Meat hand-pies

November 4, 2014  •  Category: ,


tob divide dough

tob. roll out dough

My friend Asma Zeito, who is a personal Chef, makes these wonderful Kurdish hand pies. She calls them sham-burek. This version is from Anatolia (Mardin) where Asma and her family are from. These are easy to make and delicious with a glass of yogurt drink (ayran or daw)


  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose or cake flour or 00)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil+more for the filling
  • 1 cup water (enough to get a smooth and silky dough)
  • 1/2 pound ground meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt, black pepper, to taste

1. Place the flour in a mixer or processor bowl; add salt and mix to combine. Add the oil and mix to combine. Add the water gradually and mix till the dough is smooth and shiny and holds together. Divide the dough into 5 portions and set on a floured tray; cover with a towel while you prepare the stuffing.

2. Brown the meat in a skillet with the onion, add the spices, stirring to break-up the lumps. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drain the excess fat. Flour the counter lightly and roll out each ball of dough till very thin into an 8″ circle. Cut the circle in half and place the filling on the bottom half; fold over, pressing to seal the pie. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 375F preheated oven till dry and lightly golden. Serve warm with the yogurt drink.


16 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    A fabulous snack! Those hand pies look incredibly good.



  2. Elizabeth says:

    These look fantastic, what a nice simple dough. I might try a vegetarian version of these.

  3. Dilek says:

    Love it!! It’s soo easy simple and soo delicious..

  4. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    Aïe aïe aïe, tu me donnes faim dès les premières heures de la matinée, avec tes chaussons façon kurde … La recette est notée. j’aurai du monde cette année pendant la semaine de Noël. Des amateurs de ta cuisine, qu’ils ont déjà largement goûtée … Je leur ferai ça un soir, c’est sûr !

  5. Joumana says:

    @Hélène, les meilleures sont les plus fines! La pâte est roulée a 1 mm d’épaisseur, pas plus!

  6. Oui, Chef says:

    YUM…these look quite spectacular!

  7. Spiridoula says:

    So tasty!!!! Delicious…….!!

  8. Faika says:

    Hi there, the sham burek look amazing and i am sure taste good, but i didn’t know that we can bake them always think they will become dry but i will try next time thanks for sharing . i noticed that Asma Zeito who made them which is i am from the same family name and from Mardin. i don’t know if we are related. Thank you.

  9. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours says:

    Oh I love these, very very simple and I am thinking of Christmas leftover fillings for them

  10. Susan says:

    My parents are from Mardin. We make a version of this, using raw beef with onions salt. pepper and
    allspice. We roll into 6-7 inch circle, then we cook them on the barbecue,

    Delicious. this is the first I see them in any recipe collection!!

    • Joumana says:

      @Susan: My friend Asma is from a village near Mardin, hence the variation. I heard that Mardin is beautiful and I am looking forward to visiting hopefully this year.

  11. Stephen says:

    Hi Joumana, looking to make these soon but a little confused with the amount of flour compared to it only making 5 portions of dough, I would have thought double that, is this a typo?
    love your recipes and writings
    All the best

    • JOUMANA ACCAD says:

      Hello Stephen
      You’re absolutely right! Asma used to divide the dough in several balls and roll each ball very thin ; then she would cut the rolled out dough with the rim of a glass into a 4” circle. The idea is to get a very thin dough. You don’t need to cut it into balls, you can just roll it out on a floured counter. Then cut into circles. It’s a very plain recipe but it’s delightful. The key is a very thin pastry. And don’t forget Ayran to drink or yogurt on the side! Best

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