Shawarma is one of the most popular street foods in Israel and in Levantine Arab countries. The word shawarma means turning- a reference to the way the meat is grilled. The meat (lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats) is circulated on a vertical axis in front of a fire or other heat source and slowly cooked. A large knife is then used to shave it off the stack and it drops on a tray underneath. The thinly sliced tender meat is served inside a flatbread wrap (called ‘laffa’) with tahini, hummus, chopped salad, pickles, and fries.
Our kids can live on shawarma when we visit Israel, so we knew we had to find a way to prepare it at home. Since purchasing a mini grilling axis or lighting the bonfire outside every time we crave shawarma is out of the question, we figured the oven would be our best bet. It’s not the same fatty, juicy, and rich original taste, but it’s close, and most importantly – it’s quick and easy and a great way to satisfy a hungry crowd.
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thigh
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Olive oil (about ½ cup)
2 onions sliced into thin rings
3 cloves of garlic, minced.
Preheat oven to 425℉
Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil and place the chicken on the sheet.
Add all dry spices and rub onto the meat.
Bake until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat, add the onion rings and cook, stirring frequently, until golden.
When meat is ready, let it cool and remove to a cutting board, then thinly slice – as thinner as you can.
Add the sliced meat into the large skillet with the onions. Add the minced garlic, and over medium heat mix it all together, stirring frequently for about 8 mins, until meat slices are lightly browned.
Serve in pita with hummus, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, pickles and tahini.
If you are using a store bough shawarma spice mix (make sure you buy one that contains only pure spices) - add 1 ½ Tablespoons of the spice mix, and salt if needed.