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Spiced meat parcels with pomegranates


I know these delicious meat parcels as fatayer, but the flat version with the same ingredients is called Lahm bil Ajeen, which translated means 'meat with pastry'. These pastries are lamb-based with an infusion of spices that will bounce around your mouth. I know the ingredients list might seem long, but trust me, it only takes about six minutes to get both the pastry and the meat mix ready.

Excerpted from the cookbook Palestine on a Plate, by Joudie Kalla.

Calories Per Serving


If you find the filling and shaping of the dough circles too difficult, then you can just roll out 6–8 small pizza-shaped circles, which are just as authentic and delicious, and top with the lamb like a pizza (they are called lahm bil ajeen, as mentioned above). I have done both.

This spiced meat can also be used to replace sujuk (spicy sausage) in recipes if you can't find it.


For the pastry

  • 500 Grams plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 100 Grams butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk, plus an extra yolk for brushing
  • 150 Milliliters buttermilk
  • 200 Milliliters water
  • 1 Tablespoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

For the meat filling

  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 400 Grams lamb mince
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


For the pastry

Rub the flour, salt, and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, buttermilk, and water and combine. Before it has all come together, add the chilli flakes and cumin seeds and knead until you have a slightly smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge until you need it.

For the meat filling

Preheat a convection oven to 200 degrees Celsius (220 C/425 F in a conventional oven).

To make the meat filling, mix all the ingredients, except the pomegranate seeds and parsley, together with the lamb and set aside.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into three pieces. Roll one piece out to 5 millimeter (1/8 inch) thick. Cut out 8-centimeter (3 1/4-inch) circles and set them on a baking tray. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. This recipe should make about 24 in total if you re-use the cuttings as you work.

Take a small teaspoon of the meat mixture and place it in the center of a dough circle. Fold the edges into the center and pinch them together to create a diamond shape, leaving some of the stuffing exposed. Repeat with the rest of the dough and meat mixture and place on baking trays. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.

Bake for about 12–15 minutes until golden and crisp. Scatter pomegranate seeds and some parsley on top to add some crunch and punch!