Flija: An Albanian Alternative to Pancakes - Into Albania

Flija: An Albanian Alternative to Pancakes

This pancake-like food is served along sweet or savory food, equally complementing both types and satisfying all tastes.   

Flija may be a lesser-known type of byrek (i.e. the famous Albanian flaky pie made with various fillings and phyllo-dough crust) but those who have tasted it know how simply wonderful it is. In fact, the wintery food most resembles a layered pancake. A typical food of the mountainous regions, both in the north and south of the country, flija was, once upon a time, cooked in large copper pans called saç, heated by the embers of a fire, a cooking method that lends flija that grilled and toasty delicious flavor. However, below we have an equally delicious recipe that you can make right at home. Try them for yourself!


1.2-1.4 kg flour

2 Liters water

1-2 Tbsp salt

250 g butter

200-300 g sunflower oil

500 g yogurt

Cooking Directions

Pour the water and flour in a large container. Add a tablespoon of salt. Begin mixing the basic ingredients until you get a thin and uniform dough. Its consistency should be thicker than milk but not solid to the touch. Setting the thin dough aside for a few minutes, spread butter evenly in an oven dish and put in the oven to heat. Note: Throughout the cooking time of this recipe, the oven must remain heated at 220 degrees. While the oven dish is heating in the oven, pour the sunflower oil and yogurt in a separate smaller bowl and mix them well. Take the oven dish out of the oven and, using a ladle, pour the dough in even stripes, leaving space between them. Place the oven dish back in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Take the oven dish out of the oven again and place more dough strips in the empty spots, in between the other strips. Place the oven dish in the oven for another 4-5 minutes and, when you remove it, moisten the strips with the yogurt and oil mix using a small kitchen brush. Continue in this manner, layer by layer. Put the dough in strips, place in the oven, remove from the oven and moisten each layer with yogurt and oil. This process will continue until the dough is finished completely. If there is leftover yogurt and oil, you can spread it evenly over the entire surface and place in the oven for the last 4-5 minutes. Flija is now ready and can be served immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Flija is wonderfully complemented by goat or sheep’s cheese, fresh yogurt, honey, and fresh plum or quince jams.

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