shimmering shish barak

Shish barak with coriander in the yoghurt

Serves: 6


Shish Barak Dough:

2 1/2 plain or wholemeal flour (or a combination of both)

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Shish Barak Filling:

180g minced meat

10 sprigs coriander, finely diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

salt, pepper, mixed spice

Shish Barak Yoghurt:

6 cups plain Greek yoghurt (or your favourite type)

1 1/2 tbs cornflour dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 egg

1 tbs salt


Mix the filling ingredients together in a tefal pot on medium-high heat.

Add a few tablespoons of water and cover. Leave to cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When ready, dish out and leave aside to cool.

This filling can be prepared in advance.

Combine the dough ingredients in a large bowl and knead to form a soft dough.

Don’t be impatient. I felt it needed more water and ended up with just under 2 1/2 cups of water, which needed 2 7/8 cups flour. Let the dough take it’s time to form. If you really feel it needs more water, add it in by the tablespoon.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 3 – 5 minutes.

Break the dough into 4 segments.

Roll each segment (one at a time) until it’s 2 – 3 millimetres thick (this dough is almost like fresh pasta dough, it really needs to be thin). Of course you can put it through a pasta maker machine, but I don’t have one so I don’t know which setting you’d use ๐Ÿ™‚

Use a small biscuit cutter, no bigger than 5 cm in diametre (2 inches) to cut out circles in the dough.

Place a teaspoon sized amount of filling in the centre of all the circles.

Fold each circle in half and press down to seal.

Take the corners of the semi-circle and fold them in so one is above the other.

Press down to keep it’s shape. Repeat until the dough is finished.

This shape is similar to tortellini.

Place all the shish baraks on a lightly greased baking tray and place under the grill or in the oven until they’re a faint rosy colour.

This step is optional, but I would highly suggest you do it, because it makes the dish a whole lot more tastier.

If you want to skip this step, the method would be to blanch the shish baraks, drain and leave aside.

In the blender, combine the ‘shish barak yoghurt’ ingredients and blend for 2 minutes on the lowest setting. It should come out runny and frothy up the top.

Transfer to a large pot on high heat. Continually stir at a fast pace for about 3 and half minutes (the timing is important).

You will begin to feel the yoghurt thicken. Turn the heat to low and continue stirring at a fast-steady pace for another 5 minutes.

Add the shish baraks to the yoghurt.

Leave on low heat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure none stick to the bottom of the pot.

Be Burn Safe: Be careful as the yoghurt will bubble, and stirring it will make it angry (i.e. it will bubble vigourously for a few seconds when you begin to stir)

Add a pinch of salt, I believe the salt will come out after it’s dished up so don’t put in too much.

Optional 1: add fried kibbeh or cubes of pre-cooked pumpkin to the yoghurt just a minute before serving. I placed some cubes in the microwave in a bowl of water, covered with punctured cling wrap on the potato setting which went on for 4 minutes – 40 secs.

Optional 2: add finely diced coriander to the yoghurt a few minutes before dishing up.

Use a large ladle to dish up into a large serving bowl. First try to get out as much of the shish baraks as you can with minimal yoghurt, then when the bowl is almost full, begin to add the yoghurt on top until it’s all at one level.

Awesome tip: eating cooked yoghurt is fantastic, eating it after it’s been bruised with the serving utensil isn’t. If you think there’s too much to eat in one go, then portion the pot’s contents over 2+ bowls. Any left overs = a fresh looking bowl of shish barak. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shish barak without coriander in the yoghurt;

I’ve put kibbeh in this version of Shish barak

Eat shish barak with rice, of course. Can be eaten hot, or cold from the fridge. Also room-temp works great. If rice isn’t your fancy, you can try skipping it – I did today because I didn’t bother making any and didn’t bother holding myself back from digging in ๐Ÿ˜‰

TAKE TWO: Instead of grilling the shish baraks, fry them and crunch on them as a party food or snack. Dip in your favourite dip, eat as is, or garnish with them (they’re cute!). The entire yoghurt dunking part is eliminated.

When I first heard of this dish last year, I wasn’t keen on trying it, let alone cooking it. Now I encourage everyone to cook it and…



15 thoughts on “shimmering shish barak

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says:

    I love your blog because it exposes me to new dishes. I’m trying to expand my cooking horizons. I’m American and grew up in an Italian American family (mom wasn’t Italian, but her mother in law told her how to make the recipes). So I cook a lot of more Mediterranean meals, or the American version. I love Mexican food and am doing more with ingredients native to the South. But this is almost all new to me. I love your instructions and pictures, they’re so useful. And you have a great sense of humor too!

