Matzah kebab from Sigi Mantel's Syrian-Damascus cuisine. Photo: Daniel Lailah.
Matzah kebab from Sigi Mantel's Syrian-Damascus cuisine. Photo: Daniel Lailah.

Matzah Kebab

Matzah and meat pie in a heavenly sauce from Sigi Mantel, who documents her family's Damascus cuisine and remembers this as a staple dish of Passover

“We used to have Passover Seder in a different place every year: at my paternal Yemeni grandparents, at our house, or at one of the uncles’ houses, but the lunch of the holiday itself was always-always eaten at the house of my maternal grandmother- Aliza Kostika-who would lay a full table of different dishes,” says Sigi Mantel, author of the cookbook “Blessed by Your Hands”, which brings the stories, memories and Syrian-Damascus recipes from her grandmother’s kitchen. “The dish I most looked forward to was the Passover kebab- a matzah and meat pie with a tahini, walnut sauce, in the original version, or chopped peanuts in my grandmother’s version (who always looked for cheaper raw products to save money), lots of garlic and lemon of course – there is no dish in our kitchen without lemon . By the way, no one knows exactly why they call it Kebab, but that’s the name.”

The sauce is poured on the pastry when it is hot and left for a few moments to soak in. Serve the kebab with pickled stuffed peppers, another seasonal and refreshing family dish reserved mainly for Passover.

Ingredients for Matzah Kebab

  • 12 matzahs
  • 4 cups water for soaking matzah
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon Baharat
  • Salt
  • ground black pepper

For the batter:

  • 4 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt
  • ground black pepper גרוס

For the sauce:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) peanuts peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • Salt
  • ground black pepper


  • 1. Fill a bowl or a wide pan large enough to fit a full matzah with water. Add a little salt and stir until it dissolves. Soak the matzah in water for a few seconds until it starts to soften, take out, transfer to a plate and cover with a damp towel. Repeat with all the matzah.

  • 2. Heat an oven to 355F (180C) degrees and grease a baking pan with a little oil (you can also grease, line with parchment paper and grease the paper).

  • 3. Beat eggs, water and salt in a wide bowl and dip half the amount of matzah in the batter and arrange at the bottom of the pan in as even a layer as possible.

Prepare the filling, assemble, and bake:

  • 4. Pour olive oil into a wide frying pan, add the ground beef and mix and separate with a fork over medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until the meat is browned. Season with salt, black pepper and baharat and remove from the heat.

  • 5. Drain out any excess liquid. Arrange the meat on top of the matzahs ​​in an even layer.

  • 6. Dip the remaining half of the matzah in the egg batter and arrange on top of the meat.

  • 7. Pour half a cup of boiling water over the top layer of matzah, cover the pan with parchment paper and foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a minute or two to brown.

Prepare the sauce, pour over the kebab and serve:

  • 8. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over the kebab as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow the sauce to soak in for a few minutes and serve, preferably with Syrian pickled stuffed peppers or any other fresh pickled vegetable.

    Matzah kebab from Sigi Mantel's Syrian-Damascus cuisine. Photography: Daniel Lailah
    Matzah kebab from Sigi Mantel's Syrian-Damascus cuisine. Photography: Daniel Lailah
*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.