Sfiha is a traditional pizza-like dish. It has many variation and is made differently from one country to another. There are two ways of making Sfiha, one is made with tomatoes, like in this recipe, while the other is with Tahini sauce.

Sfiha is a basic yeast dough, similar to a pizza dough, that is stuffed with a spiced lamb meat mixture. It may look intimidating to make but its actually not difficult at all. I will try to explain it as much as I can and I hope all the photos will help in simplifying the process.

You will need:

  • My Basic Dough Recipetriple the recipe.
  • 1 pound minced lamb meat, around 500 grams *
  • 1 big onion, chopped finely
  • 2 big tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sumac spice
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste, plus more for tomatoes and onions

* Usually we use lamb and sometimes we use half minced lamb and half beef. If you don’t have it available you can use beef only. Don’t worry it will taste just as good.


Sfiha - ingredients

After making the dough and while u are waiting for it to rise. Place each of the tomatoes and onions in a separate sieve and add a little salt to it, around half a teaspoon. This will help in releasing all there juices. Allow both to drain of their liquids for around half an hour. Press lightly with the back of the spoon to make sure it doesn’t have much liquid left.

Sfiha - adding ingredients

In a bowl, mix the minced meat, tomatoes, onion, sumac, and tomato paste. Then season with all-spice, salt and pepper. Be careful not to add a lot of salt as the tomatoes and onions already have some.

Sfiha - mix meat

Using your hands, mix the meat well and make sure everything is well incorporated.

Sfiha - making dough into balls step 1

Use any method you are comfortable with and shape the dough into 2 to 2 1/2 inch balls.

Sfiha - making dough into ball step 2

Place all the dough balls on baking sheets.

Sfiha - Putting meat step 1

Take the meat mix (about 2 tablespoons each) and without flattening the dough, simply press it down. So first place the meat.

Sfiha - Putting meat step 2

Then press it down.

Sfiha - Putting meat step 3

And spread it out a little. Follow the photos one by one and you will understand exactly what I mean.

Sfiha - Putting meat step 4

Make sure that the meat is well pressed down or it will pop out of the dough while baking.

Sfiha - Before baking

If the meat mix gets over and you still have some dough left. Simply flatten it out and spread some white cheese spread on it.

Sfiha - After baking

Bake the Sfiha on medium heat for half an hour or until the meat is done and its nice and golden.

Sfiha - Serve

Serve the Sfiha straight out of the oven with pickles and green olives.

Happy Baking, and as we say in Arabic “Sahha Wi Afia”

27 thoughts on “Sfiha

  1. This recipe is interesting since I’ve never eaten any middle eastern foods much. Having a lot of photos is very helpful and you’re bombarded by words. 🙂

    1. Thank you … im glad to introduce u to few of our recipes … and im just trying to make it seem as simple as i possibly can … let me know if u ever try any of my recipes 🙂

    1. Thank you noor … I will make sure to add u to my blogroll too so i dont loose ur contact … stay in touch … 🙂

  2. Hello! THANKS for visiting my blog yesterday! What an interesting blog you have! Great looking recipes… I will have to try this one, maybe with some different seasonings… It looks very yummy!!!! Can’t wait to see what else you make!

    1. Thank you .. i know sumac is not easy to get anywhere .. it just gives the recipe a slight sour taste … but u can use which ever spice u want … let me know what u think of it when u get to try it … stay in touch 🙂

  3. I love this. I am definitely going to have to follow this blog. I will have to modify a few things to make them low carb but you offer such a variety that I am sure that I can do this easily.

    1. Thanx Grace …. accuallly alot of our food is low carb … so u will find me posting alot of stuff that are already low carb … and most of it is relatively healthy and contains a lot of vegs … stay in touch 🙂

  4. These look fantastic especially the ones with cheese. are they similar to the Middle Eastern pastries I have had that are triangular filled with spinach and sumac and others with cheese/labnah/chicken etc?

    1. You are right … but each filling has different dough recipe .. inshallah i will be posting more pastry recipes … let me know if u try any out .. stay in touch 🙂

  5. Hi Laila,

    These look delicious! Kind of like mini pizzas. I also read your dough recipe and you’re right, it can be used for many different things. I’ve never really been introduced to Indian food before so I will be coming back to learn more.
    I know you say sumac is a sour spice and I was wondering what it is made from, I’m trying to visualize the taste in my head. Can you also let me know what some of the most commonly used spices are in Indian food? I know about allspice, cumin, curry, turmeric and a few more but I would like to learn more. You know from looking at my blog that I obviously like to cook and would like to try something new. Thanks and keep in touch 🙂

    1. Hay Onestopcook…
      Im really glad u liked my blog … but i need to correct u with one thing … this isnt indian food .. this is middle eastern .. its very close to meditirranian food .. by that i mean similar to greek and turkish food .. we use alot of spices in our food .. but not as much as indian … our cuisine is very different than indian cuisine but the only thing that is similar is that we use nearly the same spices but different amount…
      About the sumac …it comes from a plant .. its dark purple in color .. and looks like a round flat seed … but its always sold in ground form … its very sour and we use it in several dishes … its like using lemon .. but without it being liquid .. and has a slight taste to it ..
      The other spices that we use are alot .. some of them are cumin, tumric, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, saffron etc … and we use alot of herbs too in our food … keep checking and u will understand wat i mean …
      I saw your blog and its very interesting … i could see that you enjoy cooking as much as i do …. so if u have any other questions i will gladly answer it … stay in touch … 🙂

  6. Hi Laila,

    Thank you for correcting me… I will call it Middle Eastern food from now on instead of Indian, sorry about that.
    It looks interesting and I will be experimenting in my kitchen with some of these spices, of course I will be coming here to learn more about middle eastern food and how to prepare it. Do you have any good recipes for couscous?

    Thanks and talk to you soon,


    1. Hay david …
      Thanx for dropping by again … and im glad u r thinking of trying something new.. and u will be amazed at how some spices can change an entire dish .. about couscous .. yea i do have a couple of recipes .. didnt post any yet though .. will try to post some soon .. stay in touch .. and let me know if u try anything … 🙂

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