Arayes is typically a pita stuffed with minced meat, herbs, and spices. It’s a popular Middle Eastern dish and also goes by the name Hawawshi, a recipe I shared from the cookbook Mezze here. This vegetarian version came to me accidentally. It started with this recipe shared by David Frenkiel of Green Kitchen Stories on Instagram. When I made it, the patties didn’t really stick together, and I ended up with more of a messy hash situation; but the flavour was delicious which was wild considering it was just 4 ingredients combined. That failed attempt happened just after I had shared the Hawawshi recipe which spurred the idea to take those 4 ingredients and to stuff them inside a pita and grill them together instead of trying to form a patty. Which is how we’ve ended up here, it works, is so simple and is delicious. When in doubt, just add bread.
Carrot, Zucchini and Haloumi Arayes
- frying pan or sandwich press
- 2 cups haloumi cheese grated
- 2 carrots peeled and grated
- 2 small zucchini / baby marrow grated
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 pitas
- Combine the grated haloumi, carrots, zucchini and parsley in a large bowl. Add a spot of salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cut the pitas in half to create semi-circles and carefully split to form pockets.
- Stuff each pocket with the haloumi and vegetable mixture; but don’t overstuff as it’ll fall out.
- To cook, heat some olive oil or butter in a large frying pan. Add the pita – 1 full pita or 2 halves at a time and cook for 5 minutes, each side; pressing down gently with a spatula. The pita will be golden brown and crisp and the haloumi melted. Alternatively, you can also cook them in a sandwich press until the haloumi is melted and pita golden brown.
- Serve hot.