"These pastries are lamb-based, with an infusion of spices that will bounce around your mouth," says Joudie Kalla, author of Palestine on a Plate: Recipes from My Mother's Kitchen. "I know the ingredients list might seem long, but trust me, it only takes about 6 minutes to get both the pastry and the meat mix ready." We can't vouch for that, but we know it's delicious.
For the pastry
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 100g butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk, plus an extra yolk for brushing
- 150ml buttermilk
- 200ml water
- 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
For the meat filling
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 400g lamb mince
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
If you find the filling and shaping of the dough circles too difficult, then you can just roll out 6–8 small pizza-shaped circles, which are just as
authentic and delicious and top with the lamb like a pizza.
- To make the pastry, rub the flour, salt and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, buttermilk and water and combine.
- Before it has all come together, add the chilli flakes and cumin seeds and knead until it is you have a slightly smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge until you need it.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan (220°C/425°F/Gas 7).
- To make the meat filling, mix all the ingredients, except the pomegranate seeds and parsley, together with the lamb and set aside.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into three pieces. Roll one piece out to 5mm thick. Cut out 8cm circles and set them on a baking tray. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. This recipe should make about 24 in total if you re-use the cuttings as you work.
- Take a small teaspoon of the meat mixture and place it in the centre of a dough circle. Fold the edges into the centre and pinch them together to create a diamond shape, leaving some of the stuffing exposed. Repeat with the rest of the dough and meat mixture and place on baking trays. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.
- Bake for about 12–15 minutes until golden and crisp. Scatter pomegranate seeds and some parsley on top to add some crunch.
Recipe taken from Palestine On a Plate, Memories From My Mother’s Kitchen (Jacqui Small, RRP £25), by Joudie Kalla. Photography by Ria Osbourne.