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Arayes – Lebanese Meat-Stuffed Crispy Pita

Lebanese street food – pita bread stuffed with spiced kofta meat, pan fried until crispy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Beef, lebanese, middle Estern
Servings 10
Calories 226 kcal


  • ▢ 5 pita bread the thin pocket type, ~15cm/6" diameter (250g/8oz pack), cut in half (Note 1)
  • ▢ Olive oil spray or brush with olive oil


  • ▢ 1/2 brown onion
  • ▢ 500g/ 1 lb lamb or beef mince ground meat (Note 2)
  • ▢ 2 garlic cloves finely grated
  • ▢ 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley optional
  • ▢ 3 tsp ground coriander
  • ▢ 3 tsp ground cumin
  • ▢ 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika sub plain paprika
  • ▢ 3/4 tsp ground allspice sub mixed spice
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper reduce/omit for less spicy – Note 4
  • ▢ 1 1/4 tsp cooking/kosher salt


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ▢ 2 tbsp tahini or Chinese sesame paste – Note 5
  • ▢ 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ▢ 1 garlic clove finely grated
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt



  • Grate the onion in a bowl using a standard box grater. We want the juices and all!
  • Meat filling – Add remaining meat filling ingredients. Mix well with your hands.
  • Divide stuffing in 10 (about 55 to 60g per portion, 1/4 cup). Flatten into a semi-circle shape slightly smaller than the pita bread half.
  • Stuff – Gently open a pita then place the meat inside. Close, then press to spread to the edge and make it fairly evenly flat. (Is your pita tearing? See Note 5 for tip!)


  • Preheat oven to 50C/120F. Place a rack on a tray. (To keep cooked Arayes warm.)
  • Cook – Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Spray both sides of the pita with olive oil then place 2 or 3 pieces in the pan (whatever you can fit). Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, pressing down lightly with a spatula, until golden and crispy. The meat is spread so thin it cooks really quickly! {Sandwich press – Note 7}
  • Keep warm – Transfer cooked Arayes onto the rack and put in the oven to keep warm. Cook remaining pita.
  • Serve – Cut in half if desired (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't!). Pile Arayes onto a serving platter. Serve with Whipped Tahini sauce. Enjoy!


  • Place ingredients in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Microwave for 15 seconds on high. Whisk again – it should resemble soft whipped cream. Use slightly warm or at room temperature.


This recipe is sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword beef, beef dish, beef recipes