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Arayes Recipe

  • 14 min read

If you’re looking to make your next dinner party or family gathering more interesting, try adding this delicious and unique appetizer to your menu.

What Is The Origin Of The Arayes Recipe?

The arayes recipe has been around since at least the 15th century.

It was named after its inventor, the legendary chef Salah al-Din Abu Rayyas, who lived in Damascus during the 12th and 13th centuries AD.

He created the recipe from his own imagination based on what he liked best — lamb and mint leaves cooked with rice, onions, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and spices.

The result was an amazing combination that became popular throughout Syria and beyond.

Abu Rayyas also wrote down some of his recipes for other dishes such as stuffed grape leaves, stuffed eggplant, and chicken pie.

Today, many people still enjoy these dishes made according to Abu Rayyas’s original recipe.

And if you want to give them another twist, why not try making arayes using beef instead of lamb?

You can use any kind of ground meat you like, but it should be leaner than most meats so that it doesn’t dry out when cooking.

Just add whatever seasonings you prefer and mix well before stuffing into the pastry shells.

(Note: If you don’t have ready access to ground lamb, you could substitute ground beef.)

Arayes Recipe

How Did The Recipe For Arayes Come About?

The arayes recipe was inspired by the cuisine of Lebanon.

It was first introduced in the United States by Lebanese immigrants who were working as chefs at restaurants that catered to American tastes.

It has been adapted over time to suit various cultures, including those from Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and Turkey, so it is now considered an international delicacy.

In general terms, arayes are basically small pieces of baked meat pie or quiche with vegetables and spices on top.

The name comes from the Arabic word اريزه (Arabic pronunciation: [ˈɑrjʕiː]) which means “to grill”.

Each arayes recipe will have its own set of ingredients depending on where it originated.

Some recipes call for lamb, while others use chicken or beef.

This particular recipe uses veal, though there are many variations of arayes recipes.

Ingredients for arayes recipe

  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Steps for preparing arayes recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, add them into flour mixture along with onion and seasonings.

Add liquid ingredients and beat until well combined.

Mix in cheeses and stir until incorporated.

Shape dough into balls, then coat each ball with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot with a salad or vegetable side dish.

Who Created The Recipe For Arayes?

Arays (or arayesh) is one of the most popular dishes from the Middle East.

It consists of small pieces of raw chicken marinated in lemon juice and olive oil with garlic, onions, and parsley mixed together before being skewered on skewers and cooked over an open flame until they reach a desirable doneness level.

The name “arayes” comes from the Arabic word ʻaraaya, which means “to grill.”

The origin of the dish is unknown but it has been around for centuries.

Some believe that its roots can be traced back as far as the Ottoman Empire while others claim that it was popularized by Lebanese immigrants living in New York City during the 1800s.

Despite having no written history, arayes seems to have become very well-known throughout the world thanks to several restaurants offering their own versions in numerous cities across America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Today, many people consider arayes to be a classic example of Middle Eastern food.

Arayes Recipe

What Are The Ingredients In Arayes?

The key ingredient in arayes is beef tongue, but other meats can be substituted like lamb, chicken, pork, duck, turkey, venison, rabbit, or even goat!

In addition to beef tongue, arayes also contains onions, garlic, parsley, mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs.

The texture of arayes is similar to that of a croquette or gnocchi, so it is best served warm with salads, as part of an antipasto platter, or alongside rice pilaf as an accompaniment to main dishes.

It takes about 3 hours for the tongue to cook through, depending on its size, so plan ahead if you are serving a large group.

To prepare arayes, start by trimming all excess fat from the tongue and then slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces.

Season the slices with salt, pepper, and herbs (if desired).

Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Once hot, add enough slices of tongue to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes per side.

Remove the cooked tongues from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and return it to the stovetop.

Add another drizzle of vegetable oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and parsley together for 2-3 minutes.

If using fresh mint leaves instead of parsley, stir them in now.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan.

Stir well to combine everything thoroughly.

Return the tongue slices to the pan and turn each piece around in the sauce once before removing them again.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all slices have been added back to the pan.

Once everything has been returned to the pan, reduce the temperature to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.

When the mixture has cooled down, transfer it to a bowl and mix in the crumb topping.

Arrange the filling onto small plates or ramekins and top with the crumb topping.

Serve immediately.

Arayes Recipe

How Are Arayes Prepared?

Arayes recipes vary depending on the region where they originated from.

The name of the dish comes from Arabic which means “to be roasted”.

In general, it consists of small pieces of breaded meat that have been marinated and then cooked over an open flame until crispy.

The word ‘arrays’ can also refer to a large group of people who share similar beliefs and attitudes.

However, if you want to avoid confusion with this meaning, you might consider calling them ‘meat patties’ instead.

Many variations exist across different regions around the world.

Some are made with ground turkey while others use chicken, beef, lamb, or pork as their protein source.

You may even see versions made with seafood such as shrimp or lobster.

They’re often served hot off the grill in restaurants but they can also be enjoyed cold after being refrigerated overnight.

They’re perfect for entertaining guests because everyone loves trying new foods!

What Is The Cooking Time For Arayes?

Arrays can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

The best way to store them is wrapped well with plastic wrap and then placed back into the fridge.

Although they do not need refrigeration after preparation, it may help to keep them warm by placing them on top of a stove burner set at low heat.

The cooking time will depend on how much food you have prepared.

It should take approximately 15 minutes per pie to cook through.

Preparation steps for arayes

  • Wash all vegetables under running water until clean.
  • Remove any thick stems from cucumbers.
  • Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices (if using). Remove seeds if desired.
  • Peel onions and cut into thin slices.
  • Chop spinach leaves very finely.
  • Place vegetables and herbs in large bowl.
  • Mix together all ingredients except olive oil.
  • Add enough olive oil to coat mixture thoroughly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.

