Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes

Shish Barak-Dumplings in Yogurt

Shish Barak - meat filled dumplings in yogurt.

A labor of love but absolutely delicious, these Shish Barak Dumplings are to die for! If you have had this meal before, you surely know how tasty it is.

Shish Barak is a very popular dish in the Middle East and Central Asia. It consists of dumplings filled with meat and cooked in yogurt. It can be served hot or cold; it all depends on your preference.


golden brown meat dumplings simmered in yogurt, topped with some tasty pine nuts
I have Dumpling to confess; I ate these all by myself.


What is Shish Barak?

Shish Barak is a traditional dish that is actually very tasty. It does take a lot of work, but it is definitely worth every minute!

Now, for filling, we have different things that can go inside these golden brown dumplings. In general, they are more desirable when stuffed with meat. Some people like to add toasted pine nuts to the filling, while others prefer them only on top of the yogurt.

You can have Shish Barak as a starter at any gathering. What you can do is make the dumplings without dipping them in the yogurt sauce, then assemble them when it’s time to enjoy. It will make a great addition to your table.

It is served all year round but is especially enjoyed during winter. You can never go wrong with a plate of hot Shish Barak when it’s biting cold, it will warm you up instantly!

Shish Barak is the other version of ravioli or tortellini but instead of pillow-shaped pasta or hat-shaped dumplings, it is made of round dough dumplings. There is also a difference in the sauce made.

As you can stuff tortellini with cheese you can also do that for the Shish Barak, but then do not make a yogurt sauce, just bake them or cook them and eat them.


Shish Barak Dumplings cooked in some fresh yogurt garnished with dried ground mint
Happiness is yogurt in a creamy form.

A Recipe You will Love

Shish Barak is an amazingly delicious dish that gathers the family together. Upon cooking, you are greeted with a divine aroma that fills your home and is enough to make your stomach rumble.

It consists of an intriguing taste with lots of flavors that will make you dream of it until the next time. Your family members will be delighted when you invite them to such a special meal!


Shish Barak Dumplings submerged in tasty yogurt sauce topped with some mint and toasted pine nuts.
Hard work should be rewarded with good food.

Helpful Tips

Labneh adds a slight tang, but you can omit it if you want.

You can substitute 2 cups of yogurt for ½ cup of jameed (dried fermented yogurt) after crushing it and soaking it in hot water for 6 hours. Then blend it with the water before adding it to the remaining yogurt.

For more color, you can slightly broil your Shish Barak.

You can freeze the dumplings, and add them to the sauce when you’re ready to serve. This is especially helpful during Ramadan.

You can omit the parsley or cilantro.


delicious toasted pine nuts on top of mouth watering beef filled dumplings with tangy yogurt sauce
The more you have the more you want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Shish Barak?

Shish Barak is made of delicious dumplings filled with beef, onion, and fried pine nuts, and it is served in a warm yogurt sauce with more toasted pine nuts.

How can Shish Barak be stored?

You can store your Shish Barak for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze the dough of Shish Barak?

Yes, you can freeze your leftover dough in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months.


golden brown dumplings simmered in outstanding yogurt sauce with toasted pine nuts on top and some dried mint
To live a full life, you have to fill your stomach first.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

All-purpose flour

Warm water

Salt

For the Filling:

Lean Ground Beef

Oil

Ghee

7 spice

Cinnamon

Coriander Powder

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Salt

Black Pepper

For the Yogurt Sauce:

Whole milk plain yogurt

Labneh (for slight tang)

Bullion Powder

Garlic powder

Onion Powder

Cornstarch

Cold Water

Olive Oil

Garlic Cloves

Parsley or Cilantro

Dried Mint


a spoon filled with a tasty dumpling in a lovely bowl filled with lots of thick yogurt, and topped with some pine nuts
 Foodies are always the best people.

How to Make These Tasty Dumplings

Making this dish correctly will allow you to enjoy its magical effect on your taste buds after each bite.

For The Dough

First, to make the dumplings, start by mixing the flour, water, and salt, and knead together until a ball forms.

Thereafter, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It will not rise or fluff as there isn’t any yeast or baking powder.


golden brown toasted pine nuts on top of handmade Shish Barak dumplings engulfed in yogurt sauce
I get way too much happiness from good food. 

For The Filling

First, add the oil and ghee to your pot or skillet. Then, add the finely diced onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent.

Furthermore, add the beef and sauté until browned, making sure to break it apart as you go to make it fine.

Next, add the spices and cook until the beef is fully cooked and browned, about 7-10 minutes.

Then, once done, add in the toasted pine nuts (if using) and set aside to cool.

Once the filling is cooled, you’re ready to fill. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface, and roll it out as thin as possible without making it paper thin. Take something small and circular (a cookie cutter, or an Arabic coffee cup) and cut circles all around the dough.

