Fatayer Sabanikh – Spinach Pies

Growing up, my siblings and I called these the “Mercedes Benz” Fatayer because the shape of them look like the inside of the famous logo. They’ve always been a favorite for my siblings and I and I believe they forever will be.


4 Cups Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon milk powder (Nido)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 -2 Cups Water
1/4 cup Oil (Extra virgin olive oil and/or vegetable oil)

4-5 bunches organic spinach
2 teaspoons salt
4+ sprigs of green onion (some of us like it more onion-y than others)
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
2 teaspoons sumac
2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

shatta/crushed red pepper, to taste
lemon juice, to taste

Prepare the Dough

Combine all the dry ingredients and slowly add in the water and oil. You can use just olive oil, just vegetable oil or a mixture of both. I usually do 50/50 of each oil.

Knead until you have a well combined ball of dough — it should not be too sticky. But also shouldn’t be super stiff. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust flour or liquid as needed — that’s why you want to slowly pour in water and oil and mix as you go. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, and let the dough rest for 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.

Prepare the Spinach Mix
Thoroughly wash the spinach*. Trim off the stems and chop finely. It’s going to feel like A LOT of spinach, and that’s totally okay.
Transfer to a clean bowl and sprinkle salt over the spinach. Get your hands into the bowl and begin squeezing out liquid from the spinach and transfer to a clean bowl. You’re going to watch the massive mountain of spinach turn into the smallest amount. If you’re having trouble with the last few bits in the bottom of the bowl, pour into a sieve and get the last of the spinach.

*NOTE: You can totally use baby spinach as a substitute, but from experience I find that the organic spinach just tastes better. It’s worth the extra work. If using baby spinach, you may need to purchase 5+ bags from your typical supermarket.

Chop up the green onions and add cumin, salt, and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and add to the spinach. Add shatta and lemon juice to taste and again mix all ingredients. This is a good time to taste and adjust salt and spice. I like to make my mix extra spicy and I love adding additional sumac and lemon for extra flavor. I also almost always add additional salt at this stage.

Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it up into equal sized balls and transfer to a lightly oiled tray or one lined with parchment paper. Cover and let them rest for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 F.

To begin shaping the fatayer, take one ball of dough and using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten it out into a circle. Then add a spoonful of spinach mix to the center. To fold into a triangle, I like to take two sides of the circle and pinch them together. Keep pinching until half of the spinach is covered. What should be left over is a flap at the bottom, take this flap and attach it to the pieces you pinched together first. What you will achieve is what looks like the inside of a “peace” symbol or the inside of the Mercedez Benz logo (I have to thank my brothers for this one).

Transfer to a lightly oiled baking tray or one lined with parchment paper. Be sure to give all the fatayer a good last pinch right before going into the oven to avoid them from opening up while baking.

Bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms and tops of the fatayer are golden.





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