No birthday, no buffet and generally no celebration or party without Sfiha! These delicious little minced meat pockets with “built-in pine nut turbo” are the absolute classic when it comes to finger food in Lebanese cuisine. Small, handy and super tasty filled. The recipe is simple and quick to make.
The perfect finger food!
Before we start with my childhood story, I want to go straight to your question: What are sfiha? Sfiha are small Lebanese minced meat pockets or minced meat pies. The small pockets are open at the top and you can see directly that besides the minced meat, roasted pine nuts are also hidden in the delicious filling.
The little sfiha mince pouches are really the perfect finger food and suitable for any buffet.
Imagine you’re a kid and you start to realize that on a certain day of the year it’s all about you, and all of a sudden friends and relatives are standing around wanting to give you a smooch. What do you do?
That’s right, you run to mom, hide behind her, and get something yummy shoved in her mouth while she keeps the guests away from you (or greets them … I’m not so sure anymore).
In our house, for birthdays, a big table was always set with all kinds of little things, such as hummus, labneh, kibbeh and fattoush. That was my first conscious encounter with sfiha, my first great food love …
The little mince pies are extremely popular with my whole family. Everyone likes them and they are even pretty simple and relatively quick to make.
My mother still always makes the dough herself. But if you are in a particular hurry and the party buffet needs to be filled quickly, you can of course save some time with purchased yeast dough. But honestly: bought dough is never as good as homemade dough.
Sfiha can be prepared a day in advance or directly and served the next day as part of a mezze or buffet. I always recommend a small piece of lemon with the spicy minced meat pockets. If you add a few drops of lemon juice, they taste even better.
By the way, sfiha are the counterpart to spinach pockets, which are also perfect as finger food at any party buffet.
I wish you already a lot of fun trying and of course a good appetite!
Recipe for Sfiha
For the dough (you can of course also use ready-made yeast dough)
- 500 g Spelt flour or wheat flour
- 7 g Dry yeast
- 1 TSP Salt
- 1 TSP Sugar
- 200 ml Water lukewarm
- 50 ml Milk lukewarm
- 100 ml Olive oil
- Lemon slices
- Dissolve the sugar in the water and then stir in the dry yeast and leave for about 5 minutes.
- Knead all the ingredients together into a smooth dough. The dough should be kneaded for about 20 minutes. (A food processor will do a lot of the work for you).
- Then cover the dough and leave to rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Finely dice the tomatoes.
- Roast the pine nuts briefly in a pan without fat.
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and shape into balls. Then let it rise covered for another 10 minutes.
- Then roll out a ball of dough thinly and cut it out with a round mould with a diameter of approx. 8 – 10 cm (e.g. a glass).
- Place approx. 1.5 tsp of mince filling in the centre of the round shapes, fold up the outer pastry surfaces and join together at the corners.
- Place the sfiha on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving some space between them, and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.
- Serve sfiha with a little lemon.
Be sure to try the delicious pide with cheese and sucuk.