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"Sfiha" or "Lahm bi'ajin" -Meat pies

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"Sfiha" or "Lahm bi'ajin" are meat pies specific to the Levant region (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq) and were also introduced to South American countries (Brazil, Argentina) by immigrants from these countries. .
Their characteristic is that they are discovered; the appearance is similar to a small pizza.
There are many variations in meat preparation: in Lebanon and Syria, pomegranate juice or lemon juice and white pepper are added.
The dough can be plain bread dough; In Jordan, the dough is divided into small spheres, which are then soaked in olive oil and then spread by hand directly into the tray also greased with olive oil.
In Palestine, the dough is spread on the board, covered with meat filling, rolled and cut into rounds, which are placed in a pan greased with oil; some snail pies are obtained.
There are special ovens in Arab countries for baking these pies; they are bigger and save a lot of time.

  • For the dough:
  • 6 glasses of sifted flour
  • 2 glasses of yogurt (removed from the fridge in time so that it is not cold)
  • 1 glass of oil
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 glass of warm milk (for kneading or if we use regular yeast)
  • For the meat mixture
  • 3 medium-sized onions
  • 1/2 kg minced meat (beef, sheep)
  • 1/2 glass of oil or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon spice "all spice"
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pine seeds (snobar)

Servings: 12

Preparation time: over 120 minutes

PREPARATION RECIPE “Sfiha” or “Lahm bi’ajin” -Meat pies:

Mix the flour for 2 minutes with the instant yeast; then add the rest of the ingredients and knead for 20 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise in the heat for about 1 hour.

During this time the meat is prepared. Finely chop the onion and cook in oil for 5 minutes; add the meat, salt and spices and cook for another 10 minutes. Take it out in a bowl and add the tomatoes passed through the salad grinder and the rest of the ingredients.

Spread a sheet of dough about ½ cm thick. It is cut with the help of a circle shape of about 8 cm in diameter, which is then stretched until an oval shape is obtained. Grease the trays with oil or margarine. Put the pies thus obtained in the trays and put a spoonful of meat filling on each one. Sprinkle with pine nuts (snobar). Leave in the trays to rise for another 10 minutes and put them in the preheated oven at 220 degrees. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until browned.

Serve hot with yogurt. Good appetite!

Tips sites


The extra dough can be used for pies with sheep's milk or sausage rolls.


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