A street food, it is hard to walk past a huge shawarma spit and not order a sandwich! It is eaten all over the Middle East and has even reached the West. Many countries around the world have a version of shawarma, like the Greeks with their gyros and the Turks with their doner kebabs. I mean, who doesn’t love grilled meat in soft bread and a garlicky sauce?
Since most of us are stuck at home and it is really hard to get our hands on a shawarma sandwich from our favourite place, it is the perfect time to learn to make it at home. Lucky for us, it is really easy!
Now, this is a quick version and is different to the one made on a spit, but don’t worry, it is still super delicious. The key to having tender and juicy chicken is marinating it for a couple of hours or even overnight. I like to mix breast and thigh meat because they have different textures and breast alone tends to dry out. If your chicken releases too much liquid, don’t worry, just pour some of it out and let the rest dry out while cooking.
As for the garlic sauce, you are going to thank me once you learn to make it, because you’ll be putting it on everything! I usually double the recipe and keep some on hand in the fridge. Make sure you taste it along the way and adjust the salt and lemon levels to your liking.
If you don’t have a sandwich press, you can brush the wraps with some olive oil and pop them in the oven for a few minutes, or skip the step altogether! I personally do not like salad in my shawarma sandwich, but feel free to customise your toppings to your taste. However you make it, this recipe is sure to satisfy your shawarma craving!
Makes 6 wraps
2 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
2 large boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
2 large boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tbsp shawarma spice blend
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tbsp vinegar
½ cup hot water
3 tbsp cornstarch
5 Garlic cloves, mashed
5-6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
Bread (either tortillas, pita, or shrak bread)
- Place the chicken in a bowl with the yogurt, spices, lemon juice, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
- When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add in the chicken. Cook on high heat, removing any excess liquid from the pan.
- Once the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has evaporated, the chicken is ready.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the garlic sauce. In a small pot, place the water and cornstarch together and mix quickly, until the cornstarch is dissolved and turns into a thick white solid.
- In a food processor or blender, place the cornstarch mixture along with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning and lemon to your liking.
- To prepare, spread garlic sauce on the bread of your choice. Add the chicken, sliced pickles (the pickled cucumbers from the Middle Eastern shop is the best option, but whatever you have on hand is fine) and cooked fries. Brush the grill with some olive oil and press the wraps until they are browned and slightly crispy. Enjoy!
Need something for dessert? Try making Makroutah and Muttabaq!