Arayes (Grilled pita sandwiches)

Arayes are grilled pita bread sandwiches filled with minced meat, tomatoes,onions, parsley and a melody of spices.They are popular street food items throughout the Middle East going by different names in different countries.

Arayes are really easy to prepare, you can cook them on the grill, in the oven, or in the toaster. The result is always the perfect combination of crunchy toasted bread on the outside and spicy juicy meat on the inside. Served with some Greek yogurt, pickles and olives on the side, they make a great lunch that is ready in under 30 minutes

As with many Arabic recipes, the name may sound strange at first. Actually the word Arayes is the plural of Aros which is arabic for bride. I know it sounds strange, calling a sandwich a bride! I tried to look up the reason behind the name and the only explanation that I could find is that the name comes from the fact that sandwiches (when you buy them at restaurants in the middle east) are always wrapped in white paper, like a bridal gown. Regardless of the story behind the name, these grilled pita bread sandwiches are worth trying the next time you have a BBQ party or when you feel like trying something new for lunch.

This recipe was featured in Darna magazine’s second issue. I am truly proud to be one of the trio behind this magazine with my talented friends Nisreen Al Shawa and Manal Obaida.
Please stop by the magazine and check it out and let me know what you think of our second issue

arayes

Arayes

  • 500 grams minced meat (lamb or a combination of beef and lamb)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • Pita bread
  • Additional olive oil for brushing

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients except for the tomatoes and pita bread
  2. Add the tomatoes and mix to combine
  3. Spread a thin layer of the mix in each pita bread loaf
  4. Brush with olive oil on both sides
  5. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 220 C on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Flip them over midway so as to have the Arayes browned and crispy on both sides. You can also grill them on the barbeque or in a sandwich toaster

Arayes grilled sandwiches

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