Arayes – Meat Stuffed Pita Sandwiches

Servings : Serves 6-8

Arayes or Ara’yes are crispy grilled pita bread sandwiches that are stuffed with seasoned minced meat. They are very popular in the Middle East and are most commonly served as an appetiser or starter. The word Ara’yes is Arabic and translates to ‘Bride & Groom’ whereby in this case, the bride is the filling and it is enveloped in the arms of her groom, the pita bread.


  • 500 gm fine lamb mince (you can also use beef, but lamb is moister)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander or parsley, roughly chopped (mix the stems and leaves)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 6 pitas, cut into quarters (you can use whole wheat or plain flour ones)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing


Pita recipe HERE.
Put the mince in a large bowl and add the garlic, ginger, chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, garam masala, cumin powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. In a food processor, grind the onion with the coriander and chilli to form a paste. Add this mixture into the mince and mix until fully combined. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes so that the flavours are infused.
Preheat the oven at 200 C.
Fill each pita quarter with about 2 tbsp of the mince mixture, making sure to flatten it out so that the filling is evenly spread inside the pita pocket. Do not be tempted to over-fill as that would leave the mixture raw in the centre.
Brush each piece on both sides with a little olive oil, then arrange the filled pita quarters on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins then turn them over and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the pitas are browned and crispy.
Serve with a drink of your choice.
Enjoy! 🙂

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