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Burbara Phyllo Shells (Fruit and Wheat Dessert)

Total Time: 9 HR Makes: 30
Prep Time: 15 MIN Cook Time: 45 MIN Additional Time: 8 HR

Burbara, a traditional porridge recipe from the Middle East and North Africa, is a wonderful blend of spices, dried fruit and wheat. Served in phyllo shells, it becomes a unique, perfect bite size dessert with a phyllo crunch.

  • 1 cup shelled wheat or wheat berries
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried prunes, chopped
  • 2 packages (15 count, each) Athens® Phyllo Shells
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped (optional topping)
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted (optional topping)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (optional topping)


Soak wheat in 2 cups of water overnight. Rinse well and drain.

In a large pot, boil 3 cups water, wheat, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Maintain a low boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ground cinnamon, fennel, sugar and fruit. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until wheat becomes tender, stirring often. You may need to add a little additional water while cooking. Wheat naturally will be a little chewy. Once wheat is tender and most liquid is absorbed, remove from heat.

Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and star anise. Spoon filling into phyllo shells. Serve with toppings such as ground or chopped nuts, seeds and pomegranate arils. Serve immediately as best served warm.


Serving size: 1 shell (30g), Amount per serving: Calories 35, Total Fat – 1g, Saturated fat – 0g, Trans Fat – 0g, Cholesterol – 0 mg, Sodium – 10 mg, Dietary Fiber – 1g, Total Carbohydrate – 2g Sugars – 3g, Protein –1g, Vitamin D – 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 0%, Potassium – 0%

  • For added crispness, preheat oven to 350°F. Place empty shells on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes.
  • Other dried fruits may be substituted.