Lachmagine is a classic mazza, a “small bite” Syrian Jews often eat before dinner. It’s kind of like a mini pizza, but instead of sauce and cheese we put tamarind and meat on it. It’s a staple in many homes on Shabbat and holidays.

Making these is a little bit time consuming. I mean, it makes around 60 (I made exactly 62) lachmagine, and you have to cut them each out, top with the meat, and flatten. So it’s a good thing these freeze well. Pop them in the freezer and then whip them up as part of a weekday meal. Or make them, freeze them, and cook them for your Shabbat company.

Lahamagine (meat pies), adapted from red Deal Delights:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (1/2 packet) active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil (optional)

For the Meat Filling

  • 2 pounds raw ground beef
  • 2 grated onions, drained
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup temerhindi (or a little more, depending on how strong the flavor is)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add dissolved yeast and mix well. Add oil and mix again.

2. Gradually add remaining water, kneading until a soft dough is formed.

3. Cover with a clean towel and let rest in a warm place for one hour.

4. Make filling: Mix all filling ingredients together.

5. Split the dough into four equal pieces. Roll out one part of the dough as thin as possible and cut out small circles, about 3-4 inches in diameter.

6. Place all the circles on baking trays that you brushed with oil.

7. Spread a heaping tablespoon of meat filling onto each dough, making sure you spread it all the way to the edge. It will look like a lot, but it shrinks as it cooks! Press down the meat firmly so it sticks to the dough.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

9. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

10. Freeze the ones you’re not gonna eat immediately!