Ladies’ fingers

Ladies’ fingers

Bahem baghem

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
24

This name belongs to two completely different foods. The first is okra with its tapering green pods. The second kind of fingers are cigarette-shaped pastries which may have a savoury meat filling and form part of the Middle Eastern array of hors d’oeuvre called mezze, or, with a sweet filling, are a Cypriot accompaniment to coffee.

In some sweet recipes, ladies’ fingers may refer to sponge fingers or boudoir biscuits.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 large onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
750g minced lamb
850g tinned tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts
375g filo pastry
125g butter, melted

Method

  1. Fry onions in oil until soft. Combine meat, tomatoes and tomato paste in a bowl. Add onions, sugar, allspice, lemon juice, salt and a good grinding of pepper. Mix with your hands, squeezing and kneading mixture for 2 minutes to blend smoothly. Add pine nuts and mix through. Unfold pastry on dry dish towel. Cover with another dry dish towel, then with a damp one. Keep pastry covered while you work to prevent it drying out.
  2. Remove one sheet, brush lightly with melted butter and place another sheet on top. Brush again with butter. Continue until you have 4 layers of pastry. Cut into 13 cm squares. Spoon a line of meat filling on one side of each square. Fold edges in and roll up like a cigarette. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Brush tops of pastry rolls with butter, place on greased baking trays and bake in a preheated hot oven for 20 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Serve hot.
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