Safiha -(Arabic food)

General Info: (Meat Pies)

These meat pies originate in: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Sufficient for:30 pies


1/2 quantity of Khoubiz dough recipe*

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 # pound of fresh, coarsely ground lamb

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

salt to taste

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

extra vegetable oil

Let's start:

Prepare the Khoubiz dough. Set aside to rise 1 1/2 hours (this should become double in size)

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground lamb and stir and cook until the meat is crumbly and it is no longer pink. Stir in the chopped onion and cook, stirring until the onion is soft , about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and all of the spices and seasonings. Stir and cook for one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cover the skillet , reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tomato is soft. Remove from heat. Stir in the fresh lemon juice. The mixture should not be watery but it should be moist. Set aside to cool.

Punch down the dough and roll on a lightly floured pastry board till it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut 10 4 inch rounds. Continue to roll the trimmings into a ball, roll them out and cut into rounds also. Place the rounds on a cloth and cover with another cloth.

Take a round of dough and flute the edges with fingertips. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the meat/nut mixture and into the small pie shell you have formed. Place one inch apart on an oil baking sheet. Lightly brush the pies, including the meat and the crust with more oil.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees 15 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Best way to eat: Serve hot out of the oven

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About The Author, Hani Masgidi