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Shawarma: Rolled up paradise

 Shawarma: Rolled up paradise (Photo: iStock)

Shawarma consists of thin slices of meat cut from inverted cones and fried vertically.

It is usually served as a wrap or sandwich in flatbread. The meat can be either mutton, beef or chicken.

Depending on the type of meat used, shawarmas could be served with garlic sauce or chips, but either way, it leaves an unforgettable delicious taste in your mouth.

Let's see what it takes to create such magic:


For the marinade:

700g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup plain yogurt

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt, to taste

For assembling:

4 flatbreads

Toppings: Sliced tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, pickles, tahini sauce, hot sauce, and any other of your choice.


Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.

Add the thinly sliced chicken thighs to the marinade, making sure they are well coated. Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to meld and the chicken to tenderise.

Preheat the barbecue over medium heat.

When the barbecue is hot, add the marinated chicken in a single layer. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until cooked through and slightly charred.

While the chicken is cooking, warm the pita or flatbreads on the barbecue until soft and pliable.

When the chicken is cooked, remove from the heat and leave to rest for a few minutes. Then cut the chicken into thin, bite-sized slices.

To assemble the shawarma wraps, place a generous amount of sliced chicken on each warm flatbread. Top with your choice of toppings.

Roll the flatbread tightly to enclose the filling and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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