Friday, June 19, 2015

Egyptian Hawowshi Recipe

It seems like it has been ages since I last wrote.  All is well here and I hope with you too.  On Sunday, I had guests over and I planned a simple dinner for them to eat by the pool.  I made Egyptian hawowshi.  It is a meat pie that is baked in the oven.  It a popular dish in Cairo.  So if you would like to make some, you are most welcome to follow along.

You will need (for four servings)

For filling:
1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, grated
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 T chopped parsley
Sliced onion (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp meat spices*
*I used some kibbe spices but you can use kabob spices

For dough:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
Some black paper
Warm water
Blend the flour and salt in a bowl.  Pour the oil in a 1 cup measure and fill the cup to the brim with warm water.  Blend water/oil mixture into flour just until it holds together.  Add a little more water if needed.

The dough should resemble this.  Don't knead or overwork dough as it will become tough.

Divide dough into four balls.  (Picture above was from a double batch of dough).

Take one ball of dough and divide in half; one half will be the bottom crust and the other half will be the top crust.  Roll out each half on a floured surface until it's approximately 6"-7" in diameter.

Mix all ingredients for meat mixture and divide into four balls.

Place bottom half of dough on a nonstick lined baking sheet.  Press meat mixture onto bottom half leaving about 1" all around.  You can add a sliced onion to the top of the meat mixture and/or some red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.

Put the top half of the dough over the meat filled half and crimp the two halves together.  Make a design on the dough with a fork.

Bake in a preheated 365 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until browned.  You can brush the tops of the dough with butter half way through the baking time.

Remove from oven and serve.  The hawowshi shown above is served with tabboula salad and Egyptian koushari (a rice/lentil dish with garbanzo beans and macaroni).

The crust is nice and crispy and the filing is tasty.  I use lean ground beef as the extra lean makes it too dry.  The first time I ate hawowshi was years and years ago in Cairo.  It was at an outdoor cafe.  We just had finished eating at our table outside a large building when a lady on the balcony above decided to empty her wash bucket.  You can imagine the mess we barely missed....memories.  I can't recall what  part of the city this took place.

There's various ways to make this dish but this is my favorite.  Some people take store boughten  pita bread and open it and put the meat mixture in it and bake it.
For me the fun is making the homemade dough and eating it right away, hot from the oven.  I will share the recipe for koushari at another time.  Koushari is a popular fast food in Egypt.

I'm writing this up on a beautiful mountain and the air is so crisp and refreshing.  I'd love to hear from you if you have the time.  Until next time

My best wishes to everyone,



  1. Sounds delicious. I'm definitely going to try this recipe. Could chilli flakes replace red pepper flakes? Blessings

  2. Hi Lesley. Yes of course you can use chili flakes. And you could also add a finely chopped tomato or green pepper to the filing. I don't since my children were never fond of green peppers. Enjoy your weekend. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. The pie looks appetising and I like the interesting way you've folded over the edges which makes it look distinctive. I like the story about where you first enjoyed hawowshi! Having the meal where you are now also sounds wonderful. Looking forward to the koushari recipe.

  4. These sound good. I love pastry dishs but I don´t make much pastry now until around September-October because it is too hot to handle it. I´ll keep a copy of your recipe though. Kate x


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