Shawarma is essentially a Middle Eastern sandwich-like wrap made of shredded lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, or a mixture of these meats. To make this dish, strips of meat are stacked on a revolving shashlik stick with onions and tomatoes, placed on top of the stack for flavoring. The meat is roasted slowly from all sides. It is grilled for about 24 hours, in order to achieve the flavor and texture. The meat remains juicy because of the chunks of fat in it. After cooking, the meat is shaved off the stack by using a large gyro knife.
Shawarma is to the Middle East, what burger is to the West. It is wrapped in pita bread or flat bread and served with a mixed salad comprising cucumber, onion, tomato, lettuce, eggplant, cabbage, pickled gherkins, etc. Tahini, hummus, and picked turnips are served as accompaniments for this dish. Garlic mayonnaise or garlic sauce can also be served along with the dish to enhance its taste and flavor. Also in some middle eastern countries, the bread is toasted before it is eaten. The Greek dish gyros has a striking similarity with this dish. It is said that this dish originates from Turkey, where it is known as dőner kebab.
How to Make Chicken Shawarma
In case you like eating a sandwich, this dish will be a great and healthy substitute. Try the chicken shawarma recipe given below and you may never go back to any other sandwich. This is a traditional recipe. It will take you approximately 40 minutes cooking time and an additional 10 minutes of pre - preparation time.
Ingredients To Make Shawarma
- Boneless and Skinless Chicken 1 ½ lbs
- Plain Yogurt 1 cup
- Vinegar ¼ cup
- Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves
- Pepper 1 tsp.
- Salt ½ tsp.
- Cardamom Pods 2
- Allspice 1 tsp.
- Lemon Juice from 1 lemon
Ingredients for the Sauce
- Tahini Sauce 1 cup
- Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves
- Lemon Juice ¼ cup
- Yogurt 2 tsp.
Ingredients for Pita Fillings
- Pita Bread, 4 large
- Cucumber (thinly sliced)
- Onions (thinly sliced)
- Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
- Sumac ½ tsp.
- Fresh Parsley (finely chopped) ½ cup
- Pickles of your choice
- Combine all the ingredients apart from chicken to make the marinade.
- If the marinade seems a little dry, you can add some olive oil to it.
- Now add chicken to the marinade and roll it to coat well.
- Leave the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. It would be good if you could leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cook the chicken in a large sauce pan over medium heat, till it is well done. It will take approximately 40 minutes. But make sure you do not overcook it.
- When you are cooking the chicken, add a little water to moisten it.
- Meantime, you can prepare the sauce and pita bread.
- Combine all the ingredients of the sauce and keep it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber and onions together and sprinkle sumac on it.
- Add the other ingredients, combine well, and keep it aside.
- Once the chicken is done, shred it into fine strips.
- Place sufficient quantity of chicken on ¼ of the loaf.
- Top the chicken with the vegetables and pour sauce over it.
- Roll the bread. You can toast the bread for a few minutes or eat it as it is.
Well now you know how to make authentic shawarma and can invite your friends for a great snack to your house. I hope you do relish it as much as I do.