I dared to make the much-adored Middle Eastern chicken shawarma last week. The shawarma is a Middle-Eastern roll of lamb/beef/chicken that can be eaten on the go. The meat comes wrapped in pita bread (called khubz in Arabic) with delicious garlic sauce, French fries and pickled veggies. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s a must-have!
I was inspired by my friend to make the shawarma from scratch and hunt around for the perfect recipes. And, I made it for the in-law family last week.
Middle Eastern Chicken ShawarmaPrint Recipe
- Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- 1 kilogram of boneless chicken thighs
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
- Garlic Sauce Ingredients
- 1 large potato
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of fresh cream
- 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce or use the same amount of sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar/lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of chilli powder red (depending on your spice quotient)
- Pickled Vegetable Ingredients
- 2 beetroots
- 2 carrots
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 cups water
- 2 chillies
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vinegar
- Cut the chicken into small, medium-sized pieces to help them cook quickly and all over.
- Then, grind together the garlic, cinnamon, star anise and cloves and rub them into the chicken.
- Finally, add the rest of the ingredients for the marinade. Keep this aside for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Once ready to cook the meat, take out the pieces and fry them in 1 tablespoon of oil for around 2 minutes till slightly brown and then pop into the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, ensuring that they are turned over once or twice until perfectly cooked.
- For the garlic sauce, boil the potato with 2 garlic cloves.
- Peel and then add the potato and garlic, the remaining raw garlic cloves, and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and blend till smooth.
- Finally, for the pickled vegetables, boil some water with salt and sugar.
- Once it’s boiled and slightly reduced, add the vinegar and let the mixture cool. (The idea is to ensure that the solvent is a perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour.)
- Add the vegetables along with the chillies and put them into an airtight container till you need them. (Although it is advisable to pickle it for at least a week, I just kept it for a few hours before serving, and they were just right.)
- The shawarma, as I mentioned earlier, is a roll. So, you need the pita bread, which I just bought from the store-it’s the easiest thing to do! Heat the bread, lather with garlic sauce and then the pickled vegetables. Cut the cooked chicken into fine, thin slices and add to the bread and sauce. Roll up and serve warm.
- You could also add french fries, pickled cabbage to the roll and use hummus as a dipping sauce. I made hummus with this shawarma, and it went very well.