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Shish Barak

Bowl of Shish Barak topped with herbs and a fork cutting on open showing the filling

These Middle Eastern homemade meat-stuffed dumplings cooked in yogurt are to die for! They are the ultimate comfort food and every minute that goes into making these are well worth it.

What is Shish Barak?

Shish Barak can be considered the ravioli of Arabic cuisine; they look just like them, except the stuffing must be minced meat, and the sauce it is cooked in is yogurt-based to be considered traditional. Often, ground beef or lamb or even a mixture is used to make this hearty meal.

Making the filling and the dough is the easiest part. It is the tedious repetition of making the shish barak dumplings by hand. First, you have to lay the dough flat and then cut it into equal circles then stuff then shape. Repeat. So, yes, making these are time-consuming, but they are great to make with friends or family as an activity that you get to enjoy later. They are so worth it too especially during the winter when a bowl of this warms up your soul.

These also freeze well. You can go ahead and make two batches of the dough and freeze 1-2 batches, depending on the size of your family. This way, you have a quick meal to go back to stashed right in the freezer, which is also perfect for Ramadan. I often prep a batch before Ramadan to enjoy during the Holy month for the perfect comfort meal.

shish barak
shish barak

Why I make Shish Barak:

My grandmother is the one who showed me many years ago how to make this or what shish barak even was. My mom never really made it growing up, but we were hooked after my grandmother introduced my siblings and me to it. My mom had no choice but to make it for us after my grandmother returned to Palestine. Let’s just say my mom made them once every 5 years if that!

Now, more than ever, with being home and craving comfort and nostalgia, I had to make this dish myself from A-Z. I wanted to document it and share it with the many others I know who want to learn this dish but can’t find the resources to do so. So, here it is; the best recipe for traditional shish barak that you will find. I hope it brings you back beautiful memories like it does for me.

How to make Shish Barak:

To start, prepare the dough because it needs to rest for 30 minutes. It is a simple recipe that consists of the basics: flour, water, oil, a tad of salt, and sugar.

While the dough is resting, the meat filling can easily be prepared. The meat filling is cooked through prior to making the dumplings. It is cooked with onions, parsley, and garlic for added flavor along with seasonings. Traditionally, to the filling; toasted pine nuts are added too.

Once the dough is rested, it is flattened, and you will cut small circles out of it and repeat until there isn’t any left. You can use a cookie cutter or a small coffee/tea cup.

Then, add a small spoonful of filling into each circular cut piece of dough and fold like a ravioli. These will be baked for a nice color and texture then cooked in a smooth, creamy yogurt sauce before the entire thing is topped with lots of roasted garlic and dried mint.

Let me know what you think below! Share your creations with me on Instagram too! If you would like to try other authentic Palestinian meals then check these out: Palestinian Za’atar Bread, Musakhan, and Qidreh.

Bowl of Shish Barak topped with herbs and a fork cutting on open showing the filling
Print Recipe
5 from 28 votes

Shish Barak

These are Middle Eastern meat filled dumplings cooked in a yogurt based sauce. It is one of the top comfort foods in Arabic cuisine.
Prep Time2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Arabic food, Fufus Kitchen, meat dumplings, Shish barak
Servings: 70 dumplings
Author: Heifa



  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Milk powder optional
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Water


  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef ground lamb can be used or a mixture of both
  • 3 tbsp. Pine nuts toasted in olive oil
  • 1 Small Onion
  • Handful of Parsley
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Seven spice or allspice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Yogurt Sauce

  • 32 oz Plain yogurt do not use greek yogurt.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Corn starch
  • 2 cups Water may need more


