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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Spinach/Portobello Mushroom filled Fatayer (Spinach Triangular Pies)

Fatayer  is a Middle Eastern triangular pie that can alternatively be stuffed with spinach,  cheese like Feta cheese or Meat . It is part of Arabic cuisine and is eaten in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and  other Arab countries in the region.
I have always loved these pies stuffed with spinach, onions and Feta cheese, and I used to buy from local Middle Eastern Grocer. However it is always very doughy and with minimum filling.  I did not know any better until  my dear friend Mrs. Aziz gave me her home made spinach pie to try, which was so delicious that the store bought pies did not taste good to me any more. I asked for the recipe,  like all the good cooks, she gave me a verbal recipes with not specific measurement, as she is used to making 500 pies at a time for family get together.  However from out conversation what stuck with me that you bake them at 500 degree F for 20 min and then broil the top for 2  min until golden brown.

So I was determined to make these at home just like hers, but it had been a while since I saw her, so from my recollection of her verbal recipe and some modifications and couple of trials and errors and adaptations,  I came up with this version.
Ingredients for dough:
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoon of fast acting instant yeast 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  •  1/4 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of water ( if not using yogurt or sour cream can use 3/4 of water)
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of Dark Rye flour (this is optional, you can use 2 and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon of Olive oil
  • Some extra olive oil to coat the prepared dough

Method to Make dough
  • Mix sugar in to luke warm water. 
  • Add yeast and cover for 5 min
  • Heat oven to 200 degrees F and turn it off to create warm environment for dough to rise.

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl.
  • Add oil and crumble flour with hands and add yogurt mix with palm of hands and then add risen yeast mixture.
  • Make the dough, kneading it until all the crumbs come together.
  • Make it in to a smooth ball and coat it with olive oil.

  • Cover the bowl with metal plate and place it in the heated but turned off oven.
  • Leave it to rise for one hour.


 While the dough is rising, prepare the stuffing.
Ingredients for Stuffing:
  • 1 8 oz pack of  fresh spinach. (you can use the frozen, if you use frozen, let it thaw and squeeze all the water out of it)
  • 1 8 oz pack of portobello mushrooms 
  • 5-6 green onions with greens attached
  • 2 medium size yellow onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 table spoon of sumac * (see description below)
  • 1-2 teaspoon of Lemon or  lime juice (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
  •  8 oz o Feta cheese or Mozzarella Cheese. (I used Mozzarella)

  • Wash, peel and chop all the onions, garlic,  spinach and mushrooms.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add green and yellow onions and garlic.
  • Saute until light brown
  • Add mushroom and then  cook for 1-2 min and add spinach.

  • Cook for 5 min on high heat until all the water is reduced.
  • Turn the heat off to cool.

  • Don't add salt, sumac, black pepper and lime juice.
  • Add all this in the cooled stuffing just before stuffing to avoid it becoming wet and runny again.

  • Check on the dough after an hour. 
  • It should be double in size now.
  • Gently knead the dough for little bit  and divide it in to 9-10 golf size balls.
  • Divide the stuffing in to same amount of portions.


  • Preheat the oven at 500 degrees F
  • Roll out each ball with rolling pins in to 6-8" circle.
  • Place cheese and stuffing in the middle of circle.
  • Pinch two ends first then the third to make a triangle or pyramid.
  • Generously brush each triangle with olive oil.
  • Place the triangle on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Bake the pies the middle rack for 20 min.
  • Then turn the oven to Broiler at high and broil for about 1.5- 2 min to make the top part of triangle brown.
  • Place a towel on wire rack and cool the pies on this rack.
  • Serve hot with desired sauce. 


  • You may omit cheese and just use spinach and onions
  • You can use any greens instead of spinach,
  • Sumac is tart in taste so use it to your taste. You can totally omit it and just juice only lemon or lime juice instead.
  • You can make these ahead of time and store them in fridge when cool and just heat them up in oven before serving.
  • You can use all purpose flour only instead of mixing with Rye if you like, or you can use whole wheat or duram chapati flour.
  • You can omit yogurt and just use water to make the dough if you like.
  Enjoy !!
* Sumac is Sumac (red, red shift, turning red),  is any one of about 35 species of flowering plants   in the geus Rhus. The dried and powdered fruits are used as a spice in Middle Eastern  cuisine. Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in East Asia, Africa, and North America.


Fatayer description source:
Sumac description source:
Recipe adapted by Surekha from her friend Mrs. Aziz's verbal recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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