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 dajaj1

4 Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

 

To assemble:

1 Toast some Khubz lubnaani (Lebanese bread) over an open flame (optional)

Shawarma Dajaj2

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!

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