Now, take one small circle from your cut dough, and stuff it with the beef filling until you are able to close it into a half circle, like an empanada or Qatayef.

Then, pinch both ends of the half-moon dough together to make the shape. They should look similar to tortellini or pelmeni.

Finally, place onto a sheet pan with parchment paper and bake until some color, for about 12-15 minutes.


shish barak dumplings with roasted pine nuts in some tasty yogurt
Calories? I think you mean delicious points.

For The Yogurt Sauce

First, add the yogurt, labneh, water, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, and bullion powder to a pot and whisk well before adding it to the stove to make sure the cornstarch is well dissolved.

Second, whisk on medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes until it is bubbly. The yogurt will not break if mixed continuously.

Then, add the Shish Barak and stir.

Let it cook for about 15 minutes on medium low so the Shish Barak softens.

Lastly, fry the garlic and parsley or cilantro in some oil until golden, and add on top of the yogurt. Add some dried mint and mix well.


Middle Eastern Shish Barak filled with beef in tasty yogurt sauce with some rice as a side dish
A meal you will surely enjoy!

Must-Try Recipes:

Mediterranean Style Chicken Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

Coconut Chicken Curry

Spinach Fatayer

Instant Pot Beef Curry

Middle Eastern Kufta Bil Tahiniye

Meat Stuffed Pitas (Palestinian Arayes)

Ouzi Rice With Ground Beef

Chicken Musakhan Sliders

Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights Dessert)

Lentil Soup (Shorbet Adas)


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.


Shish Barak filled with beef topped with tasty pine nuts in delicious creamy yogurt sauce.

Shish Barak – Dumplings in Yogurt

Fatimah
A labor of love but absolutely delicious. You can make this delicious meal ahead by freezing the Shish Barak dumplings and just adding them to the sauce when ready to be enjoyed.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern

Ingredients
  

For the Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • ¾ pound 80/20 lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • 4 cups whole milk plain yogurt
  • 1 cup labneh for slight tang
  • 1 tablespoon bullion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups cold water Add more depending on how thick or runny you like the yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint

Instructions
 

For the Dough

  • Start by mixing the flour, water, and salt, and knead together until a ball forms.
  • Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It will not rise or fluff as there isn't any yeast or baking soda.

For the Filling

  • Add the oil and ghee to your pot or skillet. Add the finely diced onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add the beef and sauté until browned, making sure to break it apart as you go to make it fine.
  • Add the spices and cook until the beef is fully cooked and browned, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Once done, add in the toasted pine nuts (if using) and set aside to cool.
  • Once the filling is cooled, you are ready to fill.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface, and roll it out as thin as possible without making it paper thin.
  • Take something small and circular (a cookie cutter, or an Arabic coffee cup) and cut circles all around the dough.
  • Take one small circle from your cut dough, and stuff it with the beef filling until you are able to close it into a half circle, like an empanada or Qatayef.
  • Pinch both ends of the half-moon dough together to make the shape. They should look similar to tortellini or pelmeni.
  • Place onto a sheet pan with parchment paper and bake until some color, for about 12-15 minutes.

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • Add the yogurt, labneh, water, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, and bullion powder to a pot and whisk well before adding it to the stove to make sure the cornstarch is well dissolved.
  • Whisk on medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes until it is bubbly. The yogurt will not break if mixed continuously.
  • Add the Shish Barak and stir.
  • Let it cook for about 15 minutes on medium low so the Shish Barak softens.
  • Fry the garlic and parsley or cilantro in some oil until golden, and add on top of the yogurt.
  • Add some dried mint and mix well.

Notes

  • You can place the dumplings on a sheet pan with parchment paper and bake until golden brown.
  • You can substitute the yogurt for dried fermented yogurt after crushing it and soaking it in hot water, then blending it with water before adding it to the remaining yogurt.
  • Labneh gives a slight tang but you can omit it.
  • You can also omit parsley or cilantro. 
  • Broil the Shish Barak for extra color.
Keyword Arabic Dish, Dumplings, Meat Dumplings, Shish Barak
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

7 thoughts on “Shish Barak-Dumplings in Yogurt

  1. Meredith says:

    about how many does this serve?

    1. Fatimah says:

      i would say 3-4 people

  2. eba alhroob says:

    can i just cook the shishbarak in the yogurt without baking first? that’s how my mama makes it and i wanted to know how that affects cooking time.

    1. Fatimah says:

      you can, it’ll probably need more liquid as the shishbarak will definitely absorb alot.

  3. Sam ittayem says:

    5 stars
    This was my first time making this. This was delicious!! It reminds me of my mothers recipe 🤤🤤🤤🤤

  4. Fatima says:

    5 stars
    I made this for iftar yesterday! It was way easier than I thought and my whole family was impressed. Thank you!

  5. Huda says:

    5 stars
    This tasted amazing the flavours are really nice my family couldn’t stop eating it

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