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Synia: a Palestinian Culinary Treasure

Well, that’s another dish I would die for but can’t spell. It’s the Arab Sinia in it’s Palestinian version. Make way for another REAL recipe.

Some of the readers of this blog are vegetarian or health freaks, or people who are fond of hummus and tahini mainly because of their famous nutritional virtues. Some of the recipes already posted here, were more suitable for them.

This recipe is not for those people, I’m afraid. It involve the use of tasty animals, and forbidden practices such as frying in oil (!) and, all in all, I can’t guarantee that’s it will improve anybody’s health – contrary to hummus or tahini.

On the other hand, it’s absolutely delicious. Know what, just look at at it:

Palesinian Synia

My very own Synia.

I just wish you could also smell how good it is.

I hardly know how to pronounce “Synia”, so I have no clue regarding it’s correct English spelling (is it sinia, sniya, siniya or sinniya?). However, making that fabulous meat & tahini dish, is not at all complicated. With a good bread – or, preferably, pita bread – it’s makes a perfect devastatingly good meal. Goes wonderfully good with hummus, naturally.

[for 4 people]

1/2kg (or 1.1 pounds) ground Meat (beef, mutton or 50/50)
3-4 medium Tomatos, cut to small-medium cubes
1/2 cup Tahini sauce
1 big chopped Onion
1tsp Salt
Olive oil for frying
1 spoonfool spice mixture

The spice mixture:
1/2tsp of each of these spices: turmeric, black pepper, cumin, coriander seeds, allspice.
(Each of which can be replaced with spices like elaichi, cinnamon, dried ginger)

Optional but worth the effort:
50gr pine cone, lightly roasted on a pan
a handful of chopped parsly


a. Put the onion in a hot pan with the olive oil, and fry gently until it becomes transparent.
b. Add the spices and go one frying for a short moment, then add the meet.
c. Saute the meet while gently crumbling, until it changes it’s colot. Add the pine cone and chopped parsley and take of the fire.
d. Put the meet in a 30x20cm (11x8inch) baking pan, in a more or less uniform film. Cover with a layer of tomato cubes and pour over the tahini sauce, so it would cover the tomatos.
e. Bake in a medium heated oven, for about 20 minutes, until the tahini is lighly crusted, changing color and texture.
f. EAT!

IMPORTANT: keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven, and see the tahina is not getting burned.

8 Comments on Synia: a Palestinian Culinary Treasure

  1. just wondering ..where did u get the recipe from? it commonly eaten in palestine? im fairly familair with levantine cuisne and it reminds me of kafta with tahini..but this looks very well worth trying..could u please provide more info ..thank you sam

  2. This looks like a good recipe for sinya, I’m going to try it.

    And you really CAN’T spell! How to spell the name of a dish from a foreign language is not the point. While I was able to decode the recipe, it was full of spelling and grammatical errors. They were really funny, but maybe you should have someone check your writing before you put it on the web!

  3. I can’t wait to try this! I was wondering, a pine cone? A prickly,brown, pear shaped pod that houses pine nuts? I am from Oregon, U.S.A. This is the kind of pine cone I know.
    Oh, and Rena….. I think that his/her English is probably better than your Arabic. I teach ELL in the elementary schools in the U.S. One of the biggest obstacles we run into is the “ignorance” of people who have only been exposed to one language their whole life. (NOT JUST AMERICANS) Poor Rena was probable one of those kids whose mother did not let her play with the kids who were “different”. When learning a new language, one makes mistakes at first. Don’t worry though! The very simple cure is to do what you are doing and learn and try another cultures foods. Next, you must visit other countries. You will be a different person who looks at the spices, not the spelling!!! I wish you all peace.

  4. Rena, are you kidding me?? The guy was nice enough to share all these great recipes and he’s also very good at it. I love the fact that he’s including Palestinian foods.This blog is for food! It’s not an English TEST!! Got it? And by the way, I also was an ELL student. On my college entrance exam I got a 96 on my English test, much higher than others who claim they are “real” Americans. Omari, you make us all proud of you, and thank you for the wonderful dishes 😉

  5. Well, this is delicious!!

    I guess by pine cones he means pine nuts, not the entire cone 🙂

    I believe the author’s first language is Hebrew rather than Arabic as he is an Israeli Jew. Nevertheless, the fact that both nations share recipes can be a good first step towards peace.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  6. You got a mention in the UK Telegraph today – no link but I “Googled” and found you.

    Love what you’re blogging and good luck with the GBR Hummus attempt. Who are the tasters?

  7. Its pronounced See-Nee-Yah
    And its DELICIOUS…..

    all you need is to fry it with a little bit of olive oil- its not deep frying and olive oil is good for you.

    great recipe Yum yum,

  8. I’m sure he meant pine nuts. This sounds wonderful!

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