Arayes (Lebanese Meat Stuffed Pita)

Arayes, a popular Middle Eastern street food, presents a delightful blend of seasoned ground meat. Often beef or lamb, encased in a pocket of thin, grilled pita or flatbread. This savory creation is seasoned with aromatic spices like onion, cumin, and sumac. These meat stuffed pockets are then grilled to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior that contrasts beautifully with the juicy meat within. Often served with a side of tahini or yogurt sauce. Arayes make for a delicious and portable treat, embodying the enticing flavors of the Middle Eastern culinary tradition. I had this for the first time at a Lebanese restaurant and knew I had to recreate it.

Type of meat to use

Traditionally feature seasoned ground meat, and the choice of meat can vary. Commonly, arayes are made with either ground beef or ground lamb. Since my mom is not the biggest fan of lamb, I used a combination of beef and lamb.

Important seasonings in arayes

The seasonings in arayes contribute to its rich and aromatic flavor profile.

  1. Arabic seven spice: Contributes warmth and complexity to the seasoning blend.
  2. Cumin: Adds a warm and earthy flavor to the meat. While the seven spice already includes cumin, I like to add a little extra.
  3. Onion: Adds aroma and sweetness to the meat.
  4. Garlic: Enhances the savory profile and adds depth to the seasoning.
  5. Salt and Pepper: Fundamental for balancing flavors and seasoning the meat.
  6. Coriander: Adds citrusy and slightly sweet notes.
  7. Parsley: This adds freshness and color to the meat.
  8. Sumac (optional): Some variations may include sumac, offering a tangy and citrusy element to the mix.

These seasonings work together to create a well-balanced and flavorful filling for arayes. Making it a savory and enticing Middle Eastern street food dish.

Arayes (Lebanese Meat Stuffed Pita

Arayes are one of the most delicious ground meat dishes you can make and it is super easy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Arabic, Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Servings 15 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g ground beef
  • 300 g ground lamb
  • 1 yelllow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Arabic seven spice
  • ½ tbsp cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 thick white pita

Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sumac

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl add your ground beef and lamb.
    500 g ground beef, 300 g ground lamb
  • Grate in an onion and mince garlic.
    1 yelllow onion, 5 cloves garlic
  • Add seasonings and mix well.
    2 tbsp Arabic seven spice, ½ tbsp cumin powder, ½ tbsp coriander, ½ tbsp black pepper, 1 tbsp sumac, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp salt
  • Take your thick white pita and cut them into quarters. It is important that you use thick pita, otherwise, the pita will become too soggy.
    4 thick white pita
  • Stuff your pita with the ground meat, making sure it is not too thick. I made mine about ¾ inch thick. Make sure there is enough meat packed so that it is the first thing the pan hits as well.
  • Over med-high heat, place your stuffed pita on the pan meat side down.
  • Once both sides are golden brown, lay them down flat. Continue cooking until both sides are browned and the meat inside is cooked. Should take another 5-10 minutes.
  • To make our sauce mix together all the sauce ingredients. Mix well and serve.
    ½ cup tahini, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp sumac
Keyword arayes, beef, ground, ground beef, lamb, lebanese

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