Lamb and hummus pita pockets

This is inspired by a Lebanese-style dish, arayes, that I ate in M25, a tiny restaurant in Carmel Market, Tel Aviv


Photo: Emma Lee

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Arayes is pita bread halved, spread with tahini, filled with seasoned lamb mince, fried in beef fat, then crisped in the oven. Here’s my adaptation – I used hummus rather than tahini when I tried it out at home purely because I had some in the fridge and it was so good I have kept it in there.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the lamb mince. Fry it, breaking it up with a fork or wooden spoon as you go. You shouldn’t need any extra oil as the mince will have enough fat to stop it sticking. Season well with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, until the lamb is cooked through but still tender.
  • Add the parsley and stir through.
  • Halve the pitas and carefully scoop out and discard any extra doughy bread in the middle.
  • Spread the inside of each pita pocket with hummus, then fill with the lamb mince.
  • Heat the olive oil in a clean frying pan. Fry the filled pita halves on each side until crisp. (You can now set aside the pitas until you are ready to serve them or finish them straight away.)
  • Put the filled pitas on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking.
  • Cut the crisp pita breads into halves and serve with some extra hummus and hot sauce on the side, if you wish.

Recipe from Cherish, Headline

First published in the JC April 19, 2018


600g lamb mince

salt and freshly ground black pepper

A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

4 large round pitas, ideally from a Middle Eastern grocery as these tend to hold together better than the supermarket ones (or use 8 smaller ones and give everyone 2 each)

4 generous tbsp hummus

1 tbsp olive oil

Extra hummus and hot sauce, to serve

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