This is one that I learnt from my mother who learnt it from her mother who learnt it from her mother… you get the drift. Laham B’ajeen is a Syrian specialty, a meat pie with beef and tamarind and so delicious too! It’s not the quickest of things to make but trust me, the outcome is well worth it.


You will need

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Meat Topping:
  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 3 onions, finely chopped and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 1 6oz can of tomato puree/paste
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups tamarind concentrate or ou
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • pine nuts for garnish


  1. First we start by making the dough. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, add the dissolved yeast and mix well. Add in the vegetable oil and mix again. Gradually add 1 cup of warm water, kneading until a soft dough is formed.
  2. Cover with a clean towel or cling film and let rest in a place warmer than room temperature for 1 hour. While it is rising, preheat your oven to 350.
  3. Next we make the topping. Combine the beef, onion, tomato paste, lemon juice, tamarind or ou, allspice and salt and mix well.
  4. Grab the dough and separate into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of dough until it's as thin as possible, without tearing it.
  5. Using a cookie cutter or a medium sized glass, cut dough into small rounds, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
  6. Place the rounds on greased baking sheets and spread a tablespoon of the meat filling on to each round, pressing in firmly, then decorate with pine nuts.
  7. Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  8. Makes 4 dozen pies


What do you think? Let me know!

  1. Wow at last a version I am willing to try! I have the recipe from other cookbooks but I feel defeated half way through reading the recipe. Will try. Love your blog Julia, you rule!!!!

  2. I love these and I live in Israel and can’t find tamarind anywhere in my area. Do you know of a substitute I could use?

    • Hi Marisa, You can definitely use pomegranate molasses instead of tamarind. I often use it and the outcome is delicious