It is only befitting that Palestinian women pride themselves on their one-of-a-kind kitchen skills; their touch always seems to brew something grand, just like in this traditional arayes recipe.
While I am not exactly sure as to why these meat-stuffed pitas came to be called Arayes, I can theorize:
- The name was adopted to illustrate the minimal skill and time that a Palestinian bride needs to whip up an extraordinary meal;
- Our foremothers were drawing an analogy, demonstrating that the most authentic beauty is in simplicity;
- Our foremothers were comparing the physical characteristics of this dish, which has a golden, crunchy topside and a soft, juicy, and savory inside, to the personality of a Palestinian woman (specifically a bride), which generally consists of a soft and marvelous nature hidden beneath our tough golden skin.
I can theorize until somebody else tells me otherwise.
Like every Palestinian dish I have made, this arayes recipe was passed down from generation to generation, to my mama, to me. It’s delicious, fulfills the craving for
Savoury Arayes (Meat-Stuffed Pita) Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef (minced beef)
- ½ pound ground lamb (minced lamb)
- 2 medium tomato - diced
- 1 medium white onion - diced
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice (also called pimento or Jamaican Pepper)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 small pita bread
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Combine ground beef and ground lamb and rinse in a colander under cold water
- Combine diced tomatoes, diced onion, and diced peppers and blend on low in a food processor (to get a finer mixture that will melt into the meat)
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, tahini, pomegranate molasses, minced garlic, allspice, salt, and pepper and mix into the bowl with diced veggies.
- Combine mixture with meat
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cover baking tray with foil.
- Cut each pita bread in half.
- Brush olive oil onto both sides of pita bread (outer layer)
- Stuff with meat mixture.
- Bake teh pitas for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or until golden brown).
- Flip pita pockets halfway through to get an even crisp on both sides.