Fatayer Sabanekh are Middle Eastern Spinach stuffed pastry triangles…
In the Middle East we are known for making pastries, the fillings vary but the dough is usually the same. Spinach filling is one of the most popular fillings, but it can be minced meat, white cheese, or good Zaatar!
WHAT ARE FATAYER SABANEKH (SPINACH PASTRIES)
These spinach pastries or Fatayer Sabanekh remind me of my childhood, my Mum used to bake them a lot when I was a kid and I remember how whenever I started eating them I just could not stop, one pastry after another… you’re full… but you still want one more! This is how it is with Spinach pastries!! Seriously addicting! Sabanekh is Spinach in English, while Fatayer translates into pastries.
HOW TO MAKE FATAYER SABANEKH
The dough that I used to make these pastries is perfect for any form of savoury pastries (This is my Mum’s recipe btw!), it is also the same dough that was used to make New York style pizza, it really is that wonderful that it can be used to make many different things. What I love about this dough recipe is that it turns out soft and fluffy, and it also holds the shape very well… Speaking of the shape, these might remind you of the Indian Samosa but below I explained to you step by step on how to make these tasty triangles! Regarding the size you can either make them small or big, if you’re planning on serving them at a party then you should definitely make them small, but if you’re making them just for lunch at home then I’d go with medium sized triangles.
These pastries are perfect for lunch boxes (kids are back to school next week!), picnics, make ahead appetisers for home parties or events (your guests will LOVE them), they are also great for a wonderful morning meal, lunch, or snacks especially if you’re in a hurry!
The filling is very healthy, it is also a great way to get your kids to eat spinach. It consists of sautéed onions with spinach, squeeze a lemon, and then just add a little bit of salt and Sumac. It is a very simple recipe and it’s also great if you’re on a budget!
The pastries can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks, they also freeze very well and you will be amazed that even if you decide to store in the freezer, after briefly heating them in the microwave they will still be soft and tender!
Spinach Pastries (Fatayer Sabanekh)
For the dough:
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water not hot
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
For the filling:
- 800 grams spinach leaves or 400 grams frozen spinach
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp sumac
- pinch of salt
- In a small sized mixing bowl, add water (make sure it's warm, as hot water can kill the yeast), salt, yeast, ½ cup of flour, stir well and let it sit aside until the mixture gets bubbly.
- In another medium sized mixing bowl add olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour, and mix together using a spoon.
- Add the bubbly mixture to the rest of the ingredients, mix until it's all together enough to knead on a lightly floured work surface to knead.
- knead for about 10 minutes then form a dough ball and let it sit in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel for about 1 hour or until the dough ball doubles in size (in a warm place to let the dough rise). When I don't have time to wait I place the bowl with the dough in another bowl that's filled with warm water (not hot!), the dough rises within 30-45 minutes.
To prepare the filling: (If using frozen spinach then defrost and thaw out the spinach but if using fresh spinach chop the spinach and then you have to squeeze out the juices a little) Saute a finely chopped onion with the spinach, add the lemon, sumac and salt, and let the juices dry out with the heat.
- After the dough ball doubles in size, cut the dough in small balls (size of an egg) and keep under a towel so the dough does not dry out. Roll out each ball into a circle (I use my hands) then follow the pictures above to make the triangles.
- Making sure that the triangles are sealed well, transfer on a baking sheet and brush the pastries with a beaten egg (so they turned golden while baking!)
- Bake on the middle rack at 200c for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden.