Lahamagine (or Lachamagine) is the perfect appetizer for your Purim seuda or for Mazza (a full spread of Syrian delicacies which is served before a Shabbat meal) appetizers on Shabbat. Its’ main ingredients are chopped meat and ourt. Many Syrian Jewish deliacies call for ourt, which is a dark thick gooey yummy syrup with a main ingredient of the tamarind plant. The ourt adds a sweet and tangy combination which is unparalleled to any other seasoning. You will be tempted to take little licks straight off of your spoon. A staple in all Syrian kitchens, it’s cleaning and cooking process takes hours and is made from the pods of the tamarind tree.
As for where to buy the ourt I’ve searched online and there isn’t any shortcut to getting it besides coming to Kings Highway in Brooklyn. You can also call Yehuda in Kosher Corner- maybe he will ship it to you. Tell him Marlene sent you! His # is (718) 998-2400.
Here’s a great substitute for ourt sauce which tastes really similar. You can use my mother in law’s recipe. Here it is:
Get a huge pareve pot and pour all of these ingredients into it:
1 bottle of lemon juice, 1 large can of tomato puree, 1 bottle of Prune juice, 1 cup of sugar- cook and mix with a wooden spoon on a low flame for several hours till it reduces halfway. As it cools it becomes thicker. Store in a sterilized jar forever.
Many Syrian Jewish women have lost the patience to make this gobbled-up-in-a minute appetizer. If you want a shortcut, you can also buy Mazor’s frozen premade dough HERE- the trick is to leave it spread out on a sprayed baking pan for an hour or two to let it soften and rise- and then add the meat mixture).
If you really dont have time to make lahamagine, you can purchase lahamagine in Kosher Corner or any Syrian store along Kings Highway between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Avenue.
This lahamagine recipe is by Kosher Foodies – two gourmet identical twin sisters who put tons of creativity and passion into their kosher cooking blog. Enjoy! Marlene
Recipe for Lachamagine:
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.
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!
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