Palestinian msakhan rolls

Moushira Abdel-Malek, Friday 19 Jul 2019

Indulge in the wonders of Palestinian cuisine


Yields from 25-30 rolls



6 Syrian round saj flatbread sheets

1 chicken (boiled cooked, boned, skinned)

500 gm onions (finely chopped)

A handful of roasted/fried pine nuts

1 tsp each:

Salt + pepper + 7 spices

1/3 cup very finely ground good quality summaq

Some summaq to sprinkle on top

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup extra virgin olive (for lining and coating)



For Filling:  Shred all chicken meat in a large bowl.  Make sure no fine bones or splinters fall into the shredded meat.  Heat a medium-sized cooking pot on high.  Add half the cup of oil and lower heat to medium-high.  Add chopped onion.  Stir over medium heat; until translucent and wilted.  Add all seasoning.  Stir until aromatic.  Add shredded chicken meat.  Stir to cook together and incorporate well.  Remove away from heat.  Add pine nuts; stirring them in to distribute well; reserving a small amount to scatter on top of rolls upon serving.    Cover and leave aside to cool off until just warm, or reaches room temperature. 

To tailor flatbread into wraps:  Take one sheet at a time and cover the rest with a damp kitchen towel.  Ply into half a circle.  Bring one corner towards the other; forming a triangle.  Repeat to shape a smaller triangle.  Repeat to shape a third triangle.  Cut with a pair of scissors from the sealed long side of the triangle.  This will render you individual triangles.  Cover those as well with another damp kitchen towel and continue with the rest of flatbread sheets.  When all triangular wraps are tailored; keep them covered and start filling each one of them with prepared warm chicken filling; by placing an amount along the base of the triangle facing you.  Ply the left and right sides over the two ends of the filling; to secure sides, then roll down towards the pointed tip of the triangle; at the opposite end.  Layer on to a generously oiled baking tray base and sides, with an amount from the quarter cup of oil; seam side down and in one layer.  Continue with all triangles; until both filling and wraps are rolled.  Leave a negligible space between each roll; lest they stick together and the sides remain undercooked.  Brush the top of each roll with the remaining amount of oil.  Bake in a preheated oven of 200 degrees Centigrade.  When slightly golden; remove from the oven.  Allow to rest for a few minutes.  Sprinkle a pinch of summaq on top of each roll and scatter a few pine nuts; indicating the inside contents.  Serve warm as a starter or as a side dish; with a yoghurt cucumber garlic salad dip.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 18 July, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the title: Palestinian msakhan rolls

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