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Shawarma Arayes with chilli and tomato dipping sauce

Serves 6
Prep 20 min
Cook 40 min

Arayes are Middle Eastern pitas stuffed with a kofta-like filling and then pan fried. The shawarma paste adds flavour and complexity here; the sweet spices complimenting the lamb beautifully. These would be fun as part of a sharing platter. Serve alongside shop bought pickled onions and picked herbs like mint and parsley.


60ml tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
500g plum tomatoes
40g Ottolenghi chilli sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
400g lamb mince (20% fat)
10g coriander, finely chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped (70g)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
125g Ottolenghi shawarma marinade
1 lemon, 1 tsp zest finely grated
100g sliced yarlsberg, chopped into 1 cm pieces
6 white pita breads
fine sea salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C and have ready a large baking tray.
  2. Place all the tahini ingredients in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix well until smooth and set aside.
  3. Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the tomatoes into a colander set over a bowl and discard the skins. Discard the tomato water and transfer the grated tomato into the bowl and add the chilli sauce, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Place all the ingredients for the Arayes, except for the pitta, in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Moisten the pitas with some water and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until puffed up. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on), cut in half widthways and let the steam escape. Stuff each pitta half with 60 grams of the Arayes mixture, pressing the sides together slightly to make sure that they are evenly filled.
  6. Place a large frying pan on medium heat and, once hot, place half the Arayes cut side down into the pan and cook for 1 minute until golden. Flip the Arayes on the side and cook for 2 minutes on each side until nicely golden. Transfer to the baking tray and repeat with the remaining Arayes. Place the Arayes in the oven and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through and golden.
  7. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the tahini and dipping sauce in bowls on the side.