Arayes Kafta Recipe - Lebanese Cuisine

Arayes Kafta

Arayes Kafta Recipe - Lebanese Cuisine
Region / culture: Lebanon | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes | Servings: 12


Arayes Kafta
Arayes Kafta

Arayes Kafta is a delightful Middle Eastern dish that combines the savory flavors of kafta (a mixture of ground meat, onions, and spices) with the crispiness of pitta bread. This dish is perfect for those who appreciate the rich, aromatic flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. It's relatively easy to prepare, making it a great option for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. The combination of juicy meat and crispy bread creates a harmonious blend of textures that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


The origins of Arayes Kafta can be traced back to the Levant region, which encompasses countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. It is a traditional dish that has been passed down through generations, with each region adding its own twist to the recipe. Historically, Arayes Kafta was prepared during special gatherings and festivities, symbolizing the sharing of food and culture among communities. Over time, it has gained popularity across the Middle East and beyond, becoming a beloved dish for many around the world.


  • 16 oz (454 g) of kafta
  • 1.5 pitta bread rounds, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tbsp of butter

How to prepare

  1. Spread a layer of butter on the inner side of the bread slices.
  2. Divide the kafta into 12 equal portions.
  3. Spread the kafta evenly over the buttered bread slices.
  4. Place the prepared pieces in a grill or oven preheated to 200°C for 5 minutes or until the kafta is fully cooked.
  5. Serve the dish hot, accompanied by yogurt.


  • There are several ways to customize Arayes Kafta to suit your taste:
  • Use different types of ground meat, such as beef, lamb, or a combination.
  • Add chopped parsley, mint, or other herbs to the kafta mixture for extra flavor.
  • Include spices like cumin, paprika, or cinnamon for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Arayes Kafta turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use high-quality ground meat for the kafta to enhance the flavor.

- Make sure the butter is at room temperature to spread it easily on the pitta bread.

- Do not overcook the kafta, as it can become dry. Keep an eye on it while it's in the grill or oven.

- For an extra crispy exterior, you can lightly brush the outside of the pitta bread with olive oil before grilling.

Serving Suggestions

Arayes Kafta is best served hot, straight from the grill or oven. It can be accompanied by a side of yogurt or tahini sauce for dipping, and a fresh salad or pickled vegetables to balance the richness of the meat.

Cooking Techniques

Grilling is the traditional method for cooking Arayes Kafta, as it provides a smoky flavor and crispy texture. However, you can also cook it in an oven preheated to 200°C, as mentioned in the recipe, or even in a pan on the stovetop if you prefer.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're unable to find pitta bread, you can use other types of flatbread as a substitute. For a dairy-free version, use olive oil instead of butter to spread on the bread.

Make Ahead Tips

The kafta mixture can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before assembling and cooking the Arayes Kafta. This can save time and make meal preparation more convenient.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Arayes Kafta on a platter garnished with fresh herbs and lemon wedges for a touch of color and flavor. You can also cut the bread into smaller pieces for bite-sized appetizers.

Pairing Recommendations

Arayes Kafta pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as tabbouleh, hummus, or baba ganoush. For drinks, consider serving it with mint tea or a refreshing lemonade.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Arayes Kafta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 5-10 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Arayes Kafta contains roughly 300-400 calories. This can vary based on the size of the serving and the specific ingredients used.


A serving of Arayes Kafta contains approximately 20-30 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the pitta bread. The exact amount may vary depending on the type and size of the bread used.


The fat content in Arayes Kafta mainly comes from the kafta and the butter used to spread on the pitta bread. A serving typically contains about 15-25 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats.


Arayes Kafta is a good source of protein, thanks to the kafta. A single serving can provide approximately 20-30 grams of protein, making it a satisfying and muscle-building option for your meal.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and B vitamins from the meat, as well as some calcium and vitamin D from the butter. The exact nutritional content will depend on the specific ingredients used.


Common allergens in Arayes Kafta include gluten (from the pitta bread) and dairy (from the butter). Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients should take caution.


Overall, Arayes Kafta is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and paired with a variety of other nutrient-rich foods.


Arayes Kafta is a flavorful and satisfying dish that embodies the essence of Middle Eastern cuisine. With its simple preparation and versatile nature, it's a great addition to any meal, offering a delightful combination of textures and tastes. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for Arayes Kafta. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl, and my Aunt Fatima had come to visit us from Lebanon. She was a seasoned cook, and I was always fascinated by the delicious aromas that came from her kitchen.

One day, Aunt Fatima announced that she was going to teach me how to make Arayes Kafta, a traditional Lebanese dish that she had learned from her own mother. I eagerly watched as she gathered the ingredients - ground beef, onions, parsley, and a blend of spices that filled the air with a tantalizing scent.

As Aunt Fatima began to mix the ingredients together, she explained the history behind the dish. Arayes Kafta, she told me, was a popular street food in Lebanon, often enjoyed at outdoor markets and family gatherings. The simple yet flavorful combination of meat and spices sandwiched between two layers of pita bread made it a favorite among locals.

I watched intently as Aunt Fatima formed the mixture into small patties and then carefully stuffed them into the pita bread. She brushed them with olive oil and placed them on a hot grill, where they sizzled and crisped up to perfection. The aroma that wafted through the kitchen was irresistible, and my mouth watered in anticipation.

Finally, the Arayes Kafta were ready, and Aunt Fatima presented them to me with a proud smile. I took a bite and was instantly transported to the bustling streets of Lebanon, where vendors sold their delicious creations to hungry passersby. The flavors were rich and savory, the meat tender and perfectly seasoned. I savored every bite, feeling grateful to have learned such a cherished family recipe.

From that day on, Arayes Kafta became a staple in our household. I would often make it for my own family, passing down the recipe and the memories that came with it. Each time I cooked the dish, I felt a connection to my Lebanese roots and the generations of women who had lovingly prepared it before me.

Over the years, I have added my own twist to the recipe, experimenting with different spices and variations to make it my own. But no matter how I choose to prepare it, the taste of Arayes Kafta always brings me back to that sunny afternoon in my childhood kitchen, watching Aunt Fatima work her magic.

As I sit here now, reflecting on the many recipes I have collected and cherished over the years, I realize that Arayes Kafta holds a special place in my heart. It is more than just a dish - it is a connection to my past, a reminder of the love and generosity that has been passed down through generations.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn this recipe from Aunt Fatima, and for the joy it has brought to me and my family. As I continue to cook and share my love of food with others, I will always hold onto the memories of that first taste of Arayes Kafta, and the sense of wonder that it sparked within me.


| Lebanese Appetizers | Lebanese Recipes | Meat Appetizer Recipes | Pita Recipes | Yogurt Recipes |

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