Hamburger? Empanada? Gordita? No, it's the Egyptian Hawawshi! Image Credit: Stockfood

Serves 4 | Preparation/cooking time: 1 hour | Difficulty: medium | Cannot be frozen


For the dough

325g plain flour, plus extra

120ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

240ml warm water

Fine polenta, for dusting

For the filling

600g beef mince, at least 15 per cent fat

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp ground cumin


1. To make the dough, combine the flour, oil, pepper, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Slowly add in the warm water until you have a rough dough.

2. Turn out from the bowl and knead briefly before dividing into four balls. Let rest on the work surface, covered loosely with a damp tea towel.

3. To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Add a generous amount of seasoning and mix together with your hands until evenly combined.

4. Divide into four balls and set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

6. Roll out the dough balls into 0.5cm-thick rounds on a lightly floured work surface. Place the meat balls on the centre of the dough rounds and flatten down into discs, leaving a large border of dough.

7. Bring the exposed dough back over the top of the meat filling, folding sections over to envelope the filling.

8. Brush with olive oil and dust with polenta, then invert on to the prepared baking tray. Brush the other side with more olive oil and dust again with polenta.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping after 12 minutes, until the hawawshi are golden brown.

10. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly before cutting into quarters and serving.