Lebanese Lamb Dumplings Shish Barak Recipe

Looking for the best Shish Barak recipe?

Our traditional Lebanese Lamb Dumplings are best enjoyed as a creamy and tangy yogurt soup. Authentic Shish Barak is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.

You’ll love spooning through a bowl of homemade plump Lamb Dumplings featuring flavourful garlic, cinnamon, mint and pine nuts.

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Save our Shish Barak Lamb Dumplings recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Shish Barak Lamb Dumplings recipe to Pinterest!

What is Shish Barak?

Shish Barak are traditional Middle Eastern meat-stuffed dumplings. Considered the ultimate comfort food in Lebanon, they’re often considered the ravioli pasta of Arabic cuisine.

Shish Barak are traditionally stuffed with minced lamb or beef and served with a tangy yogurt sauce.

Lebanese Lamb Dumplings can be served in two ways: coated in a light yogurt sauce and enjoyed as an appetizer, or the sauce is thinned out with water or stock to create a creamy broth and eaten as a savoury dumpling soup.

Shish Barak ingredients.
Shish Barak ingredients.

Travel to the Middle East by Cooking Lamb Dumplings at Home

I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.

For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Shish Barak recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai. You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East feature Lamb Dumplings swimming in creamy yogurt sauce.

I ate Middle Eastern Lamb Dumplings with flatbread at a traditional Moroccan riad, as a side dish with Turkish kebab in Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by kofta on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night fried soup feast in Amman, mid-afternoon slurp at bustling markets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.

Lamb Dumplings Filling: onion, mint, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Lamb Dumplings Filling: onion, mint, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Where To Eat Authentic Shish Barak

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Middle Eastern restaurant that serves traditional Shish Barak.

Haven’t traveled to the Middle East before? It may be helpful to first sample Lamb Dumplings at a local restaurant to better understand how the soup is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired size of the dumplings and most flavourful garnishes. You’ll also find inspiration on what to pair with Shish Barak such as such as fresh salads and flatbread.

In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve a healthy Shish Barak recipe include Ali Baba’s, Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen and Paramount Fine Foods.

Homemade Lamb Dumplings are prepared similar to ravioli or pierogies.
Homemade Lamb Dumplings are prepared similarl to ravioli or pierogies.

My Family Loves Lebanese Lamb Dumplings

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Garlic, onions, mint, yogurt and pine nuts are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this lamb dumpling soup during the chilly winter season.

Stuff Shish Barak with minced lamb filling and pinch together into a dumpling shape.
Stuff Shish Barak with minced lamb filling and pinch together into a dumpling shape.

How To Make Lamb Dumplings

Homemade Lamb Dumplings are easy to prepare. All you’ll need is a lightly floured surface, rolling pin and circular cookie cutter. The process is very similar to making homemade ravioli or pierogies.

Follow our recipe below to make an easy shish barak dough. Once it has been formed into a ball roll it out onto a floured surface. Once you have achieved the desired thinness, use a circular cookie cutter or a wine glass to cut circles out of the dough.

Place a teaspoon of the shish barak minced lamb filling into the centre of each circle and then fold it over into a half moon shape. Using your thumb, hold down the filling while pinching the two sides of the dough together tightly.

Tuck the two pointy ends of the dumpling underneath the plump filling and press firmly together.

While making lamb dumplings be sure to toss them lightly in flour so they don’t stick together. Once finished assembly cover them in a tea towel until you’re ready to cook them in the yogurt sauce.

Cook Lamb Dumplings in a creamy and tangy yogurt sauce.
Cook Lamb Dumplings in a creamy and tangy yogurt sauce.

Shish Barak Recipe Health Benefits

Our homemade Lebanese Lamb Dumplings are packed full of healthy ingredients!

Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer. 

Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.

Lamb is a lean red meat featuring high quality protein, vitamins and minerals.

Rich in energy-boosting manganese, cinnamon is also antibacterial and may protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health. 

Pine Nuts are rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein, which can help with diabetes management, heart health, and brain health.

Ladle Shish Barak into bowls once dumplings are plump and chewy.
Ladle Shish Barak into bowls once dumplings are plump and chewy.

