Shish-Barak (Lamb Dumplings Yogurt Stew)

Shish-Barak (Lamb Dumplings Yogurt Stew)

Shish-Barak (Lamb Dumplings Yogurt Stew) 1000 667 Rouba Shahin Middle Eastern Cooking

Shish-Barak is basically ravioli-like dumplings filled with seasoned lamb and onions cooked in a plain yogurt stew.  It is an acquired taste with the intense flavour of the cooked yogurt garnished with sauteed crushed garlic and fresh coriander.

There are 3 steps to this recipe:

  1. preparing the meat filling
  2. rolling the dumplings
  3. cooking the dumplings in the yogurt sauce.

This dish was one of the meals I loved eating as a child but I hated helping my mum make it as it took forever to prepare.  Was it the quantity of dough she made? or the cold water she added to the yogurt that took forever to boil? So I was on a mission to make this as simple as possible.

I replaced the traditional homemade dough with ready-rolled puff pastry for anyone who is time-poor. Yes!!!! it works!!!! You will not know the difference!!! I also added boiled water to the yogurt which took so much less time to bring the sauce to a boil. So here you have it, Shish-Barak lamb dumplings served in under an hour.  Check out my easy to follow the video below.

Shishbarak- lamb dumplings yogurt stew served in a bowl

Cook’s Note

*you can bake or fry the dumplings before adding them to the yogurt sauce. I love adding the dumplings raw, as I prefer the chewiness and softness of its texture when poached in the yogurt sauce. And it’s one less step.

*Yogurt is one of my favourite foods ever! I love it cooked, like in this dish or natural as a side with Arabian Spicy Nut Rice or Wholegrain Cracked Wheat in tomato sauce. It’s full of probiotics! I love my dairy all whole. It’s so much more satisfying and tasty! My all-time favourite is Chickpea Fatteh where the yogurt is combined with tahini and garlic, poured over crunchy bread and warm chickpeas.




  • 350 grams of lamb mince
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sheets puff pastry (and maybe 1 more)

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1-kilogram natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon cornflour
  • 3 ½ cups boiling water


  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil (extra)
  • Salt to season
  • ½ cup coriander finely chopped
  • pine nuts toasted (optional)

Step 1. To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes. Add the lamb mince and stir until lightly browned and the mixture is soft but not dry. Season with salt and pepper

Step 2. Cut the puff pastry sheets in a circle shape, using a cutter or the bottom of a small coffee cup (you can choose to make smaller or larger dumplings)  Add ½ -1 teaspoon of filling (depending on the size of the pastry round), then fold the dough and twist it to look like tortellini

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew puff pastry cut into rounds

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew puff pastry rounds topped with mince mixture

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew puff pastry filled, folded in half and pressed

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew puff pastry folded and twisted like tortellini

Step 3.  To make the yogurt sauce, whisk all ingredients until combined. Place the pot on high heat until the yogurt begins to boil. Keep on stirring continuously in the same direction. As the yogurt mixture heats up and comes to a boil gradually (this will take approximately 5-7 minutes), gently add the shish-barak dumplings to the yogurt sauce. Lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until all is cooked through stirring occasionally (stirring every now and then will prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot).

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew combined yogurt sauce ingredients in a pot

Step 4. Heat the extra olive oil together with the garlic and cook until the garlic softens a little bit.  Add the cooked garlic to the yogurt stew and simmer for a further 5 minutes uncovered. Add the chopped coriander and serve immediately.

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew - frying garlic in a small frying pan

shish-barak-lamb dumplings yogurt stew in a pot over stove

Follow this video to make my simplified version of Shish-Barak

Serves 4-6

You’ll love this recipe because:


lamb dumplings

family dinner

simplified version

homemade yogurt stew

Sahtan – Enjoy In Good Health