Real and easy chicken shawarma using Middles Eastern spices, this will leave your kitchen smelling lovely, like a spice store.
Hey, any shawarma fans out there?
Before we start, I need to make an apology “I am sorry to the restaurant I have been dashing cash to, I figured this shawarma out and I am coming there no more. But I love that fisherman’s fried rice of yours. Never mind, I will be there when my pockets are over flowing”.
I didn’t make my shawarma on a spit as it’s traditionally done, I bet the restaurant I have been buying from do not have the spit. I know my people, I just know. We do with convenience. But according to Wiki, we technically not wrong. I have been reading a lot on shawarma and Middle Eastern spices and trying some spice blends. My sister once asked what brand of cinnamon cardamon spicy smoked perfume I was wearing. “Really?”
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly rounded black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 fresh red chilis adjust for heat
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust for preference
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 Onion diced (optional)
- 1/2cup/ 120ml plain fresh yogurt
- 1 garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 flat breads
- Lettuce (optional)
Combine the ingredients for the yogurt sauce and place in the fridge for the flavours to come together. Combine the first ingredients on the chicken list together and pour over chicken. Marinate chicken with the spices for two hours or overnight for an intense flavour.
When ready to cook, heat a grilling pan or grill on medium heat. You will not need to oil or grease the pan or grill because of the oil in the marinade. Place the chicken on the pan or grill. Cook on both sides till it is nicely charred and cooked through. Set aside to rest. If using a pan, put the onions in to cook through and soften. (I love adding onions and I prefer cooking it before adding to the bread, the residue in the pan goes well with the onions).
Slice the chicken into desired sizes, dice the tomatoes and shred the cabbage. Take a flat bread. Spread salad over it, pour a generous amount of yogurt sauce, top with chicken, roll and enjoy. You might need a tissue.
You can also bake these in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes at 425ºF/ 220ºC or till cooked through or browned on both sides. I will add a bit of yogurt to the marinade if using chicken breasts as they tend to dry out. However, I will recommend you use thighs because of the fat and moisture. Do not like yogurt sauce, you can substitute with mayonnaise. I will add a bit of chilli to the mayonnaise in addition to garlic and black pepper. If you in Ghana, you can get whole coriander, cardamon and cumin from the Hausa spice sellers. It is cheaper as compared to the packaged grounded ones in the supermarket. Click here for soft and easy flat bread. Yes and also, the preparation time does not include marinating.
I played my way through this recipe based on what I have.