What Is The Flavor Of Arayes?

The flavors in arayes are quite complex.

They include all sorts of spices including cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, turmeric, aniseed, black pepper, ginger, saffron, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil.

Are There Any Variations Of The Arayes Recipe?

This classic Lebanese dish can be served hot or cold as an appetizer, main course, or even dessert.

It’s also known by different names in other countries including “kibbeh na’meen” (Egypt) and “baklawa” (Morocco).

The name itself comes from the Arabic word ʕārīyēz which means roasted meat.

The original arayes recipe calls for lamb mince meat but it can easily be substituted with beef, chicken, or turkey if desired.

You can use ground beef or ground turkey instead of lamb if you don’t have access to fresh lamb at home.

There are no strict rules regarding how many ingredients should go inside each pie so feel free to add whatever spices you like along with herbs.

Some people prefer using just olive oil while others may opt for butter or another type of fat.

You can also adjust the cooking method depending on what kind of oven you own.

If you want to keep things simple, baking them might work best.

Otherwise, grilling over charcoal will give the best results.

When selecting your meats, look for pieces that aren’t too big because they need to fit perfectly into the dough.

Also, cut off all visible fat before frying so the dough doesn’t become greasy after you cook them.

Once you assemble your pies, let them rest until cool enough to handle then wrap tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying out during storage.

What Are Some Tips For Making Arayes?

The name “arayes” comes from the Arabic word meaning “roasted meat pie.” The original version of this recipe was made with lamb but has been modified over time to include chicken and beef as well.

In order to create an arayes recipe that will be both tasty and easy to prepare, it helps to start by choosing the right ingredients.

In general, most people prefer using lean cuts of meat so they can be cooked on the grill without drying out too much.

You should also avoid dark-colored meats such as pork because their fat content makes them prone to burning during cooking.

You can use any type of bread dough in the arayes recipe.

Some recipes call for whole wheat flour while others suggest using white flour instead.

If you want to add additional flavor to the crust, you might consider sprinkling some herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, dill, cilantro, or even garlic powder onto the dough before baking.

Once you have selected the best type of bread dough, you need to decide what kind of filling would go inside each individual arayes.

Traditionally, arayes were filled with ground meat.

However, nowadays many chefs opt to use fresh vegetables (especially zucchini) combined with herbs, spices, cheese, eggs, or other fillings.

When deciding which herbs to sprinkle into the dough, remember that they should complement rather than overwhelm the flavors of the meat mixture.

For example, if you choose to include mint leaves, you should only lightly season the meat mixture with salt and pepper instead of putting large amounts of fresh mint into the mix.

Similarly, when mixing the herb/vegetable/cheese combination, don’t overload the mixture with either ingredient.

Instead, keep things simple and just sprinkle some chopped veggies and herbs onto the meat mixture at the end.

Some cooks may also choose to cook one side of the arayes first before flipping them over to finish grilling.

Others simply place all four sides directly on the grill until they reach desired doneness levels.

Finally, once you have completed preparing the arayes, you must allow enough time for them to cool down completely prior to serving.

Since these types of dishes tend to absorb moisture from the air, leaving them sitting outside for too long could result in soggy and unappetizing results.

How Do You Serve Arayes?

The original way to eat arayes was by simply grilling the whole pie on an open fire pit.

The crust would melt into the juices inside, creating a rich flavor that could be enjoyed with bread and olive oil.

Nowadays, however, many people prefer to roast them in their ovens before serving.

This method keeps the ingredients from burning while also allowing you to enjoy the full flavor of the filling.

To learn how to make arayes at home, check out our tips below!

1. Make your own dough

First things first—make sure you have all the necessary ingredients ready in order to create arayes.

You will need two types of flour, yeast (if not already included), baking powder, salt, pepper, water, egg, and vegetable oil.

If you want to get creative, you can add other spices like oregano and cinnamon to the mix as well.

Once you have everything together, combine them all in one bowl.

Mix thoroughly until it forms a ball of dough.

Now, using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

Afterward, wrap it up tightly and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the meat mixture

Next up, prepare the filling for your arayes.

While there isn’t a set rule for what kind of meat should go inside arayes, most recipes recommend mixing beef, lamb, chicken, fish, or even vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

It really depends on what type of meal you plan on having.

To start off, use a sharp knife to cut the meat into small pieces so they don’t overcook too quickly during cooking.

Afterwards, season it with salt, pepper, and whatever else you might think is nice.

Then, pour in enough water so that each piece is covered.

3. Assemble and bake your arayes

While there aren’t any exact measurements for how much space you should leave between each piece of meat, you shouldn’t fill up the entire pan with meat either.

Instead, cook it just long enough so that it doesn’t burn but still has plenty of time left to finish its cooking process.

After 15-20 minutes of preheating your oven, place your dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

Use a fork to prick holes throughout the surface so that steam gets through and creates air pockets when baked.

When done, brush both sides of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake it for 35-40 minutes.

Arayes Recipe

Arayes

These Lebanese Arayes are a delicious recipe that is quick and easy to make! These beef arayes are ready in minutes and every bite is delicious!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Arayes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 302kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef ground
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion minced
  • 2 teaspoons 7 spice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • 2 double-play pita breads
  • Olive oil cooking spray for oven baking

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, parsley, onions, 7 Spice, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix with your hands until everything is well combined.
  • Cut each pita into four pieces. Separate the two sides of the pita. Approximately 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray the stuffed pitas with olive oil cooking spray and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the pita is golden and crispy and the beef is cooked to your liking.
  • If desired, serve hot with plain yogurt for dipping.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 643IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg
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