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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Sfeeha (Arabic Meat Pastries) & Giving Back This Ramadan with Fabulous Giveaways

For this Recipe in Arabic, follow this link

The best snack ever and a perfect Suhoor option

"With this blog, everyone is a winner. You learn how to cook, you learn techniques and new recipes, you find menus to please the fussiest of palates, you read about fabulous eating experiences, you learn about culinary destinations, you find out about premium products and what's new in the food market, you learn about the cultural aspect of food and you win fabulous giveaways from time to time. Not hugely terrible!! Don't you think?"   - Author of this blog

This post is mainly to announce Ramadan giveaways, but don't let all the giveaway excitement distract you from today's delicious recipe - Sfeeha (Arabic Meat Pastries). 

I am extremely grateful to all of the readers who make this very demanding blogging business all worthwhile. Thanks to all of you lovely people, my blog readings are doing fantastic, and any blogger knows that readings are the most important thing. After all, we blog to be read. What is even better than readings is the interaction! It is hearing from you, listening to how this blog has either inspired, helped or even as much as kept you company is the softest tune to my ears. I am always happy to hear that you have tried the recipes, and most importantly that everyone loved the food and that YOU were a star :) At the end of the day, this is what this blog is about. It is for you to build a relationship with cooking, it is about creating your own kitchens, with some love from mine.

As you know and part of Dima's Kitchen Ramadan Special, I have promised you some giveaways. Today I am announcing some major giveaways and following soon, I will be announcing some more giveaways. You know how I like to keep it exciting, add spices here and there, aromatics towards the end and serve up a fabulous meal at the end of it all :) 

It's a Cook Off & Dima's Kitchen is firing hot right now :)

Sponsored by Tavola

Everybody is aware of my love for cast iron pots and pans. I find that they tremendously improve the quality of your cooking. The food always comes out more deeply flavoured, more tender and properly cooked throughout due to the even heat distribution quality of cast iron. You can find more information about cast iron pots and pans on this link including how to season and care for cast iron cookware.

Therefore, I am ever so excited to let you know that TAVOLA have offered 3 fabulous giveaways to give to the lucky Dima's Kitchen readers. 

  • One lucky winner is going to win the beautiful Cherry Red Staub Cocotte (26 cm, picture on the right top) and another lucky winner is going to win the super cool Staub Grill Pan ( picture on the right middle), which can be used both stovetop and in the oven (up to specified temperatures). 

  • If you haven't cooked with cast iron before, you are going to be amazed at how much cast iron can improve the cooking results and enhance the flavours of food. You are going to love it. If you have tried cast iron before, and know the brand Staub, then you know what am going on about and why I am so excited :)

  • The third lucky winner will win the fantastic Fissler Pressure Cooker (10L Capacity), (picture on the right bottom). I always use a pressure cooker for making broths, soups and speedy cooking. I can never live without one in my kitchen. So I am extremely happy that a lucky winner will get this fabulous giveaway. Large pressure cookers are hard to come by, so with this giveaway the winner is really super lucky.

Sponsored by Dima Sharif

I am also giving away this Ramadan :)
  • One lucky winner will win participating for free in the full course of 'Chocolate Truffles' *, where you will learn the art of making real chocolate truffles in all their variations. 

  • Another lucky winner will win participating in Part 1 of the delightful course 'High Tea' * where you will learn the traditions, history and food of Afternoon Tea. 

  • Since a big chunk of this blog's readers are internationally based, and for no one to miss out on this fabulous Giveaway fever. I am also going to give away a cash prize of US$200 for one lucky international reader ;)

*Conditions apply

Sponsored by CitrussTV

  • One lucky winner will win the state of the art ThermoChef Machine, which cooks, chops, blends and mixes all in one machine.

  • Another lucky winner will win this multi functional Express Grill, that grills, bakes and even cooks foods in just one machine.

  • And another lucky winner will win a Turkish Coffee Maker. Yes that is right, a Turkish Coffee Machine is now a reality, and long gone are the days when we have to stand over a boiling pot of Turkish coffee!

