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Beet & Beef Arayes

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This recipe will end all preconceptions that I’m vegan or vegetarian. Yes, this is the first time I share a non-vegetarian recipe, but it still has veggies, making it fiber-rich and wholesome.

I’ve never been interested in grilled meat, I find them dry and boring. I’m the one eating all the hummus, taboule, and vine leaves. If I do have something from the grilled food, it would be arayes.

I hope you love these Beef & Beet Arayes as much as I do. The beets make them extra juicy and the bright color from the beets is striking. The mixture can be made in advance (in the morning) and stored in the fridge to grill in the evening. Serve it with a simple salad and these lemon potatoes.

Beet & Beef Arayes

Cook Time: 25min
|prep Time: 10min
| total Time: 35min
| servings: 4


For the beef mixture

1/4 cup (60ml) avocado or neutral oil (plus extra for frying)

2 medium white or yellow onions, roughly chopped

2 medium raw beetroot, shredded (about 2 cups)

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

500g ground beef

1/3 cup (7g) fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or 1 teaspoon sweet paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon ground allspice or 7 spice mix

3-4 Pita breads (preferably Egyptian bread)


Yogurt sauce

1 cup full-fat yogurt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt



  1. In a medium to a large frying pan, heat the oil then fry the onions on medium to low heat until they turn golden, stirring frequently. Add the shredded beetroot with 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook and stir for 5-7 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the beef, parsley, spices, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. You can use the mixture straight away or cover and store in the fridge to use within 24 hours.
  2. To make the sauce mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Twenty minutes before you plan to serve the arayes, heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Slice the pita in half, and fill it with the beef mixture, flattening it into an even thick layer. Brush the bread all over with oil.
  5. Add two or three of the pita halves (depending on the size of your pan) and cook until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip the halves and cook until the second sides are well browned, another 3 to 4 minutes. To be sure the meat is cooked you can use a thermometer – it will be done when it reaches 70C/160F. Transfer to a serving plate, and cook the remaining halves in the same way.
  6. Serve warm with the sauce.

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