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Shawarama Land

Ever since I started dating Matt, I’ve had to cook a lot more. And for some unknown reason, he likes, nay, loves my cooking.

One of his favorite dishes is Shawarma. If you don’t know what Shawarma is, it’s an Arab dish made up of thinly cut meat (red or chicken) cooked with spices and wrapped in pita bread with a choice of toppings.

The spices and toppings can vary, but here’s my mother’s recipe she passed to me. Oh and I should warn you, this is all approximations. Also, not recommended for vegetarians.

-2 packages of skirt steak (for approx. 4-6 people)
-2 1/2 tblsp. of balsamic vinegar
-1 tblsp. of olive oil (read: OLIVE OIL)
-2 bay leaves
-approx. 1 1/2 tsp of gound cardamon
-1 tblsp. of all spice
-1-2 thinly sliced tomato(s)

Chop up the meat into thin slices and make sure to remove as much fat off of it as possible. Skirt steak does have quite a bit of fat. No need to take it all off of the meat, but take out as much as you can.

Chopped up  meat to make shawarma

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cardamon, bay leaves and all spice to the meat. Mix them well together.

Mixed with spices and such

Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. You can even prepare it in the evening and let it marinate over night.

Ready to marinate

Once the meat has been marinated, take it out of the fridge and place it in a pan. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Slice up a tomato or two and place the slices over the meat so that it is covered. Place the pan in the oven.

Shawarma ready to cook

Cook the meat for about 15-20 minutes. Take the meat out and using two forks, separate the meat a little because it tends to stick together. Place the pan back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until the meat is done. And voila! You have Shawarma.

Shawarma ready to eat

On the side I usually dice up 1-2 tomatoes and make tahini sauce to serve it along with the pita bread.

To make tahini sauce mash up one clove of garlic. Make sure to add a sprinkle of salt before you mash it. Add about 1/2 cup of tahini (which is a paste of ground sesame seeds) to the mashed up garlic. Mix them together. Add 1/2 a cup of water little by little to the tahini and mix it. Make sure it is neither runny nor thick. Squeeze half a lemon and add it to the mix. Once it has been all mixed together, taste it and if you like it with more lemon, then go ahead and add a bit more. If not, you are ready to serve it with the Shawarma.

Tomatoes and Tahina

It’s really not complicated to make. I promise. Just takes a bit of time. That’s why I usually only make it over the weekend.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fearless in Toronto #

    Mmmm…I used to eat a lot of Chicken Sharwarma back in the day, but I haven’t had it in a while. The beef version looks great, though.

    March 30, 2009
  2. Miss Musing #

    This sounds delicious! I’ll have to print it out and give it a try.

    March 30, 2009
  3. Kristen #

    My father-in-law is of Arab descent so I’ve acutally had this at family picnics.

    It’s totally yummy, and I’m going to use your recipe to surpirse my husband. It will remind him of his grandmother.

    Thank you for posting this recipe. His birthday is coming up!!!

    March 30, 2009
  4. LBluca77 #

    I have never heard of Shawarma before but it looks good. Feel free to invite me over anytime when you make that.

    March 30, 2009
  5. Mary@Holy Mackerel #

    Just happened upon your blog, and I like it! Esp. the recipe! I’m going to have to try this as well. Thanks for sharing!

    March 30, 2009
  6. Alice #

    OMG WANT SCHWARMA NOOWWW!!! can i have some? 🙂

    March 30, 2009
  7. Lemmonex #

    Oh wow, this looks really amazing and super simple to make. Thanks…I think I will be making this sometime soon.

    March 30, 2009
  8. Lacey Bean #

    Mmmmmmm Sharwarma. I think that’s all I ate when I was in Israel. Yumm!

    March 30, 2009
  9. bonnie jack #

    this is very different from the recipe i have tried before, which i wasn’t completely happy with…so, yay! i can’t tell you how my mouth waters every time you talk about making shawarmas. thanks for sharing, i’ll give it a try. if i can’t do it, i’ll just have to come over.

    March 30, 2009
  10. Matt #

    Looks delish.

    send some my way!


    March 30, 2009
  11. rs27 #

    Please send.

    March 30, 2009
  12. Ellen #

    mmmm….shwarma… I miss Spain. Thanks for a yummy sounding recipe!

    March 30, 2009
  13. LiLu #

    Oh, HELL yes! I need to send you the recipe for the enchiladas I made from scratch last week… they were unfreakingreal.

    And I am totally making this… LOVE skirt steak!

    March 30, 2009
  14. Liebchen #

    Who knew it was so easy? I have almost all of those ingredients sitting in my kitchen as we speak (type, whatever).

    Thanks for the recipe!

    March 30, 2009
  15. Sizzle #

    Mmmm! Sharwarma!

    March 30, 2009
  16. alexa - cleveland's a plum #

    oh wow marie that looks amazing!! i just bought some skirt steak and i think i know what i’m going to do with it now, i’ll let you know how it turns out!

    March 30, 2009
  17. Hannah #

    Homemade shawarma is probably better than the takeout. One thing that grossed me out when I was a carnivore was the shawarma takeout places where there was a giant hunk of meat that rotates on a spit. Creepy.

    March 31, 2009
  18. los_tartist #

    I’m totally going to try this. It looks so good! and I love middle-eastern food. It’s my absolute favorite!

    March 31, 2009
  19. Gabby #

    I’m stealing this recipe! It looks delish and easy, my two fave things!

    April 2, 2009

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