Surprisingly, I was first introduced to shawarma when I lived in Granada, Spain. It was a staple of many student nights after a night of partying. Most kebab places in Spain sell shawarma rather than “normal” kebab, most probably because of the influence of its Arab community; we were after all an Islamic country for centuries.
The meat is normally stacked onto a skewer and cooked on a rotating spit hence the etymology of the word: from the Turkish word çevirme meaning “turning”. It is similar to Turkish Döner and Greek Gyro. Thankfully you don’t need a spit at home to recreate this dish.
8 pieces of chicken (you can use any but I prefer thighs and drumsticks)
2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup vinegar
½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. baharat 7 lubnaniya
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. hot pimenton (or paprika)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Salad (of your choice)
Mint leaves or other herbs (optional)
1 Marinade the chicken in all the ingredients and leave overnight to marinade. If you are short on time you could cook it straight away or leave for a few hours instead.
2 Place in a oven-proof dish and cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
3 Remove the aluminium foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the chicken has browned.
4 Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
1 Toast some Khubz lubnaani (Lebanese bread) over an open flame (optional)
2 Spread some toum on the bread and place some of the chicken on top. Add some salad and mint leaves. Roll and dig in!