Straight from my Egyptian kitchen, this hawawshi recipe is made with crispy pita pockets that are stuffed with a tantalizing meat mixture, seasoned with a warm spice mixture, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs. Think of it as Egypt's answer to a hamburger but on steroids!
In a small bowl, add the spices and mix to combine.
Put the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse a few times until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a sieve to drain excess liquid (it helps to push with the back of a spoon).
Transfer the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the ground beef and tomato paste. Mix to combine. Add the spice mixture and a dash of kosher salt. Mix again until the mixture is well combined and the spices are well distributed within the meat mixture.
Cut the pita loafs in halves to create 12 pita pockets.
Prepare a large sheet pan brushed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Stuff each pita pocket with ⅓ cup of the meat mixture. Using the back of a spoon, spread the meat mixture inside the pita pockets.
Arrange the pitas in the prepared sheet pan. Brush the pita pocket tops with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Bake in the heated oven for 15, then carefully turn the pitas over and cook on the other side another 5 to 10 minutes until the meat is fully cooked and the pita is crispy on both sides.
To store leftovers cooked hawawshi in the fridge: cool completely and transfer to tight-lid containers. Refrigerate for 3 days or so. Warm up in a medium-heated oven,
To freeze leftover cooked hawawshi: You can also freeze fully cooked hawawshi. To freeze for later, I typically wrap up the individual pita sandwiches in foil that's been lined well with wax paper or parchment (or you can use freezer bags or containers). You can warm them up from frozen.