Sfiha is an open Middle-Eastern baked pie that looks like a mini pizza and is topped with spiced beef or lamb mince.
Some of the fresh ingredients of “sfiha”, tomatoes and onions keep the mince moist, lime and mint give the mince lots of zing and complement the flavour of the spices. Adopted from The Amazing Flavours of Brazil.
520g plain flour, sifted
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant dried yeast
250ml luke-warm milk
40ml extra-virgin olive oil
700g full fat beef mince
3 tomatoes (about 400g), deseeded, roughly chopped
3 onions (about 450g), finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp of nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tsp sumac*
1 tbs freshly ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Lime wedges, to serve
American mustard, to serve
Vegetable oil spray to grease
*Available from Middle-Eastern grocers or large supermarkets
1. For the dough, in a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and add milk, yeast and oil. Using your hands combine all the ingredients until the mixture comes to a ball. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, make a ball and cover lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside to prove in a warm draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
2. Pre-heat the panggangan 200°C, grill fan-forced. Line two large trays with baking paper. In a large bowl mix all ingredients of the topping and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. When the dough is ready make 20 balls of the size of a lime and place them on a clean bench dusted with flour. Flatten a ball in the middle and push down sideways keeping the round shape. Spoon about 2 tbs of mince, squeeze tightly in one of your hands over a bowl (to remove excess juices) and spread the mince on top of the dough at the same time you flatten the dough to make a thin round mini-pizza shape of about 8cm diameter, leaving a little bit of crust on the edges then place it on a tray. The thinner the dough, the better the end results will be. Repeat with remaining balls.
4. Drizzle the sfihas with extra-virgin olive oil and bake in the middle shelf of the panggangan for 8-10 minutes or until the crusts are golden and the base is dry and crispy. Serve with lime wedges and mustard.
Makes: 20 sfihas