  • 1 head Garlic crushed
  • 3 tbsp Dried Mint crushed


  • First, prepare the dough by combining all the ingredients together with a kitchenaid with the paddle attachment or by hand. Initially pour the cup of water a little at a time. Cover and let it rest for 30 min as you prepare the filling.
  • In a food processor, add the onion, garlic, and parsely from the meat filling and pulse. Add this mixture to the beef and saute in a pan with the seasonings. Cook till browned well. Add toasted pine nuts to the filling as well. Set aside.
  • Once the dough is ready, cut the ball in half and roll out each half thinly. About 1 inch thick. Cut small circles into the dough using a cookie cutter or a small coffee cup. Spread out each circle and add 1 tsp of beef filling onto one side of the circle. Shape like an empanada pinching at the seams. Then pinch the ends of the dumpling together or overlap them to look like tortellini. Repeat this step until all the dough is done.
  • Place the dumplings onto a nonstick pan sprayed with olive oil. Bake in a 400 F oven for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Feel free to broil for a minute for more color.
  • At this point, once the dumplings are cooled you can place them in a ziplock and freeze them for another meal.
  • Let's work on the yogurt sauce. Add the yogurt, corn starch, salt, and water to a blender.
  • Add this mixture to a pot and place on medium heat. Keep mixing until the sauce starts to thicken about 10-15 min until it boils. If you want it thickened more, add a ladle of the yogurt sauce into a bowl and add more corn starch to it and stir. Place back into the pot to thicken it. I like my yogurt thick enough to coat a spoon.
  • Once at the consistency you prefer, add the dumplings and cook for 10 minutes together. They should be floating to thr top.
  • In a pan, saute the garlic in olive oil until crisp. Add this to the yogurt sauce and garnish with dried mint as well. Enjoy warm!

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  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Shish Barak can never go wrong for a delightful iftaar meal. It can also be cooked with “Labneh” which is strained yogurt, and we use this method a lot. It yields a more intense taste than regular plain yogurt.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! Super easy to follow and make. I will definitely make this again once I’m done with the rest of the batch I froze 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Heifa is by far my favorite food blogger! With the quarantine, this is the first Ramadan that I have had to cook every meal & some recipes don’t turn out right (since I can’t season to taste), but not with this one! 😍 It turned out absolutely perfect & tastes amazing, alhamdulillah!

  4. Going to be trying this soon but just wanted to clarify some things:
    1 – You said the filling is enough for two batches of dough, but what about the sauce? is it for one batch?
    2 – can pine nuts be replaced with slivered almonds or be kept out?
    So excited for this.

    1. Hi!
      The sauce is for one batch and yes you can add slivered almonds instead. Hope this helps. I am excited for you to give this recipe a try. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. 5 stars
        The best Palestinian blogger with the most delicious recepies. I followed the instructions and I ended with the most delicious sheshbrak ever, especially for people who are used to it with (kishk) and don’t have.
        1) step by step instructions.
        2) easy to follow.
        3) responds to any questions.
        4) a friendly face.

        1. Hi,
          The dough measurements (3 cups of four) will only need half of the filling provided in the recipe. Many people make a double batch of dough to freeze extra shish barak. So, if you only do one batch of dough; you will be left with some filling mixture which isn’t a bad thing. It can be placed in a ziplock and frozen for other meals or future shish barak. I hope that makes more sense. Let me know if you have any other questions.

        2. Love this recipe. Made it once before with no issues. I’m curious though if the dough can be made a day in advance and store in the fridge? With a 9 month old I usually can’t make a more complex recipe in one shot…lots of stopping and starting. Would the dough hold up in the fridge for at least a day?


  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been struggling with this dish for years, this was truly the easiest and most precise recipe I’ve ever used and my dish came out PERFECTLY delicious! Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    This was delicious and so easy to make! Never thought I would ever make this myself. Thanks to Heifa, I’ve been going out of my comfort zone and making all sorts of different delicious dishes!!!

  7. 5 stars
    One of my favorite dishes that I usually struggle with making. Not with this recipe! Really delicious and very easy to follow. My whole family lived it!

  8. 5 stars
    This shish barak was so delicious! I’ve tried to make shish barak before and failed miserably, but finally felt like I should try again and came across this recipe. The dough was easy to work with and the filling was delicious as well. The only change I made to the yogurt sauce was to add fresh cilantro sauteed with garlic at the very end (which my grandmother does). This will definitely be my go-to shish barak recipe going forward. Thank you Heifa!

  9. 5 stars
    I love love love this shish barak recipe!! My family (specifically my younger brother) are so picky when it comes to food, but they all loved this dish!! Ive made it a couple times now and it only gets better each time 🙂 Highly recommend you try!!

  10. 5 stars
    This is the best recipe I ever tried. I love trying all your recipe, because I know for a fact it will turn out delicious

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious they taste just like my grandma used to make them. It was my first try, my mom and my husband were so delighted and proud of me ahahah me too I was proud of myself but to be honest. The recipe is perfect so you can’t fail following the steps here. THANKS for bringing this wonderful recipe to my kitchen. So happy I found your site, now to try some more recipes ♥️

  12. Grew up eating shish Barak. Never learned how but willing to try your recipe. Looks easy enough for me. Just wondering…the sauce I remember was very tart or sour tasting. Will this sauce be the same or do I have to add something to make it taste tart

    1. Hi Sandy!
      I too love the tanginess in any yogurt-based recipe for Middle Eastern cooking. For my shish barak, you will definitely have that. I highly recommend you use plain yogurt that is more sour like the Dana Brand that you can find in Middle Eastern stores or Ziyad brand as opposed to plain yogurt from the supermarket. Those brands create tangier yogurt and therefore the sauce will be more tart and authentic.

