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Shish Barak Featured Photo

Shish Barak Recipe

  • Author: Wafa Shami
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Stove and Oven
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


Shish Barak recipe is one of the most popular Palestinian traditional recipes, it is also popular in Levant countries, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Shish Barak is more like small dumplings made with a simple dough filled with seasoned ground meat, usually lamb or beef, and cooked in jameed yogurt or regular yogurt-based sauce.


Units Scale

For the dough

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Meat

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion minced
  • 1/2 pound ground meat beef or lamb, or a mixture of both
  • A pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (optional)

For jameed Yogurt

  • 2 cups of jameed
  • 3 cups of meat broth
  • 3-4 crushed garlic + 1 tablespoon of olive oil or ghee

For Regular Yogurt (mix in a blender)

  • 4 cups plain yogurt (preferably goat)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)



  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt for the dough. Gradually add warm water and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover it with a clean cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, add oil, chopped onion, and sauté until caramelized.
  3. Add ground meat, ground cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt over caramelized onion. Break ground meat with the back of the spatula, and sauté until meat is browned and fully cooked and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a round cutter or a small glass, cut out circles of dough about 1.5-2 inches in diameter.
  5. With a small spoon place a small amount of the filling mixture in the center (about ½ teaspoon).
  6. Fold the dough over the filling into a half-moon shape and press the edges together to seal the dumpling.
  7. Pinch the two ends together to close the dumpling similar to a tortellini shape. Repeat this process until all the dough circles are done.
  8. Place all dumplings on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 400 F preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. For a more brownish look you can place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
  9. In a separate pot, whisk jameed yogurt with meat broth. Add baked dumplings to yogurt sauce, and let it simmer uncovered on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  10. In a separate skillet heat olive oil or ghee and sauté crushed garlic until crisp, then immediately add over the yogurt mixture and integrate well with the mixture. Add dried mint.


  • If you don't have a cookie cutter you can use a small coffee cup to cut the dough.
  • You can use dried mint on top of this dish
  • You can boil the dumplings rather than bake them. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the dumplings for about 8-10 minutes, or until they are cooked through and tender. Remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and set them aside.
  • You can use plain Greek yogurt or recommended goat yogurt instead of jameed. Blend plain yogurt in a blender with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (for thickness).
  • Uncooked and baked dumplings can be stored in the freezer for future use.