Vegetarian Pasty Recipe (Julleh)

Vegetarian Pasty Recipe (Julleh)

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Today we’re talking pasties! No, not that kind of pasties, I’m referring to my Vegetarian Pasty Recipe. I survived on traditional savory pastry when I visited the U.K.

They are commonly filled with meat, potatoes, carrots, and a rich gravy. Pasties originated in the U.K. Incidentally, the tastiest pasty I had while on that trip was in a small pub called The White Hart in Wales.

Guess what? Assyrians make pasties too! We call them “Julleh.” In Mom’s Authentic Assyrian Recipes cookbook, I refer to them as “Julleh’t Soma,” which means “Pasties for Fasting.” You see, Assyrians mainly make this Vegetarian Pasty Recipe when observing religious fasts. But you can have these tasty pasties anytime. Not only that, but you can even sneak a little cheese into them!

vegetarian pasty

The Story Behind This Recipe

In 2008, I was collecting recipes for my cookbook, which was published later that year. During that time, Aunt Alice (mom’s sister) came to San Diego for a visit.

Mom just happened to be fasting from meat and dairy at the time (which was leading up to Easter). Aunt Alice brought mom some of these Vegetarian Pasties that she had baked back in Chicago. She ensured mom that they were ok to eat while fasting.

A few days later, I asked aunt Alice for the recipe. Aunt Alice began listing the ingredients: Flour, eggs, milk, butter… obviously forgetting that she had told my mom they were ok to eat while fasting.

Mom was beside herself! The two began to argue (as sisters tend to do). But when they rgued, it was quite entertaining. They had a very special bond. Needless to say, I didn’t get the recipe. However, I ensured mom that I would come up with a vegetarian pasty recipe that she could enjoy while fasting. This recipe is the result!

An Assyrian Tradition

One of the many things I miss about my mom is the stories that she shared while we cooked together. For example, the story behind this Julleh recipe.

Many Assyrians fast from certain foods (usually meat and dairy) for the fifty days leading up to Easter. On the 25th day of the fast, Julleh are prepared. A small wooden cross is hidden in one of them. The family member whose portion contains the cross receives a special gift.

Bean and Cheese Pasty

What started off as a vegetarian recipe for my mom to enjoy while fasting, morphed into a bean and cheese pasty. Over the years, I found myself sliding a slice of cheese into the individual slices before reheating them. I even ate them with hot sauce (gasp)! I guess I was creating an Assyrian-style bean and cheese burrito, but, way healthier!

I could just picture my mom shaking her head in disapproval. She did not like it when I altered traditional recipes. These days I add shredded cheese prior to baking them. If you want to try them with cheese, just sprinkle some shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese over the bean mixture prior to folding the dough and crimping the edges. Then bake as usual.

bean and cheese pasty
Although you’ll never find Julleh with cheese, this is me thinking outside the box again. I even included some diced jalapenos (I just can’t help myself)! Obviously, you will want to leave out the cheese if you’re fasting.. don’t be like Aunt Alice! ?
a slice of bean and cheese pasty on on a white plate

Vegetarian Pasty Recipe Instructions

Dough

  • Pour water, honey, and yeast into a mixing bowl and mix until the yeast dissolves. 
yeast in warm water in a silver mixing bowl.
  • Mix in 1 cup of all-purpose flour, using an electric mixer. 
  • Mix in the remaining flour, including the whole wheat flour and salt. 
  • Add olive oil and mix until the dough is soft and smooth. 
pasty dough in a bowl
  • Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm location for one hour. After the hour has elapsed, punch down the dough to deflate.  Allow the dough to rest, covered, for two additional hours.
risen dough in a bowl with a checkered light blue towel

Filling

  • Add roughly chopped onion and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until the onion is minced.
  • Add walnuts, and process until finely chopped. 
  • Drain the kidney and garbanzo beans. Reserve some of the kidney beans liquid. 
  • Add 1/2 can of kidney beans and 1/2 can of chickpeas to the food processor. Pulse for a few seconds.
foodprocessor with kidney and garbanzo beans.
  • Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can either leave the filling a little chunky or blend until smooth, whichever you prefer.
julleh/pasty ingredients in a food processor on a counter.
blended pasty filling ingredients in a food processor on a counter.
I prefer to leave the filling slightly chunky, but you can blend until smoother, if you prefer.

Assembly

  • When the dough is ready, separate into three portions.  Roll each portion into a 10″ to 12″ circle on a floured surface. 
  • Spread 1/3 of the filling over half of each circle, leaving 3/4″ area around the edges uncovered. 
unbaked pasty with bean mixture
  • Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Pinch or braid the edges of each pasty.
pasty folder in half on the counter
  • Transfer pasties to a greased baking sheet. You can bake two at a time, or place one ono each pan. Using a fork, poke holes in the tops of the pasties. Brush the tops with the reserved kidney beans liquid, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
vegetarian pasties recipe
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly before slicing.
vegetarian pasties recipe

My Vegetarian Pasty Recipe yields three large Pasties. I slice each one into four pieces and wrap and freeze them individually. These individual portions make a great quick lunch or snack. They can be either microwaved or reheated in a toaster oven.

You may also like the following vegetarian recipes: Dill Dip for Veggies, Ginger Pumpkin Soup, Homemade Granola Mix, Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad, and Healthy Bulgur Pilaf.

Do you Pinterest? Please pin & share!

julleh vegetarian pastry recipe pin
5 from 2 votes
Vegetarian Pasty Recipe
Vegetarian Pasty Recipe (Julleh)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Proofing
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 50 mins
 

Savory Bean Pies Perfect for a quick filling snack, or serve as a meal!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Assyrian
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 318 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Filling
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1/2 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Misc.
  • 1 T. sesame seeds
  • 1 T. butter (to grease the pan)
Instructions
Dough
  1. Pour water, honey and yeast into a mixing bowl and mix until the yeast dissolves. 

  2. Mix in 1 cup of all purpose flour, using an electric mixer. 

  3. Mix in the remaining flour, including the whole wheat flour and salt. 

  4. Add olive oil and mix until the dough is soft and smooth. 

  5. Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm location for one hour. After the hour has elapsed, punch down the dough to deflate.  Allow the dough to rest, covered, for two additional hours.

Filling
  1. Add roughly chopped onion and garlic into the food processor. Pulse until finely minced.

  2. Add walnuts, and process until finely chopped. 

  3. Drain the kidney beans and chickpeas. Reserve the kidney beans liquid. 

  4. Add 1/2 can kidney and 1/2 can garbanzo beans to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds.

  5. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can either leave the filling a little chunky or blend until very smooth, whichever you prefer.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    Assembly
    1. When the dough is ready, separate into three portions.  Roll each portion into a 10"-12″ circle on a floured surface. 

    2. Spread 1/3 of the filling over half of each circle, leaving 3/4" area around the edges uncovered. 

    3. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Pinch or braid the edges of each pasty.

    4. Transfer pasties to a greased baking sheet. You can bake two at a time, or place one on each pan. Using a fork, poke holes in the tops of the pasties. Brush the tops with the reserved kidney beans liquid, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

    5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly before slicing

    Nutrition Facts
    Vegetarian Pasty Recipe (Julleh)
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 318 Calories from Fat 135
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 15g23%
    Saturated Fat 2g13%
    Carbohydrates 35g12%
    Fiber 4g17%
    Sugar 2g2%
    Protein 9g18%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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