  13. 5 stars
    This looks easy and straightforward hoping it turns out nice! Was wondering about cooking the frozen shishbaraks, how long in advance should they sit out of the freezer?


    1. Hi Fadi,
      Thanks! So, if the shish Barak is frozen, all you would have to do is take it out and let it defrost to room temp for about an hour. Then, cook in the yogurt sauce but it will require more cooking time since it is cold to begin with. Shish barak is ready when it starts rising to the top of the yogurt in the pot; that is your indication! Hope this helps, Enjoy!

  14. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Made it once before with no issues. I’m curious though if the dough can be made a day in advance and store in the fridge? With a 9 month old I usually can’t make a more complex recipe in one shot…lots of stopping and starting. Would the dough hold up in the fridge for at least a day?


    1. Hi Nadeen,
      Great question. What can be prepared in advance is the meat filling and then just stored in an airtight container in the fridge. The dough preferably should be made the same day and then you can stuff them into dumplings and actually freeze or refrigerate (depending on how long before using them) the dumplings after toasting them in the oven. Finally, you can make the yogurt sauce and cook the dumplings in it. So, I broke it down for you into 3 days if necessary. Hope this helps.

  15. 5 stars
    Perfect recipe, and easy to split up portion wise for a couple or single! I just used the concentrate jameed mixture instead of the yogurt for this recipe and it made a delicious substitute! I especially liked the texture from baking the dumplings first, but I think it can also be made great if boiled right away. I’ll have to mix it up next time. Thank you for all your amazing recipes! Heifa is of the ONLY Palestinian chef’s I trust 🥰

    1. Hi!
      Yes, You can make the filling ahead of time. Then prepare the dough and make the dumplings the following day with the stuffing, You van freeze them and cook with the yogurt sauce day of. So, you can split it into 3 days.

  16. My mom never made this but I loved having it every time we were invited somewhere, definitely loved this recipe and it will be my all time go to recipe❤️❤️❤️

  17. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe, so much easier to follow. My only problem was that the dumplings came out a little bit harder than what I am used to. Did I bake it for too long? I am now allowing it to heat longer in the sauce to see if it will soften. Second problem wasn’t related to this recipe but the halal meat I get sometimes has a slight bad taste (zenekha) to it so I was wondering if there is any other seasoning you would suggest? It was still amazing though!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thank you!
      Yea, more than likely they didn’t soak in the yogurt sauce that long especially needed if maybe you toasted them a little extra but yes, the sauce is what makes it softer! You can up the seasoning of the meat in that case to conceal that meat flavor. Hope this helps!

  18. One of my favorite recipes… but I have a question, I don’t have time to make the “hats” as we call the dumplings or tortellini, but I found fresh made tortellini at my local store… my question is do I need to cook the tortellini before I add to the yogurt?

    1. Hi Michelle,
      You can toss them in the yogurt sauce and cook it for 20-30 minutes or you can lightly toast in the oven then toss in yogurt sauce 20 same amount of time.

  19. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time last Ramadan and will be making it again tomorrow for iftar! We love eating it doughy as no baking for us, but hands down the best recipe I’ve tried yet!

  20. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s the favorite of my husband. I made this several times since my husband is an arab . My in-laws teach me how to make this kind of recipe. I tried your recipe today it’s easy to follow and it’s really good 👍. I will definitely made it again 🥰

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious and easy to make. I have made it several times and my family loves it so much! Thank you for taking your time to show us easy step by step details of your hard and yummy work.

  22. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy to follow and very delicious. I have made it twice already and it does not disappoint!

  23. 5 stars
    All Fufu’s receipts are well made and works perfectly every time! I made almost everything on this page and everything was a top hit!

    Thank you, continue to keep up the work please!

  24. 5 stars
    Wauw. It is just perfect!! First time making it and it turned out perfect. My Syrian husband loved it❤️ thank you!!

  25. 5 stars
    I’ve wanted to try shish barak so bad, but I can never get it right. Heifa, with your recipe, I got it right on the first try! This is such a comforting meal, and I’m glad I was finally able to make it work. Thank you so much!

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