Shawarma ad-dajaj شاورما الدجاج (Lebanese Chicken Shawarma)

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.

The meat is traditionally wrapped in Khubz Lubnaani (Lebanese bread similar to Mexican tortilla or pita) and stuffed with pickles, salad, toum and/or hummus.

Ingredients

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

To serve:

Toum

Salad (of your choice)

Mint leaves or other herbs (optional)

Method

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.Shawarma dajaj14 Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

To assemble:

1 Toast some Khubz lubnaani (Lebanese bread) over an open flame (optional)Shawarma Dajaj22 Spread some toum on the bread and place some of the chicken on top. Add some salad and mint leaves. Roll and dig in!DSC05251

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