Spinach Fatayer is a lebanese spinach pie that has fillings of onion, sumac spices, and olive oil. In Arabic, this recipe called fatayer sabanekh, which is a popular breakfast dish among Middle Eastern locals.
In Jordan, Lebanon, and other Levantine & Middle Eastern countries, they serve one of the best pastries and flatbread in the world. There are many kinds of fatayers which include cheese, vegetarian, or meat-based pastries. One vegetarian pastry pie recipe that I enjoy is fatayer sabanekh.
When I was still young, I remember my late grandmother made this spinach fatayer at her house in Kuwait. It is very delicious, and the dough of the bread is so soft, which is perfect to eat this with hot tea. Furthermore, it is a healthy dish, and it is purely vegetarian, which is perfect for vegan eaters.
As a half Jordanian and Middle Eastern, this spinach pie is part of our culture and heritage, which is one of my favorite vegetarian pastries. Fortunately, my grandmother shared this recipe with my mother, and I learned it from her, which I am excited to show you how to make one.
What is Fatayer Sabanekh?
Sabanekh comes from an Arabic word meaning "Spinach" while Fatayer is an Arabic word meaning "Pies".
Although it is originally from Lebanon, this fatayer sabanekh is also popular and widely eaten in Jordan, Palestine, and most Middle Eastern Countries.
When I was living in Kuwait and Jordan, you can find this Lebanese spinach pie and similar pastry dishes in most restaurants or street food stalls. Several of them I tried and ate include halloumi, zaatar, cheese, spiced ground beef, and other meat-based pie.
Ingredients of Spinach Filling
For making the fillings of spinach fatayer, there are several ingredients you need for this recipe:
- Fresh Spinach
- Red Onion
- Sumac Spices
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Black Pepper
You can use any spinach including spinach bag or frozen spinach if you like. Also, I am using ready-made sumac spices that can be bought in any Middle Eastern grocery store.
Lastly, I recommend extra virgin olive oil since it has a stronger flavor and it blends well for this recipe. Do not use other vegetable oil since the taste will be different.
Ingredient of Fatayer Dough Recipe
In addition to the fillings, you also need the ingredient for making Fatayer dough, which is similar for making pizza or flatbread.
Below is the ingredient for making the Spinach Fatayer dough recipe:
- All purpose flour
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- Instant yeast
- Warm water
- Egg Yolk (For giving a golden color of the dough)
I recommend using extra virgin olive oil over other vegetable oil since it gives a nice aroma of the dough. Also, I use the egg yolk to brush the dough after the fillings and before putting it into the oven. This will give the dough a golden color.
Notes: Do not use sea salt and boiling water since this will kill the yeast, hence, weaken the growth of the dough.
What do you serve with this recipe?
Sabanekh fatayer can be served either breakfast, snacks, or dinner. This Lebanese spinach pie is best to serve with Hot tea, cheese, and other dipping sauces like hummus.
Step by Step Instruction
I. Making the Fatayer Dough
Before making spinach filling, we prepare first the dough for the fatayer.
Firstly, add the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same bowl. Separately, mix the warm water and yeast in a glass, and pour it into the bowl.
While kneading and mixing the flour, add a tablespoon of olive oil until it is already well mixed and soft. Cover and leave it for 1 to 2 hours for the dough to grow.
II. Cooking the Spinach Fillings
While waiting for the dough to grow, prepare cooking the spinach mixture filling.
Add olive oil in the pan. Once it is hot, add onion and stir for several minutes till it is cook. Add the spinach and saute for a few minutes.
Once the spinach is almost cook, add the sumac spices, lemon, salt, and black pepper. Mix it well before turning off the heat.
III. Assembling the Fatayer Sabanekh
Divide the dough into 8 to 10 pieces (depends on your preferred size). In each piece, use a rolling pin or your hand to make it into a circle shape.
Add the 1 tablespoon of spinach filling in each dough. Firstly, grab both sides of the dough to close them together followed by the closing back part to form a triangular-shaped.
IV. Baking the Fatayer
Preheat the oven into 400 F or 220 C. Use the egg yolk to brush each spinach fatayer to help give a nice golden color.
Make sure the oven is hot before putting the pies inside. Let it baked for 10 minutes or till it is golden brown.
Other Middle Eastern Vegetarian Recipes
This Spinach Fatayer is an example of a vegetarian Arabic food, here are other Middle Eastern recipes you may like to try: