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Syrian Ijeh b'Lahmeh

Between an omelet and a pancake

Called havitat yerek in Hebrew (literally ‘omelet with greens’), the Israeli version of ijeh is sold ate many roadside eateries and falafel joints stuffed in a pita. But the real thing, which also contains ground meat, is found almost exclusively in Syrian (Aleppan) homes, where it is traditionally served for Friday lunch. Friday, the busiest day of the week due to preparation for Shabbat meals, calls for a lunch that is quick to fix and not too heavy. Ijeh b'Lahmeh 
fits the bill perfectly. The following recipe is by Al Hashulchan's talented food editor, Michal Moses, and is based on the traditional ijeh she learned to make from her neighbor Limor Ne'eman. Michal took the liberty of adding ground lamb to the beef, enriched the herb mixture with cilantro and mint and served the pancakes on flatbread lightly toasted with za'atar and garnished with tahini, fresh herbs and onions rings. Delicious!

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
  • 200 g (1/2 lb) lamb and beef mixture, ground

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal or bread crumbs

  • 3/4 cup mixed fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint), chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2-3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

  • Canola or olive oil for frying

  • To serve:

  • Pita, laffa or some sort of flatbread

  • Olive oil

  • Za'atar (hyssop) spice mix

  • Red onion, sliced

  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint)

  • tahini spread


'photo: Danya Weiner

Combine all pancake ingredients.


With wet hands, form rather flat pancakes, about 6-7 cm (3 inches) wide.


Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan and fry in batches, 2-3 minutes on each sides, flipping once, until golden-brown. Drain on paper towels and serve warm or at room temperature.


To serve: brush a pita or a flatbread with olive oil, sprinkle with za'atar and toast lightly in a hot oven. Arrange 2-3 pancakes on each pita. Garnish with herbs and onion rings and drizzle with tahini spread.

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