Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Learned How to Make Shawarmas!

May 15, 2012

     In the past, I told my co-worker, Ablah that I wanted to learn how to make shawarmas. It seemed easy enough. So we planned that we would get together at her house and her family would teach me how to prepare shawarmas.

Here is the recipe that we used:

Chicken breast, 3 each
Vegetable oil, 3 tsp
Onion, 1medium
Chick stock, can
Ginger powder, pinch
Paprika, pinch
Salt, pinch
Black pepper, 1 tsp
Vinegar, 1 tsp

Yogurt, 3 TBS
Mayonnaise, 1 TBS
Garlic, pinch

Whole dill pickle cut into slithers
Frozen French fries
Pita bread, 25 each

Wax paper or sandwich wrap, 12 x 12 in

Heat up the vegetable oil in the pot. Add the cut up chicken breast. Add chopped onion. When the chicken begins to lose water, add the chicken stock, ginger powder, vinegar, paprika and black pepper and salt. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, until done.  In a skillet, fry the French fries to a golden brown.

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise and garlic.
On the pita bread, spread the sauce on one half. Add two fries, a slither of pickle and about two tablespoons of chicken. Roll the pita bread up with the ingredients. Place the shawarma on the wax paper, roll and wrap.

     Some background: shawarmas is a sandwich-like wrap of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or a mixture. The meat is placed on a spit (a slender pointed rod for holding meat over a fire) and may be grilled for as long as a day). Shawarmas is considered a fast-food across the Middle East. It can be eaten with pita bread, a couple of French fries inside, then topped with hummus or pickled turnips.

     I couldn’t wait to try the shawarmas. You guessed it. They came out perfect!  We feasted on shawarmas, fresh squeezed mango juice, rice, soup and tabouli (salad made with parsley). We made a double batch, so I took some to work the next day to share with my co-workers who said they were the best they have had in the “Kingdom”! Mmmmm,I envision opening a shawarma stand in Florida………

All the best,


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  2. Shwarma was either/or chicken or "meat", where I was deployed. Said alternate "meat" typically was a mixture of beef and lamb, though higher priced establishments did beef or lamb, as well as chicken.
    They also added coriander and/or cumin, depending on the local tradition of the recipe.
    Any way you slice it (pun intended), it's a log of meat, cooked slowly over a vertical flame and slowly rolled, then cut (meat falling into the drippings), then placed into bread (pita, for those only acquainted with Greek tradition of bread), with a locally (or familial derived) sauce, typically NOT mayo, but tahina based, with garlic and herbs of varying tradition.
    Damn, but I miss shawarma! As does my wife. We even discussed the relative merits of opening a shawarma stand in Delaware County!