Sponsored by KENWOOD

  • One lucky winner will win this very practical 4-bladed food chopper/ mini blender.

Meanwhile, and in order to qualify for the draw you too have to give some love back
These are the conditions to qualify for these giveaways:

  • You must be a follower of this blog. Keep reading the blog posts and commenting on these posts. I do love to hear from you, so the more you comment the more the chances to win. Comments sent to email are not included. Please sign the comment with your name so I know who you are and also add which country you are from to determine cash prize or giveaway.
  • You must be a fan of our community's Facebook Page 'Gastronomy by Dima Sharif'. Just follow the link and press like.
  • You must be a fan of the Sponsor's page in this case TAVOLA. Just follow the link and press like.
  • You must take part in this activity by carrying out any recipe from Dima's Kitchen blog, photographing the outcome (don't worry about magazine quality photography, any photo you take will do). Send this photo to I will upload these photos to the album 'Made by Fans'.
  • Tell as many people as you can to join this activity, they will love you for it.
That's all you need to do... lol! Then once Ramadan is over, I will announce the winners and give out the Giveaways and we can all be happy and continue cooking :)) Good luck!


As for today's recipe, I am sharing with you one of the best snacks ever. I will show you how to make the delicious Sfeeha. Sfeeha is Arabic meat pastries. Usually atop a very fluffy dough disk, we place a heap of meat mixture, then bake them to perfection. The outcome is a soft, cloud like pastry and a mixture of tangy, salty, meaty topping. A delicious experience that will make you pop them like TicTacs! These pastries are also a very good option for lunch boxes. 
If you are cooking a recipe from this blog that includes Arabic Meat Stuffing in its ingredients, and you find that you have leftover meat stuffing, then Sfeeha is a very good option for using up the leftovers. Just mix the meat stuffing with the tahina mixture and the pomegranate molasses and your meat topping is ready to go.

Ramadan Recipe 10

You Need
For making the Dough
4 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp milk powder
2 tsp dry instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 cups warm water extra
1 tsp salt

For the Meat Topping
1 recipe Arabic Meat  Filling
1/2 cup Tahina
Juice 1 lemon
3 tbsp Pomegaranate Molasses
3 ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and finely chopped

Start by making the dough,
Place the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, stir to incorporate and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. In the meantime, place the flour, salt and milk powder in a large bowl, and mix all together well. Add the olive oil and rub between your two palms well, until the mixture looks like tiny crumbs. Add the yeast mixture and incorporate into the dough.
Gradually add enough water to reach a slightly sticky and elastic dough. (see tips in Making Shishbarak post). Do not over work your dough, knead only until it comes together to a slightly sticky elastic dough, then gently roll into a ball and place in a slightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let it rest in dry place for 2 hours.

Tip Overworking and over kneading the dough will result in tough pastry. For fluffy pastry, gently work the dough and for as short a time as possible.

Half an hour before resting time is up, make the Meat filling. Once the meat is finished cooking, place in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together, tahina, a pinch of salt and the lemon juice. Stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, thin it slightly with water. We are after a slightly runny consistency (ribbon), not a soup consistency.

Mix the tahina mixture, the chopped tomatoes and the meat filling together to incorporate. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses and mix well.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Remove dough from bowl, place on slightly flowered surface, knead twice to prepare, then cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Cut each part into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten against your palm to form a disk shape. Place the disks on the lined baking sheets. and brush with egg wash. Top each disk with 1 tsp of meat filling, pressing the filling down gently against the dough.

Bake each tray 10-15 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden and the tops slightly browned. Be careful as , if the bottoms are brown dark brown, that means you have over cooked the pastries.

When done remove from heat. carefully transfer to a wire rack and cool for 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Hope you like today's recipe, and that you are as excited about this Giveaway Fever from Dima's Kitchen Ramadan Special. Looking forward to all your comments, photos and wishing you all Good Luck ;)

Drop by again tomorrow for the Fabulous Arabic Spinach Pastries, which you are going to adore :))

Remember to express appreciation to the fabulous people in your life, everyone loves to hear it
Ramadan Kareem