2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose (plain) flour

teaspoon salt

cup (6 fl oz / 180 ml) warm water

1/3 cup (3 fl oz / 90 ml) olive oil

1 egg, beaten

oil, for shallow-frying



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 hard-cooked (boiled) eggs

6 - 7 oz (185 - 220 g) canned tuna chunks in brine

1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

salt and freshly-ground black pepper


To make pie crust: Sift four and salt into a bowl and make a well in centre. Place water, oil and egg in a separate bowl and beat well. Pour egg mixture into flour. Using wooden spoon, mix thoroughly to form a soft dough. Gradually stir in egg until dough is smooth. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface, dust top with flour and knead until no longer sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into 2 balls, cover with folded kitchen towel, and let stand for 30 minutes.

To make tuna filling: Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add onion and cook gently until translucent, 6 - 8 minutes. Transfer cooked onion to a bowl. Remove shells from eggs, mash eggs and add to onion with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, drained tuna, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to break up tuna, taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.

To make turnovers: Knead 1 dough ball on a floured surface, about 5 - 6 turn. Roll out until fairly thin. Cut into 3-in (9-cm) rounds with floured cutter, twisting cutter to separate each round from rest of pie crust. Lift off trimmings and place under kitchen towel. Brush edge of each round with water and place 1 heaping teaspoon tuna filling in centre. Fold over and press edges together to seal. Press edges with tines of fork, or use thimble or tip of coffee spoon, to make scalloped edges. Place on a cloth-lined tray. Repeat with remaining ball of dough, including pie crust trimmings, and filling.

To cook, add oil for shallow-frying to a depth of in (2 cm) in a large frying pan. Heat well, until scrap of dough placed in oil sizzles immediately. Add turnovers, working in batches of 5 - 7 at a time, and cook until golden-brown, about 3 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.


Makes 36.


country : Libya

course : fish dish


source : North African Cooking / Tess Mallos