How to Make Beef Shawarma

How to Make Beef Shawarma

Beef Shawarma is a meat sandwich popular in the Middle East which you will find in almost every restaurant you visit. However, if you are fond of cooking and want to make this delicious recipe at home, check out the following article.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2018
Traditionally, Beef Shawarma is prepared by stuffing chunks of meat on a large skewer. It is then cooked slowly against a vertical gas roaster that rotates continuously. A chef slices the cooked meat into thin strips as it takes very long to cook the meat completely. Or, the meat chunks are put on top of the skewer so that they drip and flavor the meat as it cooks. The most common meat utilized for preparing shawarma are chicken, lamb, beef and even turkey. The shawarma that you get in restaurants is not the healthiest dish but it's worth having once in a while.

Beef Shawarma Recipe

Generally beef shawarma is served with pita bread. This pita bread is commonly served for every meal in the middle east and is used for making sandwiches or just to be dipped in hummus (a thick, white chickpea paste). Since we are going to stuff beef in the pita bread, let us first understand how to make pita bread.

Making Pita Bread

It is a round flat bread made using yeast and is traditional to Middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Originally it is made flat without any rising however, there are slight differences from place to place.

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp of granulated sugar
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
Procedure:
  1. First of all, you should activate the yeast. Add ½ cup warm water to it and stir it to dissolve the yeast properly in water.
  2. Then add 1 tsp of granulated sugar, stir it well and let it settle there for at least 15 to 20 minutes till the mixture becomes spumy (bubbles of water are seen).
  3. Take the all-purpose flour in a bowl and add 1 tsp of salt to it and mix well.
  4. Now, make a small hole in the flour mix with your finger and pour the yeast and water mixture in it.
  5. Start adding warm water very slowly and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon to avoid the formation of lumps in the flour. You will have to stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth semi-solid paste.
  6. The next step is to make a non-sticky dough out of this mixture. So place the elastic mixture on the floured surface and start kneading it. You should knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes to make a smooth non-sticky dough.
  7. Place the dough in a bowl and coat it with vegetable oil. Turn the dough upside down to spread the oil all over the dough. You can even coat the bowl with the oil and then place the dough in it.
  8. Keep the dough in a warm place till it rises and becomes almost double of its previous size. This process will take at least 3 hours.
  9. When the dough is ready, roll it out into a long rope and make a few small round balls of it.
  10. Now place one of the balls on the floured surface and roll it out into a small circle using a rolling pin. Then preheat the oven to 550 °F and make sure that you also heat the baking sheet.
  11. Next, you will have to bake the rolled circles. Place the rack at the bottom of the oven with the baking sheet holding the pita bread circles. Each bread will require at least 3 to 4 minutes to bake on one side. You will have to turn the bread when it is baked from one side.
  12. Use a spatula to remove the pita breads from the baking sheet and use the same spatula for pushing the puff down. Finally, your pita bread for beef shawarma is ready.
Making the Beef Stuffing

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 to 1 lb of boneless beef
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice (a ready mixture of spices available at the grocery store)
Procedure:
  1. The first step in this preparation is to cut the beef in thin strips.
  2. Secondly, make the marinade for the beef. Take yogurt in a bowl, add minced garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and beat until it becomes smooth. You can even use a blender for mixing it well.
  3. Now add the sliced beef strips to the marinade and stir for a minute to coat the beef strips evenly. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours, so that the meat strips acquire the flavor well.
  4. Place a skillet (frying pan) on the gas on medium flame and pour the marinated beef slices in it. Cook the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes till the beef is completely cooked.
Making the Shawarma Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2 tbsp of plain yogurt
Procedure:
  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
  2. Add some water to the mixture to make it smooth and get your shawarma sauce ready.
If you want to add to the filling, you can use chopped onions, diced tomatoes, chopped cucumber, and chopped parsley. Put all these ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add a little olive oil and salt and toss well. Your filling is ready for the beef shawarma.

How to Go about the Filling
  1. First of all, spread the shawarma sauce over the pita bread.
  2. Then put the beef strips on top following the vegetable mix.
  3. And your delicious homemade beef shawarma is ready to eat.
This is one way of making a shawarma and the same method can be used to make lamb and chicken shawarma. It is really hard to duplicate the taste of the restaurant shawarma, however, using this method you can definitely get close to the original taste. Make this Middle Eastern delicacy and surprise your friends and relatives with your talent in cooking.