Douzma: A Stick-to-Your-Ribs Meal

In some parts of the world temperatures are cooling as autumn and winter approach.

It’s pretty hot in Florida most of the year, so when we crave a stick-to-your-ribs meal, we either lower the air conditioner’s thermostat, or, if outside temperatures permit, swing open the doors and windows.


One of our favorite cool-weather meals is Douzma, a Dikranagertsi specialty: Seasoned meat patties, layered between a variety of vegetables, baked slowly in a tomato-y sauce. Served with crusty bread….

Simply divine!


Yield: 5 to 6 servings


1 1/2 lb. ground lamb, beef, or turkey – not too fatty
1 large eggplant sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1/2 in. slices -OR- 2 large zucchini cut into 1/2 in. circles
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into about 1/4 in. slices
Sliced tomatoes – as many as will fit in between above ingredients
Salt, pepper, and allspice to taste
1- 6 oz. can tomato paste
olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix meat with salt, pepper, allspice, and one tablespoon tomato paste, then form meat into 10 to 12 patties, about ½ inch thick.
3. Place the cut potatoes and eggplant (or zucchini, if using) in a bowl. Lightly toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Arrange all of the above vegetables and meat patties alternately, in a standing position in a large roasting pan (approx. 9″x 13″). Note pan size will vary depending on the amount of ingredients used.
5. Dilute remaining tomato paste in 1 cup water; season with a little salt and pepper.
6. Pour diluted tomato paste over the meat and vegetables.
7. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender, and the top begins to brown.

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  1. David Blasco October 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Recipe for misery: reading this blog when you are very, very hungry. I can't eat pixels, darn it.

  2. bonnie October 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Question: When you say "in standing position," does that mean you want the layers to be vertical rather than horizontal (like lasagna)?

  3. Robyn October 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yes, just as you see in the photo. It's different, but it works!

  4. Ara November 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I wonder what the original recipe says for the ground meat. Did it require the use of lard or "hamayi yugh"? They weren't particularly health-conscious in those days since they worked the fields 12-14 hours a day.

    My mom makes a similar recipe, in which the ground meat is made as you direct, but with the addition of chopped parsley, then patted down in a platter like pizza dough. On top of the meat, my mom would arrange sliced potato wedges in a pinwheel pattern–enough to cover the meat–and occasional slices of tomato. The whole thing would go into the oven. My mom's family is from Aintab, by the way.

  5. SHAKUEY201 July 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    This is one of my favorite foods, patates ov douzma. We fry the potato slices in butter and arrange them in a pan, one piece of raw meat, one piece of potato. When this is done we pour hot water mixed with tomato paste over it and cook it on the stove.

    Ara, the dish you are talking about I know as kefta sineyeh, that is the Arabic word anyway.


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