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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

If you are walking down the food streets of any Middle Eastern countries, you are likely to find a shawarma stall after every second shop anywhere you go.  A long trail of cars lined up waiting patiently to be served by the waiters serving with sandwiches in the comfort of their car seats. But now the popularity of this mighty sandwich is no longer confined only to the 'Arab World'. Shawarma has now reached every corner of the world making it as popular as any fast food joint.

'Shawarma' is a meat preparation where stacks of meat steaks are placed in layers alternately with layers of meat fat into a vertical spit. The meat is seasoned and marinated with a blend of Arabic spices and then slow grilled by a caged flame on all sides as the spit (steel rod like skewer) can be rotated as it gets cooked. The cooked portion is then shaved off as thinly shredded meat which goes as the stuffing for the sandwich.

Shawarma is then finally assembled as a sandwich by stuffing a pita bread with shaved meat pieces, salad, and a typical shawarma sauce. The recipe for shawarma differs based on the country and culture. This was all about the traditional meat shawarma. But now some of the chefs have taken this mighty sandwich to a new level where the variations have no limit. One such example is of the 'Mexican Shawarma' which has become more popular than the traditional shawarma due to its fiery chili sauce version.

This post is the first one as shawarma, I will show you how to make a basic and traditional version of it. And I promise my readers to bring other varieties and vegetarian versions as well in coming days.

If you happen to try out this recipe of shawarma, do leave a comment on this post. And I would highly appreciate if you could send me a picture of your tried dish to my email: [email protected]

Watch the video here:

Serving Size: 10 medium size shawarmas
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour approx

1 cup = 250 ml capacity


  • 10 shawarma bread/pita bread/khubz
  • Cooked shawarma chicken
  • 1 large tomato sliced 
  • 1 cup Arabic pickle (or any vinegar-based pickle can be used)
  • Onion salad
  • Shawarma sauce
  • Chopped parsley

For Shawarma Chicken

  • 500-gram finely chopped boneless chicken
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 large tomato sliced 
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt

For Shawarma Bread 

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (or little less than a cup)

For Shawarma Spice Mix: (Mix together in a bowl) 

  • 2 tablespoon paprika (or mild chili powder)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

For Onion Salad: (Mix together in a bowl)

  • 2 medium size onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (you can also use coriander leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sumac powder (optional)

For Shawarma Sauce: (Mix together in a bowl)

  • 4 tablespoon yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt


  1. Marinate chicken pieces with shawarma spice mix, yogurt, chopped onion, chopped tomato, and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In a bowl make a smooth dough by first mixing together plain flour, baking powder, oil, and salt. Slowly add warm water little by little and gently kneading till you get a soft dough. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare onion salad and shawarma sauce and keep ready.


  1. Heat oil in a flat pan or any shallow sauce pan. Cook marinated chicken till it is fully cooked and dry. You can also bake the chicken in the preheated oven at 250 degrees C for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare shawarma bread: Take the dough and divide into 10 or more lemon size balls. Roll out into medium size roti or tortilla of 6 inches in diameter. Heat a pan and cook the shawarma flatbread on both sides till puffed and cooked (2 to 3 minutes on each side).
  3. Take a shawarma bread and keep a spoonful of onion salad in the center. Then keep some Arabic pickle, few slices of tomato, 2 or 3 tablespoons of cooked chicken and finally drizzle with a spoonful of shawarma sauce and chopped parsley.
  4. Tightly fold the shawarma and secure it with help of a butter paper or aluminum foil.
  5. Serve immediately.

Note: After making the shawarma roll, serve it immediately. You can also toast the shawarma on a grill pan or sandwich maker. You can make it more spicy by adding some pickled chilies or pickled jalapenos.

You might also like:

Shish Taouk Roll

 Kathi Roll

Vegetable Cutlet Roll



  1. love your recipes Shanaz. I had shawarma long time ago in Pakistan, so far havent had any middle eastern.

  2. I tried it and it was yummy thgh I cldnt find the sumac spice had to skip that but still turned out super yummy.