Sonya and Hadil's Spiced Beef & Lamb Pita Pocket

Prep time: 45 mins (+1 hour pickling)
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 6


6 Lebanese pita bread, halved crossways, separated

6 long red chillies

Olive oil, to brush

Flat-leaf parsley, thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and green spring onions, to serve

Pickled Turnips

125ml (½ cup) white vinegar

110g (½ cup) caster sugar

1 beetroot, cut into small wedges

1 turnip, halved, thinly sliced

Herbed Yoghurt Sauce

40ml tahini

1 lemon, juiced

40g (½ cup) mint leaves

40g (½ cup) flat-leaf parsley

½ bunch chives

125g (½ cup) Greek-style yoghurt


4 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeds removed, coarsely chopped

1 white onion, coarsely grated

375g beef mince

125g lamb mince

1 tsp salt

1 tsp mixed spice

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp chilli sauce 


1. To make pickled turnips, place vinegar, sugar and 125ml (½ cup) water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl and stir in beetroot and turnip. Set aside for 1 hour to pickle. 

2. Meanwhile, to make yoghurt sauce, process tahini and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until herbs are finely chopped. Season. 

3. To make filling, process tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion to processor and process until a purée forms. Add to bowl with tomato and remaining ingredients. Using your hands, massage to combine.

4. Spoon filling into pita pockets and spread to create a thin even layer. 

5. Preheat a barbecue grill plate over medium heat. Add chillies and cook, turning, until charred and tender. 

6. Brush pita pockets all over with oil and add to grill plate. Cook, turning, until bread is crisp and golden and filling is cooked through. 

7. Drain pickled turnip. Open pocket and add pickled turnip, parsley, tomato, cucumber and onion. Serve with yoghurt sauce and chargrilled chillies to the side.