These open-faced Arab meat pies, a kind of small pizza, also called laḥm bi’l-'ajīn, are made with Arabic-styled dough. Some don’t mix yogurt into the dough, but I find it gives softness to it. The version my mom makes at home for the filling is little different than all the ones you may read about, I think it’s the way her mom used to make back in Hebron, although the pomegranate molasses is definitely a Syro-Lebanese touch. The filling is made with spiced lamb or beef, onions, spices, and tomatoes, and basic thing is tahina paste. The name ṣfīḥa comes from the root word meaning to flatten.
Prepare dough, cover and leave to rest for 1-1 ½ hrs in warm place.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, heat the oil, add the onion, stir for a minutes, and then add the meat& stir well. Add salt and the spices and continue cooking till onions are translucent and meat liquids dry.
Remove from heat, add tomatoes and mix.
Add tahina, lemon juice, pomegranate paste, and salt to season. Taste and see if you need to add any more salt or lemon juice.
Cut dough in to walnut-size ball. Arrange on oiled baking tray. Press them flat and leave a 1 inch space between one another cause the pastry will become bigger while baking.
Put 1 tablespoon meat filling over each round dough piece. Press down with spoon while spreading to assure meat sticks to the dough.
Bake in preheated oven, on high temperature, 475F (260C). Most important here to bake the pastries on top third level rack, not the middle one. Needs like 10-15 minutes maximum, or till the bottom of the pastry becomes light golden.
Serve warm with yogurt or salad.
Fried pinenuts can be added to the meat filling if you wish. give a great crunch.
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