Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sfiha, Fatayer, Lahm bil Ajeen..... Mood = Name calling

By what name do we call this? Is it Fatayer, sfiha, or lahm bil ajeen? Which ever way you choose to call them, the end result is the same! DELICIOUS! The little meat bundles are just a taste of heaven, and once you start eating them, you cant stop. Trust me. Either that or i am a total PIG! This dish, or shall i say appetiser comes with many different names, but they all mean the same thing, depending on where you come from in the middle east. I know them as Fatayer, but the flat version with the same ingredients is called Lahm bil Ajeen, which literally mean meat with pastry. Simple and to the point.

There are a lot of recipes out there with yeast to help the pastry rise slightly but this does not need that, or the long waiting time. Just self raising flour will do.

I made these the other night for my husband because we really wanted to eat some Arabic food and i thought i would make him something that we would normally only have when we were out. I have to say that i liked these so much more than any other restaurant. They were juicy, fluffy, full of flavour and i could eat 10 of these without having a waiter give me strange look......

These are lamb based with an infusion of spices that will literally just bounce around your mouth. I know the list might seem long for ingredients, but trust me it take about 6 minutes to get both the pastry done and the meat mix.



400g Self raising flour
80g cold butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk
80g yoghurt
40 ml water
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of chilli flakes

Meat mix:

400g lamb mince
1/2 onion grated
2 cloves of garlic grated
1 apple cored and grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 bunch of fresh cut parsley
1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of crushed chillies
1-2 teaspoons of salt
Pomegranate seeds to decorate


  • To make the pastry, mix the flour and butter to create a breadcrumb effect
  • Add the egg yolk, yoghurt and water and combine.
  • Before it has all come together add the chilli and the cumin seeds and knead the dough till it is slightly smooth.
  • Place in the fridge till you need it.
  • Mix all the spice, garlic and onions together and add the meat. Combine it all well and set aside.
  • Remove your pastry from the fridge and on a floured surface, place your pastry and cut into 3.This just helps you with control of the dough.
  • Roll the dough out and until you have reached a thickness of 1/2 cm.
  • Cut out 8cm circles and set them on a baking tray.This recipe should make 24 and you will have some pastry left over from cutting which you can use as well.
  • Place the meat mix in the center and begin by pinching in the sides.
  • Pinch once side and then another and another till you have reached a star shape, or even more so, a diamond shape!
  • Brush the pastry with en egg yolk to give colour while cooking.
  • Bake at 200 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. 
  • If you find this too difficult, then you can just roll out up to 6-8 small pizza shaped ones, which are just as authentic and delicious. I did both.
Serve with fresh pomegranate seeds to add some crunch and punch!

This is great for a get together and when you just want to chill out with a no fuss dinner. One of my all time favourites.


Heavenly Housewife said...

I have had these before so I know how absolutely delicious they are. Awesome post, and now I am hungry LOL.
*kisses* HH

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Arent they just divine! And so easy to make. You could make batches an dthen freeze them . Im hungry too. I wish i had some left...

Angie's Recipes said...

I have never seen or had these before...they look like my kind of comfort food!

Anna Johnston said...

One of the things I love the most about visiting great blogs like yours is I get to not only see food I've never seen prepared before (I think I've seen Fatayer before, but I'm sure it didn't look like these yummies)...., but you get to read about how they taste. Love it..... & now I'm hungry .... again :)

Chef Bee said...

I could totally have these for dinner. Thanks for sharing.

Plan B

Juliana said...

Wow, this brought me a lot of memories of my childhood in Brazil...I love the open esfihas as we call there...yours look so yummie :-)

scrambledhenfruit said...

I've never had these but by the sound of them, I could probably eat 10 of them without even batting an eye. Thanks!


I don't care what they're are called! I just know I want about a dozen of them, right now!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Those look ABSOLUTELY amazing!! You have one lucky husband and I love the idea of the cumin seeds in the pastry.

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Hello ladies, i take it we are all in agreement that these are one of those things that we must have 10 or more of! And i can guarantee you that it is possible to do this! Try them and let me konw what you think....

Anna said...

I absolutely love sfiha, I use to have that a lot in Brazil. I really miss it, thanks for remind me. It looks stunning. Loved your site. Full of yumminess. Have a great weekend.

Suzie Ridler said...

Those looks fantastic, super impressive! Most breadmakers these days have a preserves setting so I hope yours does too. It was so cool to make jam that way. Rich and luscious. Your hubby will love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fancy little crusts, fancy little filling, cute shape, I have everything but the meat for these tartlets and I am sure lean ground beef will work with this. Looks like you worked all day to make them. Thanks for this unique recipe my friend.

5 Star Foodie said...

Such scrumptious savory pastries and the filling is so delicious!

Joudie's Mood Food said...

These are just so good. A real must for anyone with a spare hour on their hands!!!!

shaz said...

Oh wow, these look fab and sound so delicious! I love the flavour of cumin, and the spices in the lamb mix sound incredible. Definitely bookmarking this, got to go find pomegranate molasses now, seen so many recipes I want to try that require this vital ingredient :)

christine said...

Wow! I can eat these for a day! The photos are mouthwatering. If you wont mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it's all set, Thanks!