4.8 from 10 votes
lahm bi ajeen
Lahm Bi Ajin (or Sfiha)
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
These "Arab pizzas" called lahm bi ajin (or sfiha) date back to the fifteenth century and would have appeared in the region of the Beqaa Valley in Eastern Lebanon.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Servings: 10 flatbreads
Author: Mike Benayoun
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup warm water
For the filling
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb (or a mixture of both)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Hot chili pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon 4-spice blend (black pepper, clove, ginger, nutmeg)
  • 4 oz. pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough by mixing the flour, sugar and yeast.
  2. Pour warm water and mix without kneading for a minute.
  3. Then add the vegetable oil and salt and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and does not stick to the edges of the container.
  4. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  5. Chop the onion and garlic. Fry in hot olive oil until the onion becomes translucent.
  6. Then incorporate paprika, 4-spice blend, chili pepper (optional) and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Finely chop the parsley and cilantro. Finely dice tomatoes.
  8. Add the meat to the pan and mix well, then add the herbs and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper.
  9. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. In a dry skillet, toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly.
  11. Knead the dough for a minute, then divide it into fifteen equal balls.
  12. Spread each ball of dough into thin circles with a rolling pin.
  13. Place the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  14. Divide filling among all mini pizzas.
  15. Press lightly with the back of a fork to squeeze the topping so that it adheres to the dough.
  16. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.
  17. Bake for about 10-15 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 F.
  18. Lahm bi ajin meat pies are ready when the crust on the edges is golden.