Arayes are delicious meat-stuffed pitas that are popular in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. They are also very popular in Egypt where they are known as Hawawshi.
In this recipe, a savoury beef filling is stuffed into pitas before being brushed with olive oil and grilled to perfection. After watching this video, you will definitely want to try this recipe yourself! 🥙🥩
DIY Baharat Seasoning
If you have a full spice cabinet, you most likely have all the spices that go into Barharat seasoning. This Middle-Eastern spice blend is full of sweet, savoury, and smoky flavours that really bring lots of bold flavour to any recipe you add it to!
Here are all the spices that I use in my Baharat:
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Black pepper
- Ground cardamon
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground clove
Get the Recipe!
Homemade Arayes (Hawawshi)
For the Barahat Seasoning:
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
For the Arayes:
- 1/2 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian parsely finely chopped
- 450 grams extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 3 pita breads cut in half
- Begin by making the Barahat. Combine all the spices and salt in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the onions, garlic, parsley, ground beef, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 heaping tablespoon of Baharat seasoning. Use you hands and mix together until combined.
- Place the pitas in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm up and then use a knife to cut the pitas in half. Gently open each of the pitas to create a pita pocket.
- Stuff each pita pocket with 2 heaping tablespoons of meat filling. The amount of filling you add will depend on the size of the pita you use, but make sure that the meat filling is evenly distributed inside of the pita and comes right to the edge of the cut side of the pita. Overall, the meat filling should be 1-centimeter thick.
- Brush each pita with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil on both sides.
- To grill the arayes, heat a cast iron griddle pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, lightly brush with a bit of olive oil.
- Place the arayes standing up (meat side down) onto the grill. Use a pair of tongs to hold up one arayes and then stack the rest of them up against the one you are holding so that they don't fall over. Grill for 3-4 minutes on this side, until the meat is charred and is cooked.
- Next, lay the arayes down on their sides and cook for another 3-4 minutes before filling and cooking for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. The arayes are cooked when the pita is golden brown with grill marks, and the juices from the arayes run clear. You can also tell that the arayes are done when they are firm to the touch.
- Transfer the arayes to a cooling rack and serve immediately. I like to serve it with some toum (creamy garlic sauce) and an onion, tomato and cucumber salad. Enjoy!