Print Options:

Fatayer Bil Sabanekh – Spinach Pastries Recipe

Yields1 ServingPrep Time15 minsCook Time5 hrsTotal Time5 hrs 15 mins

This vegetarian version of mini sausage rolls with spinach and feta filling uses puff pastry. I used frozen spinach because it was cheaper than fresh at the time, but chopped and wilted fresh spinach would work just as well.

 ½ cup All purpose flour (white)
  tbsp Sugar (white)
  tbsp Salt
  Egg yolks
  tbsp Powdered milk
  cup Olive oil
  cup Water (warm)
 67 g Spinach (leaves)
 ½ Onions (large)
 1 tbsp Lemon juice
 ¼ tsp Salt
  tsp Coriander (powder)
  tbsp Sumac
  tsp Red chili (powder)
  cup Pomegranate seeds ('Rumman' in Arabic)
  tbsp Olive oil

TO MAKE THE DOUGH To make the fatayer dough, you’ll need a food processor mixing machine. Start by putting all the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix them together.


With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in small amounts of olive oil and water, alternating between both. It takes a while so be patient, the dough should not be rushed. When you see some unmixed dough on the sides of the bowl, just stop the machine, and using a spatula bring it back to the center. You’ll know it’s done when you can see it moving around the bowl in one piece. (Watch the videos.) Note: Not all flours are the same so you may have to adjust the amount of water and olive oil. If you see the dough is done before you finish adding all the olive oil and water that’s fine, don’t add any more. And the opposite is true, you can add a bit more warm water and olive oil to get it to the right consistency.


When you’re finished mixing the dough, take it out of the bowl, and using your hands gently form it into a ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel, then leave it to rest in a warm place for 2 hours. You can place it in an oven or microwave that is not switched on.


While the dough is resting, you can prepare the spinach mixture. Put the spinach leaves in a bowl, cover them with boiling water and leave for one minute. Then place them on a sieve to drain.


In a pot on high heat, fry the chopped onions in olive oil until they turn translucent. Add some sumac and mix well until the onions become red in color, then set them aside to cool - careful not to burn the onions.


Now get a dish towel and put it in a bowl. Place the spinach in it together with the fried onion mixture. Then pick up the towel from the ends and twist so the spinach is in a ball and you’re squeezing out the excess water.


Put the squeezed spinach and onion in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients for the spinach mixture and mix well by hand.


Once the dough has finished resting, knead it for a few minutes using the base of your palms. You won’t be able to roll the dough all at once, so divide it into 3 pieces and cover the pieces you’re not rolling with a dish towel so the dough doesn’t dry. Then sprinkle the area where you will be rolling the dough with some flour to stop it from sticking.


Start by flattening the dough using the palms of your hands. You can press against the palm of your other hand at the edges to keep the thickness the same and to avoid it thinning at the edges. Now roll the dough in one direction, carefully lift it, turn it, and roll again. Continue to do this until the dough is an even thickness.


Push down on the dough using the rim of a glass or container. Carefully remove the excess dough around the circles and put it under the kitchen towel with the rest of the dough. Now move on to the next step to make the fatayer, and then come back and roll some more of the dough. Note: We recommend using something that is around 6cm in diameter so that each fatayer piece isn’t too big.


Start by spreading out the circular dough pieces a bit using your fingers. Then place a bit of the spinach mixture in the center. Using your fingers, lift up 3 edges of the dough to create a triangular shape and press the edges in the center together. Continue to firmly press together all three sides using the tips of your fingers. Make sure all the edges are tightly pressed together, otherwise the fatayer will open when cooking. (Watch the video and look at the step by step photos on how to make the fatayer).


Preheat the oven to 160C. As you finish each piece of fatayer, place it on an oven safe tray lined with baking paper. Once you've filled the tray, whisk the egg yolk and lightly brush the fatayer before putting them in the oven. The fatayer take about 25-30 minutes to cook and for them to go brownish in color.