Fitchi became a popular street food in the ’70s. Back then, these meat pies were larger and contained a lot more onion. The fitchi pans used in Turkmenistan nowadays are about 14 cm, but in this recipe I used 10 cm pans.
Fitchi – Meat Pies
For the filling:
500 g beef or mutton
50 g tail fat (or any other animal fat)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoons water
For the dough:
1 teaspoon salt
300 ml (1⅕ cups) warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500 g (3⅓ cups) flour
Butter, to grease the pans
1. Grind or finely chop the meat, fat and onion. Add the salt, pepper and water, and mix it all thoroughly. Divide the filling into 10 equal portions.
2. In another large bowl, mix all the dough ingredients together and work to a soft dough. Divide the dough into 6 large and 6 smaller pieces, and roll each piece between your palms into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Grease 10 cm (4-inch) tart pans with butter.
4. Roll out the large balls of dough to 15 cm circles and lay them in the pans. Add the meat filling. Roll out the smaller balls of dough to 12 cm circles and lay them over the filling. Pinch the edges together, and then go over the top of each pan with a rolling pin to remove any excess dough. Pat any leftover dough together and use it again (you should be able to get 4 fitchis from the leftovers).
5. Prick the fitchis with a fork and brush them with water. Bake at 200°C (392°F) on the middle rack of the oven until browned in spots, 25-30 minutes.