Kafta patties topped with potatoes and tomatoes (Kafta bel-saniyeh)

June 1, 2013  •  Category:


Can’t get any more down home than this! I have seen this pan not only at home growing up but on the table of all my schoolmates. It is cafeteria food, Lebanese-style. Kafta patties (a meat mix with chopped parsley and onion) are topped with sliced potatoes and tomatoes and baked. Simple, but satisfying. 

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 1/2 lb kafta mix (see note)
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 4 or 5 tomatoes 
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup tomato juice or 1/4 cup tomato paste diluted in 1 cup of water
  • Salt, to taste; 1/4 tsp black pepper and a pinch of cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses or the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup oil

 1. Make the kafta mix by placing the meat, chopped parsley, onion and spices in the food processor and running the machine till the mixture is pasty. Transfer to a bowl and form patties. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the onion slices  then the patties (about 3 minutes total)  and transfer to an ovenproof plate. 

2. Peel and cut the potatoes into slices about 1/4 inch thick; slice the tomatoes as well. Place the potatoes over the kafta patties, and top these with the tomato slices; pour the tomato juice over the dish, sprinkle the spices and pomegranate molasses or lemon juice. Bake in a 350F oven (covered in foil) for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Serve.

NOTE: Kafta mix: 1/2 lb lean ground beef or lamb or a combo,  1/4 cup chopped parsley and one small onion, chopped. Place them in the food processor with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.



38 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Nidal says:

    Un “Grand Classique” de la cuisine du Moyen Orient.
    Je me souviens, d’un boucher dans notre quartier qui préparait ce plat tous les mercredis midi (comme dans ta recette) mais, exclusivement avec de la viande hachée d’agneau. Comme toutes les préparations à base de viande hachée car la viande de bœuf n’existe pas en Jordanie…
    Il le faisait ensuite cuire dans le four du boulanger d’à côté.
    Étaient invités à partager ce Festin, le boulanger, le coiffeur, un chauffeur de Taxi (toujours le même !) et l’épicier. Ce dernier se chargeait d’amener le yaourt frais qu’il préparait lui même.
    J’ai toujours rêvé de faire partie de ce cercle…
    J’en rêve, encore, aujourd’hui…

  2. Rosa Mayland says:

    A comforting dish! I love that shot of the pita breads.



  3. Danielle says:

    I can’t wait to give this a try! YUM!

  4. meriem says:

    Il est excellent ce plat Joumana, je le mets de suite dans mes favoris, j’ai hâte de le faire!!! A bientôt!

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Definitely looks like a wonderful comfort food!!

  6. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Excellent! As a child any dish with ‘saniyeh” brought a smile.

  7. Sam says:

    Yummy, I love this dish especially with some pomegranate molasses; however, I boil for 1 minute the potato slices before placing them in the baking pan, which expedites the cooking. Beautiful pic!

  8. Ahtna says:

    I remember eating this! It won’t taste as good at home as in Jordan (tomatoes never get enough sun here), but thank you very much for this recipe!

  9. Lisa the Gourmet Wog says:

    I’ve got the this exact recipe in the oven right now, minus the pomegranate molasses!!! I’ve always used lemon, but will give this a go next time 🙂

  10. Susan says:

    A delicious comfort food in any country and a perfect way to warm the soul. Love the beautifully puffed pitas.

  11. Bam's Kitchen says:

    I would love to dip one of those delicious fresh pita breads into the juices of this dish. A wonderful comfort dish. Happy cooking! Take Care, BAM

  12. Oui, Chef says:

    This is my kind of one pot meal!

  13. Nicole says:

    This dish looks soooo homey, as you say, and the photo of the pita bread, WOW! Pillowy and inviting, I can’t imagine how good that would taste right off the racks!

  14. Joumana says:

    That looks delicious.. Can we make the kafta mix in a big batch and freeze it uncooked? Or it wouldn’t taste as good that way

  15. Maria says:

    Hi Joumana, I am looking so forward to making this. I just have a silly question. Do I fry the
    meat with the onions in the same pan or do I remove the onions after they are fried and fry the kafta alone? Thanks so much. Maria

    • Joumana says:

      @Maria: I would remove the onions and fry the kafta alone; frying the kafta is simply to give it some nice brown color and frying the onions is because they take longer to cook and taste better when fried; alternatively, you can simply bake the entire casserole if you don’t have time to fry the onions and meat separately. The flavor just won’t be as “deep”. 🙂

  16. mariam says:

    hi..will be trying this out..why make the meat pasty? i thought overmixing ground beef /hamburger meat made it tough? or does this just really break it down and tenderize it?

    • Joumana says:

      @Mariam: our grandmothers used to pound the meat for hours in a stone mortar (jeren)to make it smooth and tender (removing the nerves and silverskins). I meant to process the meat, onion, herb and spices until the mixture is smooth and all the ingredients are well combined. 🙂

  17. mariam says:

    thanks.. i see..so this process, it tenderizes the meat…

  18. Crystal says:

    I have made this kefta using dried onions and parsley (don’t be too horrified with me) and froze it ahead of time. My husband loves this recipe but with small children it is easier to make large batches and thaw them as I need to.

  19. Amy says:

    I absolutely love your food blog! Living in NYC It’s the closest I can get to my mothers home made food in Lebanon. Following your recipes are very easy and taste just as good as mama’s food! Merci beaucoup pour le recette!

  20. Josee Marchessault says:

    Fabulous and so authentic. I parboiled the potato slices and slow cooked the onions before assembling. Instead of tomato slices on top I used freshly harvested sungold and red cherry tomatoes perviouly oven roasted.. The question is: can I wait until tonight to eat it? Thank you for the recipe!

  21. Dan says:

    The potatoes are still hard even after an hour in the oven! Why is that?

    • Joumana Accad says:

      @Dan: I am sorry for my late reply, and was thinking about the possible reason. The only thing I could think of is the fact that your oven is not calibrated. Normally, the potatoes cook easily within 40 minutes.

      • Anushka says:

        My potatoes were not done after 40 mins either. I think acidic things make the potatoes take longer to cook. Or maybe the type of potato. My mother in law is Lebanese and often find her potatoes take forever too. I think the parboil is a good option

  22. Kat says:

    Made this last night, and husband and daughter ate almost the whole tray! My mother in law makes it one big piece of kafta mix on the bottom of the tray but I made it like you said I just put the potatoes on the bottom and he said it was great! 👍🏻

  23. Amira says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband and I loved it!!!

  24. Vitali Plex Review says:

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it
    has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help different users like
    its aided me. Great job.

  25. Jihad Bilal says:

    For the potatoes, I performed the following:

    1. In a large sauce bring water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
    2. Add potatoes and bring water to boil again.
    3. Boil the potatoes for 5-6 minutes.
    4. Remove from pan and place on the kafta patties.
    5. Follow the rest of the recipe.

    The potatoes were thoroughly cooked.

Add a Comment