Unfortunately, you can’t get shawarma on every corner, like kebabs or gyros pita – and you certainly can’t get a really good shawarma wrap. So it’s all the nicer that you can conjure up the Levant’s most popular street food – besides falafel, of course – at home. And it even works without a rotating spit, quite simply in the oven. 🙂
All you need is good meat with a nice fat content. I chose beef, but you can also use lamb. Then you need a little lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and a whole mountain of spices….
“Shawarma loves your spice cabinet”
That’s what my mother told me when she went through the recipe for the marinade with me. And it’s true! You need at least 10 spices: Cumin, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, salt, oregano, paprika and chilli – you have to have them all. But luckily you can get all the spices in any well-stocked supermarket, so quickly mix everything into a marinade and leave the meat to marinate overnight. The acid makes the meat a little tender in the fridge and when it is cooked slowly in the oven for 2 hours, it comes out tender as butter. Tadaaa – you are already a big step closer to your shawarma wrap.
If you like, you can put it under the grill in the oven for the last few minutes – but you don’t have to. I put a few mini vine tomatoes on the top rack in the oven for the last 15 minutes. And yes, fries definitely belong in the wrap! Levantines are totally crazy about fries anyway! There is hardly a lunch or dinner without these deep-fried golden sticks. When I was a kid, I often even just put a handful of fries in my pita bread, put ketchup on it and rolled it into a wrap. Meeega delicious, I’ll have to make it again sometime…
Since shawarma is so easy to prepare, my mother likes to make it for parties. The meat makes itself – and everyone gets to make their own wrap and was happy.
- Halabi, Rafik (Author)
Recipe for shawarma
Meat & Marinade
- 1 Kg Beef should have a good portion of fat or high-fat grain. E.g. roast beef.
- 120 ml Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 60 ml Apple cider vinegar
- 60 ml Olive oil
- 1 Chili pitted and chopped
- 1 TSP cloves ground
- 1,5 Tl Salt
- 1/2 TSP Cumin ground
- 1/2 Tl Cardamom ground
- 1/2 TSP Caraway ground
- 1/2 TSP Oregano
- 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
- 1/2 TSP Nutmeg ground
- 1/2 Tl paprika powder noble sweet
- 1/2 Tl Sumac
- 1/2 Tl Pepper
Meat & Marinade
- Cut the meat into finger-thick steaks (or have it cut into steaks at the counter).
- Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a large bowl, place the meat in the bowl and rub it with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the meat to marinate overnight, but at least for a few hours.
- Preheat the oven to 150 °C, place the meat in a roasting tin or casserole dish, cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
- Put the washed tomatoes on a baking tray 15 minutes before the meat is ready and grill them on the top shelf of the oven.
- Cut the meat into fine, small strips.
Shawarma Wrap Building Instructions
- Prepare the tahini sauce according to this recipe.
- Fry the fries.
- Cut the cucumber into quarters.
- Top the pita bread with the meat, chips, cucumber, some parsley, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
- Wrap your shawarma wrap.