Saturday, 9 January 2010

Lebanese spinach and potato pies

My mom bought me a wonderful Lebanese cookbook A Taste of Lebanon - Cooking today the Lebanese way. I certainly love it - all the best recipes you could imagine, and so much more. Pita bread, hommous, tabouli, baklava, burghul...Ahhh, so lovely. Today I decided to try these pretty pies with two different fillings, spinach and potato. It was quite easy and fun to do these (the only problem was that when you folded the pies it was hard to keep them closed). This recipe makes about thirteen quite big pies, but it makes more if you want the pies to be smaller. It's up to you. And I added to the pie dough some whole wheat flour to make it healthier - it worked perfectly.
I'm really looking forward to try the other Lebanese recipes from the cookbook. Our family enjoyed these with peppermint tea in the candlelight - it was excellent. These pies really taste like Lebanon - with the lovely, fresh flavours and spices. They can be very proud in Lebanon for creating so delectable treats like these pies. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.
Ingredients for the Savory Pie Dough - Ajeen Fatayer:
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 yeast (50g)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups wheat flour

1. Place water and sugar in a big bowl. Add yeast, stirring gently. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
2.Add oil salt and egg. Fold in flour gradually. Knead until all flour leaves the edges of the bowl and dough is smooth. If necessary, add some more flour to make the dough adequate.

3. Cover with plastic sheet, then kitchen towel, let rest in a warm place for 30-40 minutes.

Ingredients for the Spinach Pies - Fatayer bi Sabanikh:
280g spinach
1 onion, chopped into tiny chunks
1 dl lemon juice
1 dl olive oil
1 dl sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Wash and drain spinach well. Chop small an place in large bowl. Add onions, lemon juice, oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Toss well, set aside.

Ingredients for Potato Pies - Fatayer bi Batata:
8 potatoes (grated)
1 onion, chopped into tiny chunks
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Rinse shredded potatoes in cold water and squeeze out excess water. Place in large bowl. Add onions, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix well.

How to make the Potato and Spinach pies:
1. Divide the well risen dough into 2 sections. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a small plate.
2. Place a heaping tablespoon of the potato or spinach mixture in to the centre of the round.

3. Fold three sides of the dough over the filling to form a triangle. Make one at a time because the fillings, (and the spinach even more) will have a lot of juice. If necessary, squeeze out some of the juice before placing in the dough.
4. Secure triangle by pressing on the edges of the dough as you fold (must be sealed well around the edges). A tiny opening may be left in the centre. Of dough does not stick well in some places, put flour on fingertips to help seal.

5. Place the pies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes in 200°C oven until golden brown. Remove from the oven, brush with paprika spiced olive oil. Serve hot or cold, enjoy!


  1. These are beautiful and I am sure very tasty. THanks for sharing!

  2. Wonderful pies! They look fantastic and I'm sure they taste fab!

  3. nice dough recipe...your pies turned out great - thanks for sharing...

  4. Delicious pies!!! I love spinach.

  5. Look delish! Lebanese cuisine is wonderful and I love savoury pastries.

  6. Wow, that looks really nice. Thanks for sharing that.

  7. Thanks! These pies have become one of my favourites now, I think I'll make them many times again!

  8. These look amazing- Can't wait to make and try them!

  9. Yummy pies! I love these kind of treats.

  10. Thanks! Yeah you really have to try them!

  11. They look delicious. I will certainly try them out. However, I don't eat eggs so will have to look for a substitute.

  12. Thanks! Oh yes, you really have to try them! I hope you'll find a substitute for the egg.