Your cart is empty
Shop products

Shared by Ron Levy-Arie

Handrajo (Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Pastry)

Yield: 16 servingsTime: 1H

Handrajo (Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Pastry)

Yield: 16 servingsTime: 1H

Family Journey

Plovdiv, BulgariaTel Aviv and Izmir, Turkey
Tel Aviv

This recipe was shared by Ron Levy-Arie. Read more about his family in "The Bulgarian Grandmother With the Golden Touch" and try his recipes for chushki burek (Bulgarian roasted peppers stuffed with cheese), dunce pie (egg and cheese casserole), and almodrote (roasted eggplant and kashkaval pie).

The puff pastry should be moved to the fridge the night before you plan to use it in the morning, or on the morning of the day when planning to use it in the evening. The filling is better made a few hours or a day before, so it has plenty of time to cool.


  • ¼ cup neutral oil (like sunflower, grapeseed, or canola)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplant (~1 ¼ lbs.), peeled, washed in water (to absorb less oil), cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 medium onions (~¾ lbs.), finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes (1 lb.), halved and grated on a box grater, peels discarded
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 packages puff pastry (28 oz.), preferably butter based, thawed in the fridge overnight
  • 1 egg, whisked
SidesVegetarianDairyEastern Europe


  • Step 1

    Heat the neutral oil and olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat.

  • Step 2

    Add the eggplant cubes and garlic to the pan in an even layer, sprinkle with a ½ teaspoon of the salt, and sauté undisturbed for 5 minutes, until the eggplant starts to brown.

  • Step 3

    Add the onion and stir to combine. Cover with a lid, lowering the heat to medium, and let cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

  • Step 4

    Remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes until all liquid has evaporated.

  • Step 5

    Add the grated tomatoes, sugar, paprika, pepper and the rest of the salt, and mix well. Keep cooking for 5 more minutes, mixing from time to time and breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is even and melded together. Taste and add more salt if needed. Remove from heat, discard the garlic clove and let cool completely before filling the dough (you can place it in the fridge or prepare in advance and let it cool overnight).

  • Step 6

    When ready to bake the pastry, preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Step 7

    Spread the puff pastry sheets on a clean work surface, and cut each sheet in half lengthwise (you should end up with 4 rectangles of about 10x7” or similar). Divide the filling between the 4 pieces (about ¾ cup each), spreading it on one half of the length of each rectangle, leaving about an inch of rim around it. Fold the other half of the dough over top of the filling, bringing the edges of the rectangle together. Using a fork, press down along each edge of the rectangle to seal the pastry together. Carefully move each pastry to the prepared baking sheet and brush with the beaten egg.

  • Step 8

    Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until well browned and crisped.

  • Step 9

    Cut into individual portions on the diagonal, and serve. It doesn’t need to be served with anything, but in Turkey there would always be amazingly rich yogurt on the table. You can’t get it in Israel, so in Hilda’s home there was always old-fashioned sour cream and that’s how Ron serves it too.