Filo Triangles with Indian-Style Beef

filobeefpAs a novice to the cooking adventures with filo pastry, I constantly look for new challenges involving this wonderful product. Since Katerina’s Spanakopita was my first – and definitely successful – experiment with this Greek pastry, naturally I turned once more to her blog (Culinary Flavors) to search for other ideas. When I found Little Chicken Triangles, I knew I found inspiration for a snack, though I already had a rather bold modification in mind…

The surprisingly easy process of making Spanakopita (my first experiment with phyllo/filo pastry) has emboldened me to consider filo/phyllo pastry in a broader spectrum. In fact, I have been preparing similarly shaped snacks with thin Tunisian brick pastry and spicy beef filling and decided to do the same filling, but with a Greek wrap instead. The result was largely superior. The filo pastry is unrivaled with its delicate crunchiness, flakiness and elegance. (Do not think these snacks are difficult to prepare! It’s my clumsiness and/or lack of patience that make them look so messy.) Thank you so much, Katerina, for one more inspiring idea!

I am unable to take step-by-step photos, so I invite you to visit Katerina’s Culinary Flavors and see her excellent folding explanations. Check also her original Little Chicken Triangles, browsing through her other inspiring recipes and do not miss her fascinating stories about Greek culture, cuisine and history.

TIPS: I always add spices at random and adjust them throughout the frying process, so treat the below amounts as approximate.

My snacks are bigger than Katerina’s original triangles. If you want to make them smaller, cut the pastry into four strips (instead of three) and put only one tablespoon of filling per triangle.

I have brushed the triangles only with oil, but you can do as Katerina advises, i.e. brush them with a beaten egg just before baking.

Preparation: about one hour


500 g (about 1 lb) ground beef

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 – 3 teaspoons of the mixture of powdered garlic, turmeric and chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander in powder


2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 x 250 g (about 1/2 lb) package filo pastry

Prepare the filling.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the fresh garlic and after 30 seconds, add the ground meat, the ginger and all the spices.

Stir-fry until the meat is well cooked.

Taste and adjust the spices or salt amounts if needed.

Let the filling cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (about 390°F).

Put one sheet of phyllo pastry on the counter.

Brush it slightly with oil.

Put another sheet at the top and cut thus obtained “double” sheet horizontally into three strips (depending on how big you want your triangles).

Place two heaped tablespoons of the filling and wrap it into several layers of pastry, folding each strip into a triangle (see Katerina’s step-by-step photos here).

Repeat until you run out of pastry.

Place the triangles on baking paper.

Brush each triangle with oil.

Bake until golden (about 15 minutes).


40 Replies to “Filo Triangles with Indian-Style Beef”

  1. The curried beef sounds like a great filling and I agree that doing the triangles (with their flag folds) isn’t too difficult to manage. The chicken filling on Culinary Flavors looks good too. I hope you get around to trying a sweet phyllo dish one day … the semolina pudding filling is really tasty and not TOO sweet with just a drizzle of honey syrup. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, A_Boleyn. Thank you for the advice; I already have a sweet phyllo experiment planned too 😉

  2. What an interesting idea for a filo filling. Actually is is a great idea of using Indian curry for the ground meat. You’ve got a beautiful bowl of treats right there. Have a lovely weekend, Sissi! 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot, Kiran. I love stuffed phyllo so much, I don’t mind having it even without a drink 😉

  3. Oh to be in a country where filo pastry is once more widely available! Did I mention that my local Auchan in France had it and then stopped selling it! Not the case in Sweden… I can find everything here, I can’t wait to get settled down a bit!

    These look really good Sissi – they remind me a little bit of the samosas I used to buy from a nearby Chinese takeaway in France – curried beef in the middle – so I can imagine the flavour well, although these definitely look healthier! The ones I bought were dripping with grease after being, presumably, deep-fried!

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. Baking these snacks makes them so much healthier indeed and filo pastry is so good, it doesn’t need to be soaked in oil. I am lucky enough and all of my usual French supermarkets (Carrefour) carry filo regularly. It is more difficult in Switzerland. Only certain shops sell it. I’m looking forward to reading about your settling process in Sweden!

  4. I have to admit that I’ve never worked with phyllo dough before. I love eating it and I have found a phyllo pastry filling I didn’t like. 🙂 Love the twist here with the curried ground beef! It reminds me of some Natchitoches meat pies from Louisiana that I love, but the pastry is much heavier. Hum…Natchitoches meat pies in phyllo dough. Now you’ve got me thinking Sissi! 🙂 These do look very yummy!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. The thinness of filo pastry makes it so elegant, healthy and quite guilt-free… You should try making these one day. I’m sure you would love their spiciness.

