Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha

May 9th, 2010

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Lahm Bi-‘Ajin or Sfiha means meat with dough, it is a piece of dough topped with ground meat and the topping is prepared with different flavors which are:

Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha Sada (Plain Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha): gorund meat mixed with chopped onions, pomegranate molasses, tahini, salt and black pepper.

Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha Bel-Bandourah (Tomatoes Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha): gorund meat mixed with chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, red pepper past, pomegranate molasses, tahini, salt and black pepper.

Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha Bel-Khudar (Vegetables Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha), or it has another names such as Lahm Bi-‘Ajin Armani or Lahm Bi-‘Ajin ‘Aentabli: gorund meat mixed with chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, red pepper past, chopped parsly, chopped mint, pomegranate molasses, tahini, salt and black pepper.

Let’s make Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha:

Before talking about the method of making Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha, I’ll tell you some information about one thing:

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A, B and C are the different shapes of Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha according to each city (Aleppo, Damascus and Hama).

Read in details below:

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A. Aleppo: The round large shape is the popular in Aleppo, and the toppings are similar to other cities, and it is called “Lahm Bi-‘Ajin Halabi”. They make two flavors only which are plain and with vegetables.

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B. Damascus: This shape is the popular in Damascus, and the toppings are similar to other cities, and it is called “Sfiha Shamiyeh”.

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C. Hama: This shape is the popular in Hama. The toppings are similar to other cities but the dough is different. We usually prepare the toppings at home, then take them to the bakery and at bakery they made the dough and add the toppings and bake it for us, the dough is very thin and greasy, it can’t be prepared at home, and it is called “Lahm Bi-‘Ajin Hamwy”, and it is a specialty of Hama.

Let’s make Let’s make Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha:

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Dough

1. In a large bowl, put two kinds of flour.

2. Add instant yeast, sugar, and salt.

3. Add corn oil and warm water.

4. Knead very well until all the ingredients combines and cover the dough and put in a warm place for two hours.

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Meat Mixture

5. In the bowl, you can see fat free lamb meat, and Sheep/Lamb tail fat, in Syria the sheep/lamb tail fat is called “Liyeh”.

6. Prepare meat grinder, attach the medium holed plate, grind the meat and the liyeh together, and set aside.

7. Very finely chop onions, rinse chopped onion with water and strain.

8. Add chopped onion to the meat mixture.

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9. Using your hand mix the onion with the meat mixture, and add salt and black pepper and mix again. This meat mixture is (lamb meat, liyeh, chopped onion, salt and black pepper), the total weight of this mixture is 1184 grams, so divide this mixture into three portions, one is equal to 500 grams, and one is equal to 500 grams too, and the third one is equal to 184 grams.

Sfiha Sada (Plain Sfiha)

10. To a bowl, add the meat mixture that equals to 184 grams, to the meat add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper, mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

Sfiha Bel-Bandourah (Tomatoes Sfiha)

11. Bring red tomatoes and peel them and discard the skins and the seeds (to know how to peel tomatoes go to the post Kabab Hendi).

12. Very finely chop peeled tomatoes.

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13. Strain tomatoes to drain out all the liquid, and set aside.

14. Bring red pepper.

15. De-seed the pepper.

16. Very finely chop red pepper, and set aside.

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17. This is red pepper paste, set aside.

18. To a bowl, add the meat mixture that equals to 500 grams, to the meat add chopped tomatoes and chopped red pepper.

19. Add red pepper paste.

20. Add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper.

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21. Mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

Sfiha Bel-Khudar (Vegetables Sfiha)

22, 23. Bring red tomatoes and peel them (to know how to peel tomatoes go to the post Kabab Hendi).

12. Very finely chop peeled tomatoes.

24. Strain tomatoes to drain out all the liquid, and set aside.

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25. Bring red pepper.

26. De-seed the pepper.

27. Very finely chop red pepper, and set aside.

28. This is red pepper paste, set aside.

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29. Bring green pepper, and de-seed the pepper.

