Wether you call it as Arabic Shawarma or Turkish Doner Kebab or Greek Gyros, your food tour anywhere in the Middle East, Turkey or Greece is incomplete without a Shawarma roll!
To me and many people who landed for the first time in the Middle East, the humble shawarma has been the foremost street food experience.
Shawarma is a popular street side sandwich . It’s a traditional Arabian food made with chicken, lamb, beef or turkey.
Marinated chicken chunks are mounted on a large rotating skewer and then roasted slowly to perfection. The recipe of shawarma is very unique but simple. The block of meat is grilled and shredded slowly while the spit rotates. Then it is served on a pita bread with tahini sauce and vegetables which make it very yummy.
Middle East has a mix of Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Iraqi, Egyptian, Palestinian, Bahraini, Turkish, Emirati and south East Asian cusine. You can enjoy bits of flavours from all when you visit Middle East.
1.3 kg of thinly cut skinless boneless whole chicken ( preferably use boneless chicken thighs)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 – 1 teaspoon of crushed oregano (or thyme)
1 teaspoon pepper powder or crushed pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon of paprika( use more if you like the heat)
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder or ginger paste
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, optional(sauce and not paste)
4 tablespoons of plain yogurt
1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar
8 crushed garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil (or your favorite vegetable oil) plus a tablespoon more for brushing.
1 tablespoon of salt
For assembling sandwich
1 cup of shredded Romanian lettuce
1 cup of sliced tomatoes
Few slices of pickled cucumbers
1 cup french fries
Tahini yogurt sauce
Marination of the chicken
Mix all ingredients well and marinate at least 2 hours if you are in a hurry. To get the most flavor try to marinate at least 6-8 hours in a fridg. And if you have plenty of time then over night marination is ideal.
Preparation for the chicken:
Grill the marinated chicken using a panini grill pan for about 15 minutes. You can also cook the chicken on a BBQ grill if you wish so or pop into skewers and grill in the preheated oven at high for about 15 minutes or until nice and brown and then another 3 -5 minutes on broiler at the top. Once cooked nicely and edges little burned, shred the chicken thinly.
Preparation for tahini yogurt sauce :
Whisk together 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt or regular yogurt, 2 tablespoon tahini, pinch of finely minced garlic or garlic powder, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning and 2 tablespoons water. Sauce is ready
To assemble :
Spread your favourite sauce/spread on a pita bread diagonally, add the shredded lettuce, shredded chicken, some french fries and sliced tomatoes.Top with some yogurt tahini sauce. Roll the pita sandwich like a Burrito or a frankie roll and grill on a clean griddle or panini grill sandwich maker for a couple of minutes, serve warm and enjoy with a bubbly!