Friday, July 6, 2012

Sfiha Arabian Meat Filled Pastry

Muslims observe fasting every Ramadhan which coincides with non-specific month for English calendar. These cookies or desserts are commonly seen in arab tables. Warning  this recipe is not mine. I just save them for my future coming ramadhania recipes :) For people who are interested, pliz visit these links :  
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Sfiha Arabian Meat Filled Pastry

These open-faced Arab meat pies, a kind of small pizza, also called laḥm bi’l-'ajīn, are made with Arabic-styled dough. The filling is made with spiced lamb or beef, onions, spices, and tomatoes, and basic thing is tahina paste. The name "ṣfīḥa" comes from the root word meaning "to flatten".

Ingredients - Dough

6 c All-Purpose Flour
2 c Yogurt, plain and unsweetened
1 c Olive Oil
1 t Sea Salt
1½ t Active Dry Yeast
2 t Honey, use a light, floral honey. Tupelo is good.
½ c Water (105°F)
1 t Baking Powder

Ingredients - Filling

1 lbs Ground Beef or Ground Lamb
2 med Onions, chopped
3 med Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 c Tahini paste
2 t Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 T Pomegranate paste or Molasses
3-4 T Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T Sfeeha spices

Ingredients - Sfeeha Spices

1 t Allspice, ground
¼ t Nutmeg, fresh grated
¼ t Cloves, ground
½ t Cinnamon
½ t Black Pepper freshly ground
¼ t Cardamom

Procedure - Sheefa Spices

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. To keep, place in an airtight container.

Procedure - Dough

Add the honey and dissolve to the water. Add yeast and let bloom, if necessary. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add olive oil and mix. Add yogurt and yeast. Add enough warm water to make a ball that holds together. Knead vigorously for 10 minutes. Rub 1 T Olive Oil in the bowl and roll the dough ball in it to cover the dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Procedure - Filling

Pre-heat the oven to 475°F. The dough should be ready to use.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, heat the oil, add the onion, stir for a few minutes, and then add the meat and stir well. Add salt and the spices and continue cooking until the onions are translucent and meat liquids dry.

Remove from heat, add tomatoes and mix. Add tahina, lemon juice, pomegranate paste, and salt to season. Taste and see if you need to add any more salt or lemon juice. Cut dough in to walnut-size ball. Arrange on oiled baking tray. Press them flat and leave a 1 inch space between one another cause the pastry will become bigger while baking.

Put 1 tablespoon meat filling over each round dough piece. Press down with spoon while spreading to assure meat sticks to the dough. Bake in preheated oven, on high temperature, 475 ºF (260C). Most important here to bake the pastries on top third level rack, not the middle one. Needs like 10-15 minutes maximum, or till the bottom of the pastry becomes light golden.

Serve warm with yogurt or green salad.


Fried pine nuts can be added to the meat filling if you wish. give a great crunch.

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