Sunday, August 14, 2011

Safiha (Meat Pie)

So by far is this is my favorite Arab food. It is sooo good! Me and my mom worked together to make this. Of course the recipe is all hers :-)

This is not an easy food to make. It takes a lot of time and energy, but it is really good.

First, you need to get the dough ready.


  • 1 packed highly active yeast (20.8g), 6.5 tsps.
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • Warm water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm milk
Ready to learn how to make dough?
  1. Pre-heat oven, just so it warms up a bit. 
  2. In an average sized cup, mix yeast and sugar. Add warm water almost to the top.
  3. Leave in warm oven for 10 minutes.
  4. During this time, mix flour, salt, and honey in a big round pan.
  5. In a blender mix egg and oil. Once mixed, add milk (can warm milk, by putting it in microwave for a little bit).
  6. Once the yeast is ready you can start. Take pan that has flour in it,k make a hole in the middle of the flour, and pour yeast. 
  7. Start kneading and mixing mixture.
  8. Start adding egg/milk mixture slowly.
  9. Keep kneading and kneading. Your hands will get sticky, but if the dough is good your hands will get clean of dough as you go.
    • If your hands are still sticking and all the ingredients are mixed, add a small amount of water.
    • If the dough seems to be hard and dry, add water.
  10. Take a big pot, and add some oil to it. Take dough and round into a ball and place in pot. Take a small cloth or towel and water. Squeeze any access water out and place over pot to cover.  Put pot in pre-warmed oven. Make sure to put something under the pot so the oven doesn't cook the dough from the bottom.
  11. Leave in warm oven for an hour to let it rise! 
  12. It should double in size. The dough looked like this after an hour:

While you wait for the dough you can make the meat mixture.
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (I mean really fine)
  • 2 tbs. pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cardamon
  • Any other spices you would like! Just keep in mind the other spices have a slightly sour taste, so you might not want to put too much spices. Keep it simple!
You can also prep your pans. Just put a little bit of oil and spread it all over the pan, to make sure it is evenly covered.  

Now comes the fun part! :-)

Clean off a flat surface that you can work on.

1. Break off a piece of the dough. DO NOT KNEAD IT.  Just grab a small softball sized piece of the dough.

2. Sprinkle some flour on the surface. Put dough on surface and use your hands to make it flat. Don't stretch the dough. The purpose of this is just so it is easier to roll.

3.Then use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it is very thin. Start in the middle and roll out.  Keep doing this until the dough is even. You don't want it so thin such that you can see through it. I am not sure if you can see the thickness, but it is probably half a centimeter.

4.  Then use a round cup with even edges to cut the dough into small circles.  Make sure you cut down really deep so it is completely cut off from the rest of the dough. 

5.  Take each circle. Either with your hand or the rolling pin and make it thin if it isn't already. Then add some of the meat mixture in the middle and thin it out. Like this:

So you want to make a triangle. So take one side and do this:

Then the other:

Then the other:
Make to press down, so it won't open up in the oven. You also want to make a sure a decent amount of the meat is showing so it cooks. 
Put it in a pan and make sure it is covered like this:

This way the dough doesn't dry out.

When you finish about a tray, you can pre-heat the oven to 500F. As for the placement of the racks. One should be at the very bottom, and one two stubs down from the top.

6.  Place the tray on the bottom rack and bake for around 7 minutes or until the bottom of the pie is browned.
7. Switch the tray to the top rack and bake for about 3 or 4 minutes. Or until the top is browned.
8. Take out of the oven, eat, and enjoy!

It goes really well with the Middle-Eastern salad Tabloeh.


  1. Mashallah looks be fair though I believe its actually turkish not we like to take credit for everything

  2. Please send our way,shamma and I are craving!

  3. Haha. True.
    I also made manakeesh bizaatar and thought of Shamma.

  4. Aww Nour your so sweet. Mashallah the Safiha looks amazing! I cant stop staring at them.

  5. nour i love the blog's new look :) and the looks of theeese yumssss
    ps im still waiting for pesto pasta

  6. This is such a thorough cook blog it makes it so easy for anyone to follow. I really am impressed! Keep it up Nour!

  7. Thanks guys! I really appreciate it. :-)

  8. i want thissss.... and im impressed u made ur own dough!

  9. Did I mention that my mom has recently become a fan, Nour?

  10. Safaa!!! Do you know what a compliment it is considering what an amazing cook your mom is mashAllah?

  11. Looks great and I'm about to try it since I have some leftover dough from yesterday. I had a question, was the filling pre-cooked or stuffed raw and then baked in the oven? I will try ground turkey instead of beef and was wondering if that might work too.

  12. Hey! The filling was raw, which is why you have to have as much as of it exposed and why it needs to be so thing.
    I have never tried it with ground turkey, but if you flavor it right, it should turn out tasty.
    As for cooking time, it should be roughly the same. I would check your first batch though.
    Good luck! Let me know how it turns out.

  13. Hey Nour, I tried it with ground turkey. Did not work. I believe the reason is that ground turkey has a lot of water in it so when it cooks, it released all that water. Made the dough soggy. I'm glad I had only tried one to see if it would work and now I will stick to the recipe and cook it as is :)
    Thanks for the prompt response and keep posting recipes

  14. Hey Sara!
    Aw I am sorry about that. I havent really used ground turkey before. Thanks for the tip.
    Of course! Thank you! I have actually have a few recipes that I am working on posting soon.

  15. Haha! Nour, when I saw this I was like, what? They look like hamentashen! The cookies we eat on Purim! Except we fill them with jam and chocolate and sweet stuff instead. I have to try making these, when I get back to the States. The baklava looks sooo good, it set me mouth watering.

  16. Hannah! Thanks! Hamentashen sounds good :-)

  17. Just wondering if 6 1/2 teaspoons of yeast is correct. The packets sold in my city is probably 1 tablespoon.

    1. The packets I use state 6 1/2 teaspoons on the package.