quintessential dishes that embody the spirit of Ramadan. From table staples to family favourites, this series of recipes – one for each day of Ramadan – pays homage to the holy month and the home cook alike.

Much like the sambousa, a culinary cousin of India’s samosa and East Asia’s gyoza, popular Tunisian dish brik bears comparison to another Asian staple: the spring roll.

Tunisian brik is typically triangular, but I make mine tube-shaped, which are called asabe Fatima (Fatima’s fingers)

Najet Hadriche

Swapping Asian vegetables and spices for parsley, coriander, caraway, cinnamon and turmeric, with the option of chilli, these deep-fried pockets are typically stuffed with tuna, egg and onion. This recipe elevates the dish with the addition of shrimp.

It is also thought that the dish can be linked to bourek, originating in Ottoman kitchens.

“This dish is a must at a Tunisian Ramadan iftar table,” says recipe contributor Najet Hadriche. “Tunisian brik is typically triangular, but I make mine tube-shaped, which are called asabe Fatima (Fatima’s fingers).

“Back home, we make the brik with malsouka or warka, paper-thin wrappers which are not available in the UAE. I instead use Chinese egg roll or Filipino lumpia wrappers, which are thinner.”

Najet Hadriche's Tunisian brik with shrimp

Makes 20 to 25

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 potato, cut into small squares and boiled
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 500g shrimp (deshelled, cleaned and deveined), chopped medium
  • 100g tinned tuna, drained
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground caraway
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 packet small spring roll wrappers, frozen
  • Cooking oil for frying

Method:

  1. Place the onion, cooked potato and parsley in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a masher, until well combined.
  2. Add the shrimp and tuna to the potato mixture and combine. Sprinkle in all the spices, salt and pepper, and mix. Add the egg and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Take one sheet of the wrappers and place on a flat surface. Remember to cover the remaining sheets so they don’t dry out. Place a tablespoon of the filling diagonally in the centre of the wrapper, then fold one corner over the filling to cover. Roll it while folding in the edges, like a cigar. Seal the tip of the wrapper with a drop of water.
  4. Place the roll on a tray and repeat the process until all the filling is finished. Note: the brik rolls can be frozen at this stage and defrosted for 15 minutes before frying.
  5. When ready to serve, heat a frying pan with four to five centimetres of cooking oil over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, work in batches to fry the brik for five to six minutes, turning them halfway, until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Remove the cooked brik and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Continue frying the remaining brik.
  7. Place on a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges and eat immediately.

This dish has been brought to you by Najet Hadriche and curated by international recipe hunter Hanan Sayed Worrell, author of Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi. The Table Tales concept celebrates the people and stories that give flavour to recipes of the Middle East.

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Read more:

Ramadan recipes: daily dishes to try from the 'Table Tales' series

Ramadan recipe: Zeytinyagli enginar – Turkish-style stuffed artichoke with olive oil

Ramadan recipe: hasanpasa kofte – Turkish meatballs with potatoes, tomato sauce and vermicelli rice

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Published: May 5, 2021 03:06 PM

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