My auntie Shahla, was the master of this dish and right up till she passed away last year i was asking her about this recipe. Although she gave to me, it never tasted the same. The touch of her work and hand on such delicious foods cannot be replicated, but imitated.
Although it may look simple, the actual flattening of the dough and rolling it out to almost paper thin, and then folding it like a snail are the tricky part. You dont want it to be too thick otherwise the dough will be too stodgy. You want it to literally crisp and flake in your mouth.
So my mums recipe is not easy to follow because it is a pinch of this, a coffee cup of that and tea cup of this and you get the picture. so i had to improvise and i think it turned out pretty good.
500g Lamb mince
3 onions diced
- Make the dough by simply putting it in the kitchen aid and combining the water and flour together. You want a soft dough that is a little sticky but stays together. Cut it into about 15-20 balls and lay it on a well oiled tray. And cover with clingfilm. This is just to let it rest. It will not rise.
- In the meantime, make you filling by chopping 3 onions into cubes and frying them off. Add the mince and season. Add the sumac and taste. I added too much salt and to try and counter act that, i added half a lemon. It worked, a little.
- Mix well till everything is brown and the flavour is as you wish. It should have a little peppery feel with that gorgeous tang at the end.
- When it is ready, let it cool down.
- Get your dough balls and flatten them out gently. Do not use flour. Use olive oil to stop it from sticking. And spread as much as you can. Once almost thin, fold on half over the next and fill with a little meat mix from top to bottom.
- Roll over the dough to cover the meat and swirl around like a snail.
- Place on baking sheet and do the same with the rest.
- Cook in a hot oven at around 220 degrees for about 15 minutes till they have browned slightly. If you are making a big batch, cook them half way let them cool and place them in the freezer. They keep very well.
It always nice to have a little piece of nostalgia in your home and especially in your fridge.
Any dishes you like that remind you of something special?