In the Dupnitsa region of Bulgaria it is a tradition to prepare a banitza for every holiday, as the stuffing of the banitza is different according to the season. In the spring, the traditional stuffing for the banitza is made of green leaves and spring onions! Our village, where we live, is surrounded by forests and meadows and in the spring you can find many wild edible plants – nettle and dandelion, dock leaves and sorrel leaves, shepherd’s purse and red dead nettle. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers collected leaves from wild edible plants, as well as growing spring onions and spring garlic, spinach and garden orache /Atriplex hortensis/ in their gardens. That is why spring banitzas were prepared with a stuffing of wild edible plants and spring onions.

In the spring I prepare a gluten-free version of the traditional banitza with green stuffing. My grandmother used to make the dough for the traditional banitza from wheat flour, homemade vinegar and water. My mother makes the dough from wheat flour, yeast for bread and water. And I use gluten-free rice papers to make the traditional banitza. During the Christian Easter fasts, the stuffing of the banitza is made only from green leaves and spring onions, but for Easter it was prepared with green leaves and shredded cheese. I use crushed natural tofu as a vegan alternative to animal milk cheese. I prepare the stuffing from nettles and dock leaves, because these leaves are slightly tough and do not add excess moisture to the banitza. I prepare the banitza filling with chickpea flour as an alternative to the egg filling, and the turmeric in the mixture gives the traditional yellow color. I follow the tradition of my family and in the spring I prepare this banitza for the holidays, and sometimes to welcome dear guests!

Spring nettle banitza

Course: Breakfasts, Main dishes, Recipes









Rice pie with nettle and tofu


  • 250 g rice paper for spring rolls
    with composition – 89% tapioca starch and 10% rice flour

  • 30 g extra virgin olive oil

  • 800 ml. warm filtered water

  • – metal tray with a diameter of 26 cm.

  • – baking paper

  • stuffing
  • 150 g nettle stalk

  • 500 ml. hot filtered water

  • 140 g spring onion stalk

  • 50 g dock leaves

  • 5 g Himalayan pink salt
    can be replaced with any other salt

  • 400 g tofu naturally

  • filling
  • 200 g chickpea flour

  • 5 g Himalayan pink salt
    can be replaced with any other salt

  • 3 g turmeric powder

  • 2 g long ground pepper /pippali/
    can be replaced with ground black pepper

  • 400 ml. filtered water


  • I wash the nettle stalks very well under running water and let it drain. I wash the spring onions and dock leaves. In a bowl I put the nettle stalks and pour hot water, cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes. I remove the stems from the dock leaves and cut the leaves into small pieces with a sharp knife. I cut the spring onion stalks into small pieces.
  • I put in a bowl the chopped dock leaves and the chopped spring onion stalks. I add the Himalayan salt and mash well by hand until soft. I drain the nettle stalks from the warm water and cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife. I add the chopped nettle to the bowl.
  • I mash the tofu pieces with a fork until I get small pieces and set aside.
  • I line the bottom of the metal pan with baking paper. I put olive oil on the paper and carefully spread the whole bottom. If there is no oil on the paper, the rice papers stick and it is very difficult to remove the baked banitza from the pan!I turn on the ferret at 200°C to heat it.
  • I put hot water in a shallow dish that is larger than the diameter of the rice paper for spring rolls. I take the rice papers out of the package and check if there are any glued ones, if there are any glued papers I carefully separate them.
  • I immerse a piece of rice paper in a plate of warm water and wait a few seconds, when it starts to soften slightly I take it out of the water and wait for it to drain for 3 seconds. I place the softened rice paper on the bottom of the pan on top of the olive-greased baking paper. I dip another rice paper in warm water and put it back on the bottom of the tray – the diameter of the tray is bigger than the diameter of the rice paper and so I cover the bottom with three rice papers that overlap in places! On top of the softened rice paper I put a thin layer of chopped nettles, dock leaves and spring onions. I add pieces of tofu on them. Cover the filling with three other rice papers dipped in warm water until soft. So I alternate the stuffing with softened rice papers until the stuffing and rice papers are finished.
  • I put the pan in a preheated oven at 200°C with a fan to bake for 10 minutes.
  • In a bowl I put all the ingredients for the filling and mix them well until a homogeneous mixture. I take the pie tray out of the oven and place it on a board. With a sharp knife, I carefully cut the baked rice paper with the stuffing into small pieces – be careful not to cut the baking paper on the bottom! I pour the sliced ​​mixture with the topping mixture and with a spoon I slightly move the pieces so that the mixture enters between them. I carefully smooth the filling on top and put the pan back in the oven to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes – until the banitza is slightly red on top! I take the pan out of the oven with the baked banitza and leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
  • I carefully remove the cooled banitza from the pan, remove the baking paper and place on a serving platter. It may not be removed from the pan, but cut into pieces and served as separate pieces!
  • I serve the banitza for breakfast or with a fresh salad as a main dish.


  • Nutritional value per 100 g. product:
  • Energy value – 144.44 kcal
  • Protein – 5.87 g
  • Carbohydrates – 19.91 g
  • Fat – 4.26 g
  • Fiber – 1.00 g