Enjoy the beautiful Middle Eastern flavours with this chicken shawarma sandwich recipe. Tasty and healthy like no other sandwich.
What is Shawarma?
Traditionally, shawarma consists of meat stacked in a cone-like shape, slowly turning while roasting on a vertical rotisserie or spit. This process allows the marinated meat to roast in its own juices and fat until perfectly tender and popping with flavour. It is definitely one of the most popular street food, and it originated in the Ottoman Empire.
For this recipe, however, you will luckily not be needing a rotisserie or spit, a saucepan will work perfectly. The chicken is where the main flavour of the shawarma sandwich comes from, so the marinade is extremely important. Mixing cardamom pods, garlic, and allspice together really makes those middle eastern flavours shine in the marinade.
If you do not have allspice in the house, try making your own version! Allspice is known to taste like a combination of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix those three spices together and you’re good to go.
Shawarmas are typically presented in pita bread, which makes it even tastier. Once you put it all together with the sauce and the salad-like filling, no one will be able to resist these sandwiches.
Chicken Shawarma Middle Eastern Sandwich
- 650 g chicken breast deboned and skinless and sliced thinly
- 1 cup yogurt (plain)
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp allspice
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ cup mixed seeds and finely chopped dried fruits(optional)
- ½ cup fresh parsley- chopped
- 6 small, pickled Gherkins, thinly sliced
- 5 ready-made pitas
- In a large bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients and set aside, then slice the chicken in thin slices and add to the marinade, make sure all the chicken is coated well with the marinade
- Cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, after the chicken has marinated, remove it from the fridge, cook chicken in a saucepan over medium heat for 20 minutes or until done
- Be sure not to overcook the chicken, when the chicken is done, you can shred it or leave it in slices and set aside
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce with all the sauce ingredients, mix well and set aside
- Prepare the salad in a large bowl, add onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and sprinkle with the seeds and dried fruit
- Add the parsley and pickle slices and mix well, then set aside
- Slice the pita in half, or make a slit to serve the pita open to form a pocket and stuff it
- Place enough chicken on each pita so that it covers 1/4 of the bread, then add salad and pour some sauce over
- Roll like a burrito or have it as a shawarma sandwich!
- Serve shawarma with fries