Making Shawarma (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

Making Shawarma (with Pictures)
Making Shawarma (with Pictures)

Shawarma is a form of Middle Eastern meat preparation in which chicken, lamb, beef, veal or a combination of these are grilled on a spit, sometimes all day long. This meat is then usually put in a pita bread or other flatbread, along with hummus, tahini, sauerkraut or other side dishes. While it may not be possible to cook using a spit in your own kitchen at home, you can still make a delicious shawarma using a regular stove and oven or a barbecue. Now you can make the delicious taste of shawarma that you can get at Iraqi, Israeli, or Turkish eateries at home.



  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 640 grams chicken breast or chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  • 4 lamb in strips
  • 1 tbsp. salad oil
  • 1 ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 28 grams of unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

tahini sauce

  • 2 medium chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

pickled cabbage

  • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced ​​red cabbage
  • ½ tsp. pomegranate syrup
  • 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


15-23 cm flat bread, such as pita, yufka, marfouk or tortillas made of flour


Part 1 of 3: Preparing the ingredients for the shawarma

Make Shawarma Step 1

Step 1. Tahini sauce

All you need to do to make the tahini sauce is to mix the garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and let it steep for 5 minutes. Then you can add the tahini, olive oil, yogurt and ¾ tsp salt and stir until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick to pour, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water and mix to make it thinner.

  • You can make the sauce while you cook the meat to save time.
  • You can also make the sauce 1-2 days in advance and store it in the fridge until you use it.
Make Shawarma Step 2

Step 2. Make the pickled cabbage

Pickled cabbage is another key ingredient for making a tasty shawarma. All you need to do is heat a little oil in a frying pan (28cm) over medium heat. Add your cabbage to it and cook for about 8-10 minutes until soft and cooked through. You can stir it occasionally to make sure it is heated evenly. Then remove from the heat and add the pomegranate syrup, vinegar and sugar. Once you've done that, season it to taste with a little more vinegar and sugar, in addition to some salt and pepper.

You can make the cabbage while you cook the meat if you want to save time. You can also prepare it 1-2 days in advance and store it in the fridge until ready to use

Make Shawarma Step 3

Step 3. Preparing the flat bread

You can use a pita bread, yufka, marfouk, or even a flour tortilla for this. If you have store bought flatbreads or made them before, warm them up in a deep skillet over medium heat for about a minute or 2. You should do this right after you finish cooking the meat so that you can you can make a nice warm shawarma.

Note that after adding the meat, tahini sauce and cabbage to the shawarma, you can put it all back in the frying pan for another 3 minutes to brown and make sure the ingredients are combined

Part 2 of 3: Making chicken shawarma

Make Shawarma Step 4

Step 1. Mix the spices in a bowl

Use a medium sized bowl and mix together the garlic powder, paprika, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. Stir the spices together for about 30 seconds.

Make Shawarma Step 5

Step 2. Add the chicken strips to the spice mixture and stir well before drizzling olive oil over it

Stir again.

Make Shawarma Step 6

Step 3. Preheat the oven

Turn on the grill and grease a large piece of aluminum foil. Place it on the grill with the greased side up when the grill is up to temperature.

Make Shawarma Step 7

Step 4. Place the chicken on the foil

Turn the chicken several times until it is cooked through. This takes about 8 minutes for each side, depending on the size of the chicken strips. If you have a smaller grill, it may be necessary to cook the chicken in parts.

Make Shawarma Step 8

Step 5. Remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a plate

Do this before you start making the shawarma rolls.

Make Shawarma Step 9

Step 6. Place the chicken in the flatbreads, along with the other ingredients

You can use lettuce, onion, tahini sauce, pickled cabbage, hummus, or any other ingredient you like. Put the chicken in the bread first, followed by the rest of the ingredients, then pour the tahini sauce over it. Fold the flatbread the same way you would a burrito, leaving an inch of space between the ingredients and the top of the bun so they don't fall out. Now the chicken shawarma is ready to eat!

Part 3 of 3: Lamb shawarma

Make Shawarma Step 10

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 176ºC

Make sure the rack is placed in the center of the oven so that the lamb is heated properly.

Make Shawarma Step 11

Step 2. Pat the lamb chops dry

Use a piece of kitchen paper for this.

Make Shawarma Step 12

Step 3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan (30 cm), over medium heat

Make Shawarma Step 13

Step 4. Roast the lamb chop in 2 parts

Place some of the lamb chops in the skillet and wait for them to brown on both sides, which should take about 2 minutes. Turn the meat over and continue cooking the meat until both sides are browned evenly. You may need to add a little extra oil for frying the second part.

  • When you're done with both parts, put them in a roasting pan and season the meat with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remember that it is not necessary to cook the meat through, just until it is nicely browned on the outside. Place the roasting pan in the oven to continue roasting the meat. If you fry them too long in the frying pan, the meat will dry out in the oven.
Make Shawarma Step 14

Step 5. Add a cup of wine to the skillet

Bring to a simmer and scrape the bottom to loosen the brown residue from the roast. When the wine is simmering, carefully pour it over the lamb chops. You can move the casserole back and forth to distribute the wine more evenly.

Make Shawarma Step 15

Step 6. Season the lamb chop

Sprinkle the meat with cumin and add the garlic, carrot, onion and another ½ cup of wine. The wine should come about halfway up the lamb chops, so top up with water if not. Turn the meat over and over so that it is well seasoned throughout.

Once you've seasoned the meat, cover the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil or a lid to allow the lamb chops to marinate until you continue cooking

Make Shawarma Step 16

Step 7. Roast the lamb in the oven, about 1.5-2 hours

After about an hour you can check the meat with a fork. The lamb is ready when the meat has softened and falls apart easily. If so, you can take it out of the oven.

Make Shawarma Step 17

Step 8. Place the lamb on a cutting board

Drape the aluminum foil loosely over the meat to keep it warm but allow the heat to escape. Remove the bones and any fat from the meat with a knife and fork or with your fingers.

Make Shawarma Step 18

Step 9. Remove the cooking liquid from the roasting pan

Once you've removed the lamb from the casserole, you can pass the contents of the casserole through a sieve and collect the liquid in a bowl, which should yield about 2 cups of liquid.

  • Remove the residue and refrigerate until the fat floats on top. This should take about 15 minutes.
  • Then skim the fat from the surface and throw it away.
  • Once you have done this, put the liquid in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, or until half is left.
  • Then add the pomegranate syrup, lemon juice and butter.
Make Shawarma Step 19

Step 10. Pour the boiling gravy over the lamb

Then add the meat to the gravy and turn it several times until the meat is well marinated. Season with salt and pepper, and your shoarma is ready!

Make Shawarma Step 20

Step 11. Place the meat, tahini sauce and cabbage between the flat bread

Now that all the preparations are done, you can put the meat in a bun, add the cabbage and top with tahini sauce for a great taste. Make sure to fill the bun with meat to 1cm from the edge and roll it up tightly so that you tuck the filling in like a burrito. Put it on the opening in a frying pan, fry it for another 3 minutes and your shawarma bread is ready to eat.


  • Serving suggestions: Spread tahini sauce on one side of a pita bread or tortilla. Fill the bread with chicken, salad and pickled vegetables.
  • For 7-8 people.

Popular by topic