Sfineġ of anchovies and feta cheese

Lent and the feast of Easter are significant on the Maltese islands and when I was not living here, I did my best whenever possible to come and visit for Easter rather than Christmas.

kwarezimal by Danish Bakery

Getting into the spirit of Lent, home made anchovy sfineg and kwarewzimal by Danish Bakery

The traditions during the run up to Easter are unique and so is the food that goes with it.

Sfineg are associated with the the northern town of Rabat and I made them during today’s tv show adding Greek Feta cheese, by rubbing it into the flour before adding the other ingredients.  The result is amazingly delicious and as with nearly most traditional local recipes, it is anything but healthy.

They do need to be deep fried and the feta cheese and addition of buttermilk produces sfineg that has a crispy [nearly crunchy] exterior and are so soft and moist inside.

Sfineġ of anchovies and feta cheese

Yield: Makes 24

Sfineġ of anchovies and feta cheese


  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 30g anchovies
  • 30g black olives
  • 150g feta cheese
  • a pinch of dried mint
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh parsley
  • ground pepper
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying
  • Some grated lemon zest to finish off
  • Kitchen towel


  1. Sieve the flour twice into a large bowl.
  2. Chop the feta cheese into small pieces and add to the flour. Mix to coat each piece of feta cheese with flour and then use your fingertips to rub the feta cheese into the flour [in the same way that you would rub in butter] until the mixture is consistent and resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the baking powder, pinch of dried mint and salt.
  4. Chop the anchovies, olives and capers. Add them to the flour mixture and mix in so that all the pieces are covered with the flour mixture.
  5. Beat the eggs and add the butter milk and black pepper.
  6. Make a space in the middle of the flour mix and start to pour the beaten egg mixture into the flour. Use a knife to bind the mixture and bring it together using your hands.
  7. Pour the sunflower oil into a large pan and heat on moderate temperature.
  8. As soon as the oil is hot enough, start to drop the batter using two tablespoons into the hot oil.
  9. Try to turn them over and use a large spoon if required.
  10. When the sfineg are cooked, the usually come up to the surface of the oil.
  11. Lift them with a large spoon and place them on kitchen towel to drain and remove any excess oil.
  12. Place into a large bowl and grate some lemon zest and chopped parsley.
  13. Serve while still warm.


Sfineg are best eaten when they are freshly cooked


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Trade Enquiries:
Feta Cheese by Kolios, Buttermilk, Olives by Fos, Sunflower oil by Golden Drop, Capers by Lora and Anchovies by Redelmar available at Quality Foods
Allinson self raising flour at Borg and Aquilina
Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd
Kitchenware by Pedrini, Prestige and Bialetti at K&Co, Telephone 79415384
Black pepper and baking powder delivered to my home! by www.spices.com.mt
Kwarezimal from Danish Bakery   inhouse shop at their factory in Zejtun
Fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscars Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]
Table coverings by Manor House