Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Indian Is What's for Dinner Tonight

I tried out some recipes from Aarti Party on the food network. I made a yogurt and cucumber salad and these pita pockets stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts, parsley, tomato, and onion. I served it with a side of chicken flavored couscous.

Here's the recipe from


Cucumber and yogurt salad


  • 2 cups plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt
  • 2 cups grated English or Persian cucumber (unpeeled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus a little freshly ground black pepper if you like. Stir, chill, and serve.

Lebanese style Pita Pockets (Arayes)


  • 1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small tomato, diced finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 pieces pita (whole wheat or regular), cut into quarters
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the onions, garlic, and parsley until finely minced. Remove to a large bowl and add in the beef, tomato, garam masala, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season with salt. Mix with your hands until well combined.

Arrange the pita quarters on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill each quarter with about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture, flattening it out so the filling is even. Brush each quarter on both sides with a little olive oil. Sprinkle salt on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Pitas should be browned and crispy.

At the 10 minute mark I flattened them out with my spatula and flipped them over. I used the yogurt and cucumber salad as a dip. Everyone loved them!

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