This savory version of harcha is flavored with olive oil and za'atar (wild thyme), then stuffed with a filling of onions, olives, parsley and cheese. Oregano or regular thyme can be substituted for the za'atar.
Use any soft cheese with a low melting point; I like cream cheese best.
Serve stuffed harcha for tea time or as an appetizer. Also try harcha with za'atar and olive oil without a filling.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
- --- For the Dough ---
- 2 cups (350g) fine semolina flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry (or 2 tablespoons fresh) za'atar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (125 g) olive oil
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk or water
- 1/4 cup coarse or fine semolina flour (for shaping)
- --- For the Filling ---
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- small handful (approx. 100 g) Edam (or other variety) cheese, grated or crumbled
- small handful chopped olives, black or green
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dry za'atar or oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
Make the Dough
In a mixing bowl, blend together the fine semolina flour, za'atar, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the olive oil and mix with your hands to achieve a sandy-textured mixture.
Add 3/4 cup milk or water and mix until a dough forms. It should be quite moist – think of the texture of wet sand – and easily packed into a large mound. Add additional milk if necessary to achieve this consistency.
Divide the dough into 4 or 6 portions. Leave the dough to rest while you prepare the filling.
Make the Filling
Saute the onion in the tablespoon of oil for a few minutes, just until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
Shape and Cook the Stuffed Harcha
Preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-low heat. While the griddle is heating, sprinkle a tray or work surface with a little semolina and pat out two portions of dough into circles about 1/4" thick. Generously top one circle with some filling and then place another circle of dough on top. Pinch and mold the edges together to seal. Gently flatten the stuffed dough to about 3/8" thick and transfer the harcha to the heated pan or griddle. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Cook the stuffed harcha over fairly low heat, about 7 to 10 minutes on each side, until medium golden color. Turn only once and don't allow the harcha to color too quickly, as it needs some time to cook all the way through.
Savory harcha are best served warm. They can be cut into wedges for individual servings.
Harcha can be reheated in a pan or in a 350°F (180°C) oven for a few minutes. They store well in the freezer.