Kefta and Arayes

The other night I was in the kitchen making Arayes.  My kiddos kept on coming into the kitchen wondering what I was making and when I told them they were totally surprised that I knew how to make it.  They all asked me why I didn’t make them before (it has been well over 8 years?…Wow a really long time!)  and I told them that I totally forgot about it until I got a request via Facebook for the recipe.

This makes a really nice light lunch and dinner when served with a soup and some hummus and grape leaves.  You must really serve this along with hummus so don’t forget!  On to the recipe…I hope that you like it!

Arayes (A-ra-yes)

Ingredients for Kefta: 

(adapted from Kofta Kebabs

 ½ kg (1 pound) ground lamb or ground chicken

1 small onion, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic, chopped (up to you how much you like)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (you can use up to ½ cup)

1 tablespoon ground coriander

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


½ cup of corn oil

12  fresh pieces of small (6 inch diameter) pita bread (the thin kind)

Make sure that the pita bread you use is fresh because if it isn’t it will be quite difficult to separate into halves.


Place all of the kefta ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Set aside.

 Open up each of the pita bread so that it forms two halves.

 Take about ¼ cup (maybe a little less) of the kefta mixture and thinly spread it on one side of a pita half.  Place other half of the pita on top and press down so that it sticks together.  Set aside.


Note:  you need to spread the kefta thinly so that it will cook evenly and quickly.  If you spread it on thickly it might be undercooked when the bread has turned a golden brown.

Do this with the remaining kefta mixture and pita bread.

Once you are finished with all the pita bread, you can either lightly pan fry the Arayes or you can grill them.

If you are pan frying, you will need to cook on very low heat.  If you are grilling the Arayes, then you will need to place the grill on the highest level from the coals.  I much prefer grilling them because you will get that nice smoked flavor.

Lightly brush the Arayes on each side with the corn oil and place on either the frying pan or the grill.  When I cooked them this time I didn’t brush the outside of the pita with oil.  I had just added a teaspoon of oil to the pan and pan fried them that way.

 Cook until the bottom side is a nice golden brown color.  Flip it over and cook the other side the same way.

Once done place them either in a hotpot or on a large platter covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

Serve with Laban Up, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and a nice soup.


Serves 5-6

Print the recipe here.

9 responses to “Kefta and Arayes

  1. Salam alaikum sister

    MashAllah these look tasty and I wonder if its possible to make this with pita dough so the pita bakes at the same time as the layer of kefta have you ever tried it that way before?


  2. yumzzzzz it looks so tempting…..i wud try them with fish In Sha Allah..tommorow and would post the results on my blog :)…..

  3. I’ve loved Arayes since I was a kid!! And honestly, your recipe makes it seem far easier to make than I would have thought! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Hi Arva, yes it is very easy to make. I hope you try the recipe and like it! 🙂

  5. Hi Tureen, it would be quite interesting to use fish in this recipe. The tradional way of making it is with lamb…so let me know how it turns out 🙂 Your recipe for Potato Kulchaa looks very delicous!

  6. Wa Alaikum Salaam Asmaa,

    I guess you could make it that way though I have never tried it that way…your pita bread would have to be made very thin though. 🙂 If you do make it with the pita dough let me know how it turns out, InshaAllah. 🙂

  7. Salam alaikum maryann,

    Yes I will try it out soon and let you know inshaAllah

  8. Assalamu alaikum
    I am a great fan of arabic food and this one is way too good!!!

  9. very interesting

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