I was first introduced to the spinach fatayer by my Palestinian friend, she makes one of the best spinach fatayer ever. The spinach fatayer is basically a certain type of dough that is stuffed with cooked spinach, onions, sumac and lime juice. It is really delicious! You could also add some chili peppers to give it a kick and make it spicy. I think the stuffing is pretty easy and you can even stuff the dough with anything you like, for example ground beef with parsley, feta and mint or ground beef with tahini sauce. The dough thickness is the key, it is thick and soft at the same time. The best part is you can make a lot of those fatayer or pastries for the future and freeze it in a ziploc, they will stay fresh. I usually do that before Ramadan as part of my preparation to have side dishes ready and easy placed at the table ahead of time. Enjoy!
For the stuffing:
1 bundle of fresh spinach or 1 bag of frozen baby chopped spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small diced onion
1 tablespoon sumac
1 lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
For the dough:
3 cups of sifted flour
3 tablespoons of powder dried milk (Nedo)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn oil
1 cup of warm water
2 tbsp yogurt
Add the yeast and sugar to a 1/3 cup of warm water. set aside for at least 5 minutes, it is ready when you see bubbles on the top.
Mix the sifted flour, salt and the dried milk powder together.
Add the yeast mix when it bubbles and the egg to the flour mix.
Add the warm water little by little.
Knead the dough until it is smooth on a floured surface.
If too sticky, don’t panic and just add a little bit more flour.
Knead, knead and knead.
Now, we need to let the dough rest and rise. So, in a blowl, brush its bottom with a little olive oil, place the dough in it and brush its surface with little olive oil.
Cover with plastic wrap or moist towel and put it in a warm place, that could be the oven (when it is turned off).
Leave it for about an hour until the dough rises. If you are in a rush, you can turn the oven on when it is empty to warm proof or 170 degrees F., then put the bowl in and turn the heat off right away. That would expedite the rising process.
Meanwhile while the dough rises, we will work on our stuffing. The more important think about the stuffing is to make sure it does not have any liquid in it. I explained below how to avoid that. Otherwise, it will be hard to close the dough over the stuffing.
For the stuffing:
If you are using the fresh spinach, wash the spinach bundle, pat dry it with paper towel. Then chop the spinach into small pieces.
If frozen, just skip the above 2 steps.
In a medium pan, add the olive oil, the diced onions and minced garlic (optional). Stir until the onions are yellowish.
Then add the spinach, sumac, salt and pepper.
Cook for few minutes until the spinach is done.
Try to dry out the spinach as much as you can soI usually wait until it cools down, place it in a strainer then I squeeze it by hand to get rid of the liquid.
Now, add the lime juice.
The dough should be raised by now.
Take a good piece of the dough and flat it on a floured surface with the roller.
Hold each circle in your hand and place some of the stuffing in the middle of each circle.
stick 2 ends together against the stuffing then get the third side in to make a triangle shape.
Press with you fingers against the tips to seal it.
On a greased cookie sheet, put the fatayer beside each other.