Let us get started with some easy Chicken Shawarma recipe!
Before coming to Hyderabad I did not really like shawarma that much but it has become a weekly routine for me. It is a fact that after coming to Hyderabad Shawarma and Biryani have become my favourites. And that is why I thought of compiling a very easy Shawarma Recipe for you guys!
In India, we do find a lot of Shawarma Places serving them in Rumali Roti. And to be honest, even I like it that way. But today we will go for the authentic version of shawarma which is with Pita Bread. A few days ago I had published a recipe for Pita bread so do check it out to make this Shawarma.
Over the years it has become one of the most popular street food around the globe. For a fact in the Avengers Movie, all the Superheroes are seen to be having Shawarma on Ironmans suggestion.
Origin of Shawarma
Roasting of meat on a vertical rotating rod is very ancient but it was discovered in Turkey and hence we can say that Shawarma started there. It was in the form of Doner Kebab and both Greek Gyros and Shawarma is derived from this.
Although Shawarma has travelled a lot more than Gyros and has evolved more. They were never like how we see them nowadays. Tacos al Pastor was brought to turkey in the 20th century by Lebanese Immigrants and Shawarmas were given a new look derived from tacos.
It was originally made of lamb but over the years we see all kinds of meats being used for shawarma. That is why I have used some chicken for this Chicken Shawarma recipