Arais (grilled meat stuffed pita)

Today on our grilling series, we have an excellent guest- the Arais (or Arayes). Arais is a dish that originated from the Shami (Levantine) cuisine. It is common in the Middle East, especially in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The word 'Arais' is a plural version of 'arus', a bride in Arabic.

The origin of the name is in Arab countries and certain tribes where this dish was used to be served in honor of newlyweds. The pita is cut in half, stuffed with meat, then grilled well. The meat releases its juices, and the pita soaks all of them. I used 50% beef sirloin and 50% lamb for my meat mixture, but you can go with only beef. After done cooking, cut to quarters and dip in tahini! OHHH YASSS! It's a beautiful dish to make when your homemade pita gets a little old.


2 pitas

½ lb ground sirloin (0.25 kg)

½ lb ground lamb (0.25 kg)

Half an onion

1 garlic clove

Half a bunch of parsley

Half a bunch of coriander

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon Baharat powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

A handful of crushed pistachios

Extra virgin olive oil

Tahini dip (for serving)

Preparation steps:

- Start your grill and set it to 600°F, medium-high heat. While the grill preheats, prep the Arais.

- Chop onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander as fine as you can.

- In a bowl mix all the ingredients together: sirloin, lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin, baharat, black pepper, and salt. Leave the olive oil aside. Mix well until homogenous.

- Cut the pitas in half. Fill them up with the meat mixture, making sure you spread the meat evenly into the pita. If you like your meat more to the rare side- fill the pita with a thick layer of meat. If you want it well done- spread a thinner layer.

- When you are ready to start firing your Arais, gently brush the grill grates with oil.

- Lightly brush the pitas with olive oil and place them on the grill. Close the grill and let the pita cook for 4-5 min.

- Open the grill, flip the Arais to the other side and cook for another 4-5 min. Close the grill when cooking.

- Lastly, grill the open side of the Arais to create a good caramelization on the meat.

- Serve immediately with a tahini dip.



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