Saturday, February 11, 2017

1049. Iraqi Spinach Fatayer

My mother, Allah rest her soul, used to make the most amazing spinach fatayer. What excelled them was the sour factor, combined with a perfect pillowy pastry. As is traditional, the parcels would be triangular in shape. After several trials, I think I have finally found the recipe closest to my memory of hers.
If there was a secret ingredient in here, I would say it's the dill, then the sumac. Fresh lemon juice is essential for that tang we are looking for, but too much will give you a soggy pastry. Therefore, the vibrant sumac berry powder must be secret ingredient number two. There is no rushing in making the dough. It must double at its own pace, anything from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the room temperature.

Ingredients: makes 30

For the pastry:
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil

For the filling:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh chopped dill
900g frozen spinach, thawed
3 Tbsp sumac
1 Tbsp dry mint
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp salt and pepper


Proof the yeast by dissolving it in ¼ cup of the warm water with the sugar and letting it activate for about 10 minutes. Whisk together the flour and salt in a mixer bowl or medium bowl. Create a well in the center and add the oil and proofed yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment or by hand, slowly work the wet ingredients into the dry, adding the remaining 3/4 cup of water slowly. Add more water only as necessary to create a sticky dough.
Knead by hand or with the dough hook in the mixer until the dough is very soft, smooth, and tacky/sticky to the touch (but it should not leave dough on your fingers when touched). As you knead, the dough will firm up a bit and absorb all of the water. In a clean bowl at least twice the size of the dough, lightly coat the dough and the sides of the bowl with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 90 minutes.
To make the filling, saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the sumac, dry mint, allspice, and fresh dill. Saute until dill has wilted. Add the thawed spinach (squeezed from extra moisture) and the lemon juice. Saute until mixture is almost dry. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Divide the dough into 30 portions. Working in batches, roll out each portion into a circle, and place a heaped tablespoon of the cooled mixture in the center.  Bring three sides of the dough together in the center over the filling and pinch into a triangle. Close the dough firmly. Alternatively, you can flap the dough, slightly overlapping the seams.
Place the fatayar on the baking sheets and generously brush with olive oil. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. You can broil for about a minute to encourage browning.
Fatayar freeze well in a ziplock freezer bag and can be reheated from frozen, or simply thaw to room temperature and eat. Serve fatayar warm or room temperature as an appetizer, or for a meatless meal with a salad.

صحة و عافية

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