Celebrating Muslim Diversity: Recipes from Bosnian Muslims

Here is to celebrating the beautiful diversity of our Muslim ummah!

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Here is to celebrating the beautiful diversity of our Muslim ummah!

Commonly known as Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims are part of a South Slavic ethnic group and reside in not only the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in parts of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, and Kosovo to name a few. With a population of around 2 million, Bosnian Muslims have unfortunately a large diaspora community because of the horrific genocide of the Bosnian War from 1991 to 1995. Despite deep-rooted and generational trauma from such an atrocious tragedy, Bosnian Muslims remain proud of their colorful and unique heritage and culture.

As one of Europe’s largest ethnic Muslim groups, Bosniaks are an important reminder that Muslims have never been an “outside issue” to Europe. Islam, and the Muslims who settled, lived, and contributed to Europe, have for centuries been a part of what makes Europe so European. In celebration of their unique heritage, here are three favorite dishes from Bosnian Muslims:

Cevapi: A traditional Bosnian kebab dish, made of lamb and beef minced meat kebabs all served under warm pita bread called somun


  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound of minced lamb
  • 1 pound of minced beef
  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 1 Tbsp of sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bosnian somun flatbread


  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan
  • Once heated, add in the onions and cook until soft and caramelized, then add in the garlic
  • Once onions and garlic are cooked, take them out of the pan to cool
  • In a separate bowl, mix the minced lamb and beef together
  • Add in the onion-garlic mixture, egg white, sweet paprika, and salt/pepper to the lamb and beef bowl. Make sure to mix everything well together
  • Once mixed, shape the meat mixture into small cylinder shapes on a large tray. Once all the meat is shaped and placed on a tray, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour
  • Finally, heat oil in a large frying pan and fry the cylinder cevapi until they are browned and cooked through
  • Once cooked, place either inside or underneath fresh Bosnian flatbread. Sprinkle on a bit of freshly chopped onion and lemon for extra flavor, and enjoy!

Begova Corba: Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, this creamy chicken and vegetable soup is often served with a generous helping of sour cream on top


  • 1/2 pound of chicken (skinned and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and diced)
  • 1 celery root (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh parsley (chopped finely)
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 4 Tbsp of milk
  • Handful of okra
  • Lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream


  • In a large pot melt the butter and lightly fry the chicken
  • Once the chicken is golden brown, pour in the water and add in the carrot, parsley, celery, and salt/pepper and wait for the entire mixture to come to a boil
  • Once at a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for up to an hour
  • Finally, strain the broth and make sure the vegetable are tender and shred the chicken if preferred (return all the ingredients back into the soup if you take them out to shred or cut)
  • Add in the okra and cook for an additional 15 minutes, adding in the milk towards the end slowly to add in the creamy texture to the soup
  • Once finished, whisk in desired sour cream to serve and enjoy!

Burek: A favorite among young and old, this buttery pastry is layered with flakes of pastry, meat, cheese, or spinach all rolled together 


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound of minced beef or lamb
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt, pepper, and sweet paprika to taste

Burek Pastry:

  • 1 package of filo pastry
  • 1/4 of melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 Tsp of water
  • Plain yogurt


  • For the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add in the onion first and cook until golden brown, adding in the garlic towards the end
  • Once the onion-garlic has become aromatic, add in the minced meat and cook through. Add in salt, pepper, and sweet paprika to taste. Once cooked, mix in the fresh parsley and set aside
  • For the Burek pastry, line a large baking sheet with baking paper
  • On a separate clean and dry surface, lay out three sheets of filo pastry on top of each other to create a layered and rectangular shape
  • Brush each layer with the melted butter
  • Once the entire rectangle of the filo pastry is laid out, arrange the meat mixture in a long line across the long edge of the rectangle
  • Roll up the filo pastry to create a long snake-shaped pastry with the meat mixture in the middle
  • Roll the tube of filo dough into a spiral disc shape, placing it inside of the baking sheet (it should be in the shape of a circle)
  • Brush the top with more of the beaten egg and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190C (or 375F) for around 25 minutes, or until the filo pastry is golden brown
  • Once finished, serve with fresh yogurt and enjoy!



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