Handrajo (Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Pastry)

Ron Levy-Arie

1 hour 45 minutes + thawing

16 servings

Puff pastry filled with eggplant on a blue and white plate

Photo by Noah Fecks

Photo by Noah Fecks

These crispy logs of puff pastry filled with eggplant, onions, and tomatoes take their name from an usual place — the Ladino word for a rag. “It’s a kind of nasty name for a dish,” DJ and chef Ron Levy-Arie jokes. Names aside, the pastry is a welcome addition to weekend brunch spreads and Shavuot tables alike.

Read about Ron Levy-Arie and his family’s history on the Jewish Food Society archive and find more Shavuot recipes here.


  • ¼ cup neutral oil 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplant (1 ¼ pounds), peeled, washed in water, and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes (1 pound), halved and grated on a box grater, peels discarded
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 14-ounce packages puff pastry, preferably butter based, thawed in the fridge overnight
  • 1 egg, whisked


  1. Heat the neutral oil and olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat.
  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.
  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.
  4. Remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes until all liquid has evaporated.
  5. Add the grated tomatoes, sugar, paprika, pepper, and the remaining 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 it in advance and let it cool overnight).
  6. When ready to bake the pastry, preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  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 10 x 7 inches). Divide the filling evenly 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.
  8. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until well browned and crisp.
  9. Cut into individual portions on the diagonal, and serve.

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