  2. thefooddoctor says:

    I loooooove shish barak!
    My mum makes the most amazing shishbarak but yours truly never toried to make it…I really must do that soon!
    Your shish barak is AMAZING

  3. chicaandaluza says:

    I second what Rufus says – Iยดm English Italian and living in Spain so cook mainly mediterranean type food. Although Iยดve tried some of the dishes you cook, Iยดve previously had no idea how to tackle making them myself. This looks amazing and Iยดll be giving it a go soon!

  4. fatisrecipes says:

    Thank you all for sharing a bit about yourselves. Now I know I’m not the only flavoured cook here ๐Ÿ™‚ Because I’m raised in Down Under with Mediterranean influences in my food and lifestyle.
    Chicanddaluza, I hope the recipes you’ve tried from my blog haven’t failed you. If you ever bump into troubles, please let me know… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rufus and Food Doc, don’t hold back, I know you really won’t regret making this dish, it’s so yummy, I couldn’t believe it!

    P.S. I hope my serving portion stated in the post is correct, sometimes I feel like I put the number up too high (or maybe it’s just because I eat a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  5. gisellecagli says:

    Oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I grew up eating this dish!!!!!!. My grandmother used to gather us on Sundays to eat shish barak. I have Palestinian blood since I am fourth generation of Palestinean inmigrants in Honduras. I live in Italy since I am married to an Italian, so I have deep mediterranean roots!!

  6. claudia says:

    Fati thank you so much for this recipe! My grandma use it to make it for us when we were little. She also use to cook stuffed zucchini (Kusa Mihshi) in this yogurt soup. Do you know how to cook this plate? Maybe its the same as shish barak but instead of adding the shish baraks you add the kusas. Please let me know what you think and thank you once again.

    • fati's recipes says:

      Hi Claudia! ๐Ÿ™‚
      My pleasure, I’m glad you found this recipe. Yes the one with kusa mihshi is called Sheikh, and I have the recipe in this post. And plain flour is the same as all purpose flour, so it should be good to use ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. claudia says:

    fati, can you use all purpose flour for the dough? I am not quite sure if its the same as plain flour, im just learning how to cook. thank you

    • fati's recipes says:

      P.S. Claudia, remember to do what feels right when you cook. Arab cooking doesn’t have precise measurements although I really try to get them accurate when I want to post something here ๐Ÿ™‚ So “do things” until the consistency feels right, and always come back to the recipe for guidance ๐Ÿ™‚

      All the best

  8. claudia says:

    Thank you very much fati! I think i’m going to begin experimenting with Sheikh and then try to make Shish Barak. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • fati's recipes says:

      Hi Claudia,

      I’ll be honest and tell you I’ve never tried it before with cornmeal, but assuming they’re the same things, but cornmeal is just more coarse, it should be fine, but you might need to adjust the quantity a bit ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope it all goes well! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. claudia says:

    Hey fati, thank you so much for all your help. I was soooo nervous to give it a try, but I convinced myself to do it today and it turned out great surprisingly haha. I had alot of issues with the dough because I was laking a rolling pin so I improvised, and used a nonstick oil can, so it made it quite difficult… and well my shishbaraks had different shapes…hopefully it will improve with time. thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • fati's recipes says:

      Oh Claudia, I’m so glad to hear that! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Shaping the Shish barak isn’t easy the first time, but it’s similar to shaping tortellini, just cut round circles, fill them and fold them in half, then bring the 2 corners together by bending the vertical 1/2 line in half (I hope that makes sense ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      I hope you can get your hands on a rolling pin, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you try to boil these, or grill them before putting them in the yoghurt? Or did you just dip them straight in? ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. claudia says:

    fati, I actually found a video on youtube on how to shape them but unfortunately, I found it after cooking ahaha. I baked them in the oven for 20 minutes, it gave it an extra touch that was great. However, next time im going to try and put them straight in the yogurt (like my grandma cooks them).

    When I was shaping some of them, the ready ones(in a plate) where getting stiff… like the dough was getting hard.. maybe I was just taking too long. Is this normal?

    I also added some chicken broth to the yogurt soup, gave it a good flavor, but not authentic, so wont use it next time.

    That was my cooking experience… and by the way it literally took me like 3.5hrs haha Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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