Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lahme bi ajeen (meat in pastry) - bitesize

This appetiser can be called different names, some may call it lahme bi ajeen, others would call it sfeeha...but I have stuck to lahme bi ajeen only because my grandma (may Allah rest her soul) used to make it specifically for us, and thats what she called them. 

Although my attempt at making these can never do my grandma's lahme bi ajeen justice, but maybe with a couple more tries I can become just as good :)

Usually these are made bigger in size, but I chose to make them bitesize. This means you still get the yummy taste, without having to dig into a few large pieces. However many bitesize pieces you have will not equal the amount of large pieces you eat! (Good theory right?) :)

  • Makes: 16
  • Prep time: approx 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

What you will need

1 packet puff pastry (I buy the 500g one)
1/4 kg mince meat (basically just over a handful)
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
2 tbsp pine nuts or almonds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: 1/2 tsp sumaq (or juice of 1 lemon)
Milk to brush onto surface

Directions to make

1) Saute the nuts over medium heat, continuously mixing to ensure they do not burn. When they turn golden, remove from heat and set aside

2) Place a splash of olive oil in a pan, and saute the onions until they start turning transparent

3) Add the meat to the onions, and once the meat cooks through, add the salt, pepper, cinnamon and the optional sumaq/lemon, followed by the nuts. Mix well and leave to cool

4) Cut the puff pastry block into 16 pieces (if you decide to make them bitesize, otherwise make the pieces bigger). Oil a clean surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out each piece until thin (but not too thin so it tears)

5) Place a few teaspoons of the mixture into the centre of the rolled pastry

6) Fold the longer sides onto the centre

7) Then fold the shorter sides to the centre

8) Place the pastry onto an oiled baking tray and flatten the pastry with your hand to make it thinner. Brush milk onto the surface of the pastries

This is before the pastries were flattened

9) Place the pastries into a hot oven for around 10/15 minutes, or until golden and the pastry appears cooked (for my second batch, the top had cooked but the bottom hadn't, so I flipped them over and left them in the oven for a few more minutes)

The failed attempt to make these look fancy! 

I am sure there are many different ways to make these, and I would love to hear the way you make them. I have chosen the easiest and simplest method, using ready made puff pastry! Give these yummy bites a try, and enjoy :)

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