Shawarma – Shoarma – Shwarma
~ Mary ~
No matter how you spell it, it comes out as DELICIOUS!
This poor post has been in here for THREE MONTHS! Waiting for a story from Frank or John that’s never going to come ;-( We’ll have to rely on my feeble memory and story telling skillz. Thanksgiving vacation, 2008, we went to go visit Frank & Niki in Antwerp with some good friends Steph & Shawn (their first European vaca).
One evening while wondering homeafter drinking a LOT of great Belgian beer, I wanted Frietjes. Frietjes are freshly made at a French fry stand with a big GLOP of mayonnaise! The stand we frequented is kitty corner to a Shawarma restaurant.
Steph & Niki wanted a couple fries too, but since I wasn’t sharing they had to get their own! The boys wanted something more substantial and made a bee line to the Shoarma Shack. We girls stood outside and downed our fries (so glad I didn’t share) as the boys gobbled up their pitas. Can you say “oink, oink”?
Then, in the following day or two, as we’re strolling around town trying to find a place to eat lunch, Frank is making us trek up and down EVERY street as we got hungrier and hungrier, passing more and more restaurants. You see, with Frank there’s always something better just around the corner (right, right). Finally the other five of us were tired of traipsing around and DEMANDED we walk into the NEXT restaurant we pass. Low and behold it’s Shawarma! Frank didn’t think we should, as we had already had some this trip. We were all so HAPPY we did , because this was a STELLAR FEAST!
This was not an easy recipe to emulate and took a couple tries to get it right. The traditional meat ,as stated on Wikipedia:
“Shawarma is made by placing strips of beef, lamb or marinated chicken on a stick; an onion or tomato is placed at the top of the stack for flavoring. The meat is roasted slowly on all sides as the spit rotates in front of, or over, a flame for hours…. Traditionally a wood fire was used, now a gas flame is common. While specialty restaurants might offer two or more meat selections, some establishments have just one skewer.”
I used chicken tenders and it tasted so awesome. The KEY is the Fenugreek spice, so be sure to make that extra trip to a spice house to get it, just as I did, you won’t regret it!
Shawarma Spice Mix
Stir to combine:
2 tsp Fenugreek
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
In mixing bowl whisk to combine – add a little water if the sauce is too thick for your liking.
1/4 Cup Tahini
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt or to your taste
1/2 tsp Sugar or to your taste
place in large Ziploc bag and massage to combine:
2 pounds Chicken – boneless, skinless white and or dark meat
2 Tbsp White Vinegar
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Shawarma Spice Mix (one full recipe from above)
Let marinate for 2-24 hours. Grill chicken until tender DO NOT OVER COOK!
Serve on pita – we made our own – it’s easy and a lot of FUN!