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Shared by Frida Goldberg and Mimi Bozo

Laham b'Ajeen (Flatbread With Meat and Pomegranate)

Yield: 16 meat piesTime: 50 minutes + rising time

Laham b'Ajeen (Flatbread With Meat and Pomegranate)

Yield: 16 meat piesTime: 50 minutes + rising time

Family Journey

Aleppo, SyriaUrfa, Turkey
Jerusalem

To make the tangy pomegranate concentrate that’s key to this recipe, Adelle would purchase nearly 50 pounds of fresh pomegranates. At home, she would painstakingly crack the fruit open and remove the seeds before simmering them down for hours and finally strain the mixture. Today, her family uses store-bought pomegranate molasses, which works well in this recipe. Look for a bottle made without added sugar like this one.

Laham b’ajeen can be cooked in advance and held in the refrigerator for two days, and they freeze well. Stack disks with wax paper between layers and then wrap well in plastic wrap and place in a sealed plastic bag. 

This recipe was shared by Frida Goldberg and Mimi Bozo. Read more about their family in "How One Cook, Who Knew No One, Built a Syrian Community Around the Table" and try their recipes for roasted eggplant salad, faulle (stewed green beans with beef), and bulgur muhammara.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon (¼ oz) active dry yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sauce and assembly

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for baking
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, pulsed fine in a food processor 
  • ¾ cup unsweetened pomegranate molasses 
  • ½ cup tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
Cooking ProjectsMeat

Preparation

  • Step 1

    Make the dough: In a large bowl, add the water, honey, and yeast and gently mix. Let sit until the yeast foams, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and salt, and mix to combine. Knead until the dough becomes smooth, about 5 minutes. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if needed.

  • Step 2

    Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

  • Step 3

    Mix the sauce: Place the oil, ground beef, ground onions, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, salt, pepper and paprika into a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together until combined well. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water at a time and mix to create a sauce-like consistency.

  • Step 4

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  • Step 5

    Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. Scrape dough onto a well floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces, then divide each into 4 smaller pieces, so you have 16 pieces of dough in total. Roll each into a ball, lightly sprinkle with flour, and cover with a damp towl.

  • Step 6

    Working one ball at a time, gently flatten with your hand on a floured surface. Roll into a thin disk, about 6-inches in diameter. Transfer to the oiled baking sheet, and repeat until the sheet is full.

  • Step 7

    Top each round of dough with 3 tablespoons of sauce and spread in a thin layer, covering the entire disk. There is no need to leave a border.

  • Step 8

    Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until the dough is just cooked through. The dough will be a light color, but this is ok. You want the dough to remain soft and pliable. Transfer to a cooling rack, and repeat with the remaining dough and sauce. 

  • Step 9

    Serve warm.