30. Very finely chop green pepper, and set aside.

31. Very finely chop parsley, and set aside.

32. Very finely chop mint, and set aside.

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30. To a bowl, add the second meat mixture that equals to 500 grams, to the meat add chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, red pepper paste, chopped green pepper, chopped parsley and chopped mint.

31. Add crushed garlic.

32. Add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper.

33. Mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

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34. After two hours, bring the dough, and knead for few minutes.

35. Flour the surface, and roll out the dough.

36. Shape each piece of the dough to oval shape with 2.8 inch (7 cm) long and 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) thick, and put each on a greased baking sheet (grease the baking sheet with corn oil).

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38. Bring the first meat topping to make plain sfiha, and spread over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping

39. Bring the second meat topping to make tomatoes sfiha, place the meat topping on a strainer so it drain out the liquid.

40. Spread the meat topping over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping

41. If you want to make the shape of sfiha similar to Aleppo, shape the dough into a circle and spread the meat topping.

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42. Bring the third meat topping to make vegetables sfiha, place the meat topping on a  strainer so it drain out the liquid.

43, 44. Spread the meat topping over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping

45. If you want to make the shape of sfiha similar to Aleppo, shape the dough into a circle and spread the meat topping.

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46. Bake in the oven at 518 °F (270 °C) for 10 – 13  minutes or until golden brown and the meat is completely cooked.

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47. Serve with laban A’yran, yogurt drink (yogurt prepared with water and salt).

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Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha

From: Family Recipe / Servings: 6 – 8 People
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Dough

1000 g all purpose flour

550 g whole wheat flour

2 tsp instant yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp salt

3/4 cup corn oil

1000 ml warm water

Meat Mixture

760 g fat free lamb meat

230 g sheep/lamb tail fat

1 cup very finely chopped
red onions

1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Sfiyha Sada (Plain Sfiha)

184 g of meat mixture, read the directions

3/4 tbsp + 1/2 tsp pomegranate molasses

1 tbsp tahini

1/4 tsp lemon salt (citric acid)

Salt

Black pepper

Sfiha Bel-Bandourah
(Tomatoes Sfiha)

500 g of meat mixture, read the directions

1 1/2 cup very finely chopped
peeled de-seeded tomatoes

1 tbsp very finely chopped
de-seeded red pepper

2 tsp red pepper paste

2 tbsp + 1 tsp pomegranate
molasses

1 3/4 tbsp tahini

1/4 tsp lemon salt (citric acid)

Salt

Black pepper

Sfiyha Bel-Khudar
(Vegetables Sfiha)

500 g of meat mixture, read the directions

1 cup very finely chopped
peeled de-seeded tomatoes

1 tbsp very finely chopped
de-seeded red pepper

2 tsp red pepper paste

2 1/2 tbsp very finely chopped
de-seeded green pepper

1/2 cup very finely chopped
flat parsley leaves

1/4 cup very finely chopped mint
leaves

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp pomegranate
molasses

1 3/4 tbsp tahini

1/4 tsp lemon salt (citric acid)

Salt

Black pepper

To Serve

Laban A’yran

Dough

In a large bowl, put two kinds of flour.

Add instant yeast, sugar, and salt.

Add corn oil and warm water.

Knead very well until all the ingredients combines and cover the dough and put in a warm place for two hours.

Meat Mixture

In the bowl, you can see fat free lamb meat, and Sheep/Lamb tail fat, in Syria the sheep/lamb tail fat is called “Liyeh”.

Prepare meat grinder, attach the medium holed plate, grind the meat and the liyeh together, and set aside.

Very finely chop onions, rinse chopped onions with water and strain.

Add chopped onion to the meat mixture.

Using your hand mix the onion with the meat mixture, and add salt and black pepper and mix again. This mixture is (lamb meat, liyeh, chopped onion, salt and black pepper), the total weight of this mixture is 1184 grams, so divide this mixture into three portions, one is equal to 500 grams, and one is equal to 500 grams too, and the third one is equal to 184 grams.

Sfiyha Sada (Plain Sfiyha)

To a bowl, add the meat mixture that equals to 184 grams, to the meat add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper, mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

Sfiha Bel-Bandourah (Tomatoes Sfiha)

Bring red tomatoes and peel them and discard the skins and the seeds (to know how to peel tomatoes go to the post Kabab Hendi).

Very finely chop peeled tomatoes.

Strain tomatoes to drain out all the liquid, and set aside.

Bring red pepper.

De-seed the pepper.

Very finely chop red pepper, and set aside.

This is red pepper paste, set aside.

To a bowl, add the first meat mixture that equals to 500 grams, to the meat add chopped tomatoes and chopped red pepper.

Add red pepper paste.

Add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper.

Mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

Sfiha Bel-Khudar (Vegetables Sfiha)

Bring red tomatoes and peel them and discard the skins and the seeds (to know how to peel tomatoes go to the post Kabab Hendi).

Very finely chop peeled tomatoes.

Strain tomatoes to drain out all the liquid, and set aside.

Bring red pepper.

De-seed the pepper.

Very finely chop the red pepper, and set aside.

This is red pepper paste, set aside.

Bring green pepper, and de-seed the pepper.

Very finely chop green pepper, and set aside.

Very finely chop parsley, and set aside.

Very finely chop mint, and set aside.

To a bowl, add the second meat mixture that equals to 500 grams, add to the meat chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, red pepper paste, chopped green pepper, chopped parsley and chopped mint.

Add crushed garlic.

Add pomegranate molasses, tahini, lemon salt, salt and black pepper.

Mix all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.

After two hours, bring the dough, and knead for few minutes.

Flour the surface, and roll out the dough.

Shape each piece of the dough to oval shape wit 2.8 inch (7 cm) long and 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) thick, and put each on a greased baking sheet (grease the baking sheet with corn oil).

Bring the first meat topping to make plain sfiha, and spread over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping.

Bring the second meat topping to make tomatoes sfiha, place the meat topping on a strainer so it drain out the liquid.

Spread the meat topping over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping

If you want to make the shape of sfiha similar to Aleppo, shape the dough into a circle and spread the meat topping.

Bring the third meat topping to make vegetables sfiha, place the meat topping on a strainer so it drain out the liquid.

Spread the meat topping over the pieces of the dough, make all the quantity of the topping

If you want to make the shape of sfiha similar to Aleppo, shape the dough into a circle and spread the meat topping.

Bake in the oven at 518 °F (270 °C) for 10 – 13 minutes or until golden brown and the meat is completely cooked.

Serve with laban A’yran, yogurt drink (yogurt prepared with water and salt).

Notes and Tips

The following two notes are written on the bag of the flour I used:

Wheat Flour ATTA.

Flour number (2).

After I finished all the amount of the toppings I got extra dough, so I used the extra dough and made some manaqish (dough topped with cheese or za’tar).

You can use sweet red pepper or hot red pepper.

If you don’t have red pepper paste, so substitute it with chopped red pepper.

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12 Responses to “Lahm Bi-‘Ajin / Sfiha”

  1. You are such a wealth of information – I love how you explained the differences based on the city. I cannot wait to try these variations for myself.

  2. Dimah says:

    OysterCulture: Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comment! my family are a wealth of information, they help me a lot in each post :)

    Nisrine@Dinners&Dreams: Thanks!

  3. Leslie says:

    I look at a dish like this and think it mustn’t be very complicated but like most middle Eastern cuisine, it’s very complicated! You do such a great job of laying all out in a simple and approachable way!

  4. Sook says:

    I have never had these before but sure do look delicious!

  5. Ooh I’ve tried these once and they were so good! I was thinking what a lovely snack or lunch this would be :D

  6. Rosa says:

    Mmmmmhhhh, I love those scrumptious flatbreads! Nice choice of toppings! I could eat tons of those…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. MaryMoh says:

    These look gorgeous and delicious. I wish I can have some!

  8. Dimah says:

    Leslie: Thank you, not really complex, there are many other dishes that are more complex such as stuffed vegetables (mehshi).

    Sook: Thanks for stopping by!

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella: Thank you for the kind comment! aren’t these delicious :)

    Rosa: Thank you!

    MaryMoh: Thank you! I wish I can send you some :)

  9. Sarah says:

    Looks delicious. I was wondering if I used all purpose flour would it give the same results?

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