Sfeeha, a pastry filled with lamb meat, is typical to Heliopolis or Baalbeck the city of sun in the north of the Bekaa valley. One cannot visit the mighty Roman temples of Baalbeck without tasting its savory sfeeha served with a refreshing ayran drink.
Total servings: 35 pies
Caloric content: 110 calories / pie
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of instant yeast
1 tbsp. of sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of warm water
Olive oil to stretch the dough
Filling – meat mixture
500 g of lamb meat, grounded
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. of butter
3 tbsp. of tahini (secret ingredient)
3 tbsp. of labneh
⅓ cup of pine nut seeds, roasted (optional)
2 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses
½ tsp of allspice (7 spices)
Pinch of sumac
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. of tomato paste
1 tbsp. of shatta or spicy red pepper paste
3 gloves of garlic, mashed
- In a small bowl, mix the instant yeast with the sugar and a bit of warm water. Leave to rest while preparing the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and water. Knead well and olive oil enough to make the dough stretch well. Be careful not to add too much oil.
- Add the yeast to the dough and knead again. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and leave the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough doubles its size.
In a separate bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, mix well and put in the refrigerator until the dough is ready.
Making the sfeeha
- On a dusted surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 0.5 cm while making sure all air pockets are removed
- With a cup or cookie cutter, cut circles in the dough
- On each circle of dough, put 2 tsp of the prepared filling then pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha
- While making the sfeeha, heat the oven to about 180 Celsius degrees
- Place the sfeeha on a greased oven pan and bake for 10 mns until the meat is cooked
Serve the warm sfeeha with a cup of laban (yogurt) or a glass of ayran (diluted and salty yogurt).