    1. Thank you so much, Gintare. They are a great idea for a party of course (unless you make them too hot for the palates of the guests… as I did once 😉 ).

  5. What a great idea Sissi; I usually make the traditional spanakopita I’m loving this unique change. I usually brush my pastry very lightly with oil, so I’m rather intrigued by the beaten egg, I’ll check out the link to see what it does to this delicate pastry. Now you’ve got me thinking about the variations of fillings! The dough is definitely a lighter and healthier version than traditional butter or yeast pastries.
    We’re visiting friends in Illinois for a few days and I hope to be back on track commenting soon. And I have some exciting news too.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. I have also brushed with oil, but the egg brushed ones have a more attractive colour. I hope you are having fun in Illinois! I’m looking forward to reading more about the exciting news!

  6. I loooove pasta fillo.. unfortunately it’s not so easy to find around here, but I have to find it! I’d love to taste something like this, but I also love it in sweet dishes, especially Arabic ones 😉

  7. Oh my! These Filo Triangles with Curried Beef are one of my favorite savory treats! I usually buy them….thanks for sharing the recipe. I can’t wait to make some in my own kitchen soon

    1. Hi, Amy. What a coincidence! I had no idea these were sold somewhere. They are so easy to prepare, I’m sure you will make them once and stop buying.

  8. I love finger food, and these are perfect…crispy layers of phyllo with tasty ground meat in it…perfect for parties.
    Thanks for the inspiration Sissi and have a wonderful week my dear 😀

  9. My dear Sissi I cannot thank you enough for your kind words! You always make me blush and this is something not many people succeed! Thank you, thank you and thank you for embracing my country’s kitchen with so much love and affection. Honestly I think you either have somehow Greek blood in your veins or you were Greek in a previous life! In any case I am so happy my recipes are an inspiration to you and I am truly honored you take the time to put in good use my kitchen doings. I think your triangles are beautiful and your idea to fill them with curried beef shows exactly how inspired you are. Fusing different kitchens is the best thing a cook can do for himself/herself and the family. If you were my neighbor, I would definitely ask, shamelessly, for a piece or two and I am sure, being so generous a person, you would have given me to try! Have a beautiful day my friend and thanks again!

    1. Dear Katerina, this is such a lovely, touching comment, I have already read it several times. Thank you for the kind, heartwarming words. I am so happy to have met you because I couldn’t imagine a better teacher of the Greek cuisine! I am glad you don’t disapprove of this bold fusion idea. As someone who hasn’t grown up with filo, I don’t have traditional habits in mind and will probably twist Greek recipes in many other recipes in the future. As long as you approve, I’m happy! If you were my neighbour, I would bring you the whole plate of these! Thank you once more for inspiration and constant encouragement. PS I hope to make some really nice looking, neat, equal triangles in the future. Then I will exchange the photo too. For now, I am still clumsy and messy, so they don’t look half as good as they taste 😉

  10. Hi Sissi, I was almos at a point of putting my blog on the ‘back burner’ for awhile! I had so much things going on in my life these few weeks…too many to mention!
    Love the tasty phyllo triangles! They are so easy to prepare, and fill with favorite meats or veggies! Love the pretty photo, and mostly the yummy recipe!

    1. Hi, Elisabeth. I hope the things you talk about were rather positive… and I also hope you have changed your mind. I sometimes also think about stopping my blog, especially when I’m very busy like now, but then I start missing it so much…
      Thank you for the compliments. I don’t think the photo is good, but it was very late and the triangles were really messy-looking (like always!).

  11. I love FIlo sheet because it’s thin, airy and crispy. It’s just right texture that I love! Yum… I can eat this non stop, if it’s served at a party. Very dangerous item that I can’t resist… 🙂

  12. I was admiring this beautiful recipe while away last week… I used to make something very similar years ago but it seems to have passed right out of my mind (you know how that can happen? you love a recipe and make it over and over again and then suddenly, almost unknowingly, it gets archived for a decade) — so happy to have this spruced up reminder. The ginger and cumin are great additions — it’s only breakfast time here but I’m licking my lips!

    1. Thank you, Kelly. I assure you these taste much better than they look 😉 I understand very well your experience. It happens to me all the time! Sometimes I like to look back at my oldest blog posts… then I find recipes I had been preparing for years and then forgot.

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