These Iraqi meat pies (لحم عجين) are a popular snack or afternoon tea accompaniment and are affectionately termed as part of the Nawashif (نواشف) food group. Nawashif literally translates as “dried,” and include any number of baked and fried food, both of which are dearly loved yet do not qualify as a meal in themselves (hence the Iraqi love for stews or maraq).
Pulverizing the meat mix renders it highly spreadable and easier to both bake and eat, as it will not crumble off as un-pulverized minced meat will.
You can increase or decrease both or either the chili and/or the pomegranate molasses to suit your personal liking of spiciness and tanginess respectively.I used the dough of the dill flatbread as a template to make this one, but I would venture a guess tat any flatbread recipe would work just as well.
Both the dough and the meat mince are adapted from Nawal Nasralla’s wonderful Iraqi cookbook-encyclopedia Delights from the Garden of Eden.
500g minced meat
3 medium onions, peeled, quartered
2 fresh green chillis, quartered
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped parsley
For the dough:
1 medium potato
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
To make the meat topping, place all ingredients except for the parsley in a food processor.
Pulverize until reduced to a paste.
Stir in, manually, the parsley.
Cover and refrigerate until the dough is finished.
To make the dough:
Peel the potato and cut into large chunks.
Boil the potato until tender.
Save half a cup of the potato water, set aside to cool.
Mash the potato with a fork and set aside to cool.
In a small beaker, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and half cup warm water.
Let the yeast sit for 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly.
Sift the flour in a bowl, stir in the salt, olive oil, and mashed potato.
Add the yeast mixture and the cooled reserved potato water.
Knead for a good 10 minutes, form into a ball, oil over and under, cover and let rise for an hour.
Deflate the dough, and on a floured surface either roll into individual CD-sized discs or into two large oval flat breads.
Smear a heaped teaspoon of the meat mix over the disc of dough.
Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 450F oven, turning the tray half-way through.