What is Esfirra?

June 21, 2024


Esfirra is a popular Middle Eastern dish that has gained popularity worldwide. It is a type of savory pastry that is typically filled with a mixture of meat, vegetables, and spices. Esfirra is often compared to a small pizza or a calzone, but it has its own unique flavor profile and texture. In this glossary, we will explore the origins of esfirra, its ingredients, and how it is prepared.

History of Esfirra

The origins of esfirra can be traced back to the Middle East, where it is believed to have originated in Lebanon. The dish has since spread to other countries in the region, including Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. Esfirra has also become popular in Brazil, where it is known as “esfiha” and is a staple in Brazilian cuisine.


The key ingredients in esfirra include ground meat, such as lamb or beef, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices, such as cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. The dough for esfirra is typically made from flour, water, yeast, and olive oil. Some variations of esfirra may also include cheese, spinach, or other vegetables.


To prepare esfirra, the dough is rolled out into small circles and filled with the meat and vegetable mixture. The edges of the dough are then folded over to create a sealed pocket, and the esfirra is baked in a hot oven until golden brown and crispy. Esfirra can be served hot or cold, and is often accompanied by a side of tahini sauce or yogurt.


There are many variations of esfirra, depending on the region and the cook’s personal preferences. Some versions of esfirra may be made with a flakier pastry dough, while others may be topped with sesame seeds or a drizzle of olive oil. Some cooks may also add additional spices or herbs to the filling to enhance the flavor of the dish.

Health Benefits

Esfirra is a nutritious and satisfying dish that is rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. The meat and vegetables in esfirra provide a good source of protein and fiber, while the spices add flavor and antioxidants. Esfirra is also relatively low in calories and fat, making it a healthy option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

Popular Esfirra Recipes

There are many popular esfirra recipes available online and in cookbooks, ranging from traditional Middle Eastern versions to modern twists on the classic dish. Some popular variations include vegetarian esfirra made with lentils or chickpeas, spicy esfirra with hot peppers and chili powder, and sweet esfirra filled with dates or figs.

Where to Find Esfirra

Esfirra can be found at Middle Eastern restaurants, bakeries, and food trucks around the world. In Brazil, esfirra is a popular street food that is sold at markets, fairs, and festivals. Many grocery stores also carry frozen esfirra that can be baked at home for a quick and convenient meal.


In conclusion, esfirra is a delicious and versatile dish that has a rich history and a wide range of flavors and variations. Whether you prefer traditional meat-filled esfirra or a modern vegetarian twist, there is a recipe out there for everyone to enjoy. So next time you’re craving something savory and satisfying, give esfirra a try!

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.