Shish Barak Recipe Tips

This healthy homemade soup is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • Traditional Shish Barak ingredients vary based on old family recipes. Most recipes include a tangy yogurt sauce with rice or chickpeas. We’ve topped our Shish Barak soup with fresh mint and pine nuts. You could also use parsley and toasted pecans or walnuts.
  • If you don’t enjoy the flavour of lamb feel free to substitute for lean minced beef.
Serve Shish Barak Lamb Dumplings with fresh mint and toasted pine nuts.
Serve Shish Barak Lamb Dumplings with fresh mint and toasted pine nuts.

What To Serve with Shish Barak Lamb Dumplings

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our healthy Lebanese Lamb Dumplings as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.

We love serving this yogurt soup with Green Onion Cake, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Chicken CracklingsAdas Bil Hamod, Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad with Beetroot, Roasted Vegetable Couscous and Sweet Potato Rice.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.

Enjoy Shish Barak as dumplings lightly coated with yogurt sauce or as a soup.
Enjoy Shish Barak as dumplings lightly coated with yogurt sauce or as a soup.

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Now you're an expert on how to make Shish Barak Lebanese Dumplings!
Now you’re an expert on how to make Shish Barak Lebanese Dumplings!

Best Shish Barak Lebanese Lamb Dumpling Soup Recipe

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5 from 2 votes

Shish Barak Lebanese Lamb Dumplings in Yogurt

Learn how to make the best Shish Barak recipe! Our easy homemade Lebanese Lamb Dumplings are served in a creamy yogurt mint soup.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Soup
Cuisine: lebanese, Middle Eastern
Keyword: Lamb Dumplings, Shish Barak
Servings: 10
Calories: 816kcal


  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie Cutter
  • Large pot
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • French knife


Dumpling Dough

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Lamb Filling

  • 1/2 lb Ground Lamb
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion minced
  • 1/4 cup Mint minced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon


  • 5 cups Full Fat Yogurt
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Long Grain Rice
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup Mint chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts toasted


  • DOUGH: In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and mix. Using your hands, create a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the olive oil and 3/4 cup lukewarm water. Using one hand to steady the bowl, start to slowly incorporate the flour with your other hand, sweeping along the sides of the bowl and then blending the flour into the water. Mix the dough until it comes together into a large ball. Lift the ball of dough from the bottom and fold over several times until you achieve a soft pliable dough that bounces back when touched. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
  • Lightly flour the counter and place the ball in the centre. Using a dough cutter or bench knife, slice the dough into 2 halves. Working with one half, place the dough in the palms of your hands and tuck it under. Stretch the dough into a smooth, flat, round disk, place it on the board, and roll it out into a smooth and round shape, 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using a circular cookie cutter or rim of a small glass, cut out small rounds of the dough approximately 2 inches in diameter, and lay them flat on another lightly floured work surface or cutting board so that they are not touching. Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with flour and set aside.
  • LAMB FILLING: In a large bowl, combine the lamb, ground cinnamon, onion, mint, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until they form a smooth mixture.
  • Scoop out 1/2 teaspoon of the meat filling and place in the centre of each dough round, making sure not to overstuff. Place the dough round in the palm of your left hand, and using your right hand, fold one side over the meat in a small half-moon shape. With your fingertips, tightly pinch the edges along the seam, so they are securely closed. Bring both end points together and slightly overlap them to create a tortellini shape. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • SOUP: Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a small pot over medium high heat. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Pour the yogurt and sour cream into a large Dutch oven and whisk to dissolve any clumps. Thoroughly whisk the egg white and cornstarch into the yogurt. Turn the heat to medium-high and whisk until the yogurt reaches just below the boiling point, and is releasing steam. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Carefully add the hot water to the yogurt, whisking it in 1 cup at a time. Stir the rice into the yogurt, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture smooth, and from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Using a large slotted spoon, carefully ladle in the lamb dumplings, working in small batches tapping any excess flour from the dumplings before placing them in the liquid. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes without stirring. The dumplings will float to the top of the pot when they are finished cooking.
  • Gently stir in the garlic, chopped mint and butter. Season with salt. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Serve the soup hot topped with fresh mint and pine nuts.


Calories: 816kcal | Carbohydrates: 72.4g | Protein: 102.1g | Fat: 12.9g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 843mg | Potassium: 1425mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 35.7g | Calcium: 1054mg | Iron: 4mg

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