Shawarma is a kebap

Shawarma: chicken skewers in Arabic

The kebab has become one of the most popular snacks ever since it found its way to Central Europe in the 1970s. But do you know his Arab brother, Shawarma? As with kebab, pieces of meat are layered in thin layers and grilled on the rotisserie. What makes the shawarma so special and differentiates it from the doner kebab is the marinade: Lots of lemon juice and spices result in the typical sour and multi-faceted taste.

You are flexible when it comes to meat: for shawarma, you can use poultry as well as lamb, beef or mutton. In any case, meat that is too lean should not be used. With chicken and turkey, you should take parts from the leg.

The popular street food from the Middle East is usually served wrapped in pita bread with hummus, tahini and pickled vegetables.

If you don't have the typical kebab or shawarma grill at home, you can also use grill skewers with this variant. If you want to cater to a larger group of guests (from around ten people), it is advisable to use the rotisserie from the grill. As with the original, you can gradually cut the pieces of meat in thin slices.

Ingredients (for 6 skewers)

  • 700 g leg schnitzel (from chicken)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (hot, smoked)
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons tahini (sesame paste)

preparation

Remove pieces of cartilage and sinews from the club cutlets and cut into strips approx. 2 cm wide.

Press the garlic, coarsely crush the cumin in a mortar and mix with the lemon juice and the remaining spices.
Add meat strips, knead briefly and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Put the pieces of meat on the skewers. Fold the meat again and again, like an accordion. If necessary, water wooden skewers beforehand.

Grill the skewers over very high direct heat on each side for about 2 minutes and then cook on indirect heat for another 8 to 10 minutes or up to a core temperature of 80 degrees.

Serve the meat with pita bread, hummus, pickled vegetables and lemon wedges.

The remaining marinade can be used to make a tasty sauce: Bring it to the boil briefly in a pan and mix it with 3 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt after it has cooled down.

Once you've got a taste for Levante cuisine, try shakshuka. You can find a recipe for Shakshuka from the cast iron pan at kissedbyflames.com. (Mario te Best, August 29, 2019)

Mario te Best is a grill maniac from the Linz area. Everything revolves around an open fire and good food for him. Whether at the fireplace, with the grill, smoker or Dutch oven: "cooking outside" is his great passion.

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