Turkish Meat Pies with Arabic spice mix, mint and pine nuts. Amazing flavors and so delicious. Plus a bonus recipe for the Arabic spice mix.
I remember a few years ago when I worked in Michigan, my Turkish friend and I went to a bakery. I don’t remember if that bakery was Turkish or Lebanese but we bought the most delicious meat pies there. That was the first time I tried these flat, open face meat pies and I was hooked. I remember I bought a few and brought them home and my husband and I fought over them. They were just delicious and they had beautiful Arabic spices flavor.
I was determined to learn to make these myself. My friend told me the basic ingredients in them, and I just had to try and make them. These Arabic spices like cardamom, coriander and cumin were not really familiar to me, as Romanian cuisine is pretty basic and we don’t use that many spices. Although the spices were not too common in my cooking, I had all the spices in my kitchen. I love to buy spices from all over the world, because you never know when you’re going to need them. I enjoy going to Indian stores and Arabic stores and buy the different spices they have and then research and see what I can make with them.
Ever since then I’ve been making these meat pies, not very often, but when I do make them they are gone in no time.
To make these meat pies, you’ll first need to make the Arabic 7 spice mix, if you don’t already have it. The recipe for the spices will make a lot more than you need for these meat pies, so just store them and use them next time.
Now I’m not sure if these meat pies are a traditional Turkish recipe, but it’s what I’ve come up with from my friend’s recipe and my research for the perfect meat pie.
They are easy to make, and first you need to make the dough because it needs to stay in the fridge for a couple hours. The dough is simple, but the special ingredient in this dough is the yogurt which makes it so light and delicious as well.
The dough will be a fairly soft dough, and you need to place it in an oiled bowl and also rub some olive oil over the dough as well before you refrigerate it. While the dough is in the fridge you can make the spice mix and the meat mixture. The onion and garlic need to be chopped really small, so if you’re not that good with the knife use a food processor. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, garlic and ground beef. Saute a bit and then add the spice mix, sugar, salt, and tomato paste. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the mint and yogurt and stir well. Place the meat mixture in a bowl and let it cool.
Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Take each ball and roll it out, do no use extra flour, use olive oil to stretch the dough as needed. The meat pies should be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. If you use a cookie sheet you’ll be able to fit about 6 pies on it. Spoon a couple tablespoonfuls of the meat mixture over the rolled out dough and spread it evenly. Sprinkle some pine nuts over the meat.
Bake them in a 400 F degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with some mint before serving.
They are so cute and oh boy are they ever delicious. I love these meat pies! The Arabic spice mix gives these meat pies such an awesome flavor, it will be a party in your mouth.
Here’s the printable recipe, don’t let the number of ingredients scare you away, it’s pretty simple to make.
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tbsp cardamom
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- ⅓ cup yogurt
- ½ tsp salt
- toasted pine nuts, optional
- In a small bowl get the yeast going by mixing it with the warm water and sugar. Let it sit until it bubbles.In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour and salt and mix it well. Add the yogurt to the flour, the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Using the paddle attachment mix well. The dough should be soft.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and rub some additional olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a couple hours.
- While the dough is refrigerating mix all the spices for the Arabic spice mix together.
- In a skillet heat the tablespoon of olive oil and add the ground beef and finely chopped onion and garlic. Stir well and cook for a couple minutes, after which add a tablespoon of the spice mix, the tomato paste, sugar and mix. Cook for a couple more minutes till the meat is cooked through.
- Add the mint, yogurt and salt to the meat mixture and mix well. Let it cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Take each ball and roll it out, do no use extra flour, use olive oil to stretch the dough as needed. The meat pies should be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. If you use a cookie sheet you'll be able to fit about 6 pies on it. Spoon a couple tablespoonfuls of the meat mixture over the rolled out dough and spread it evenly. Sprinkle some pine nuts over the meat.
- Bake the pies for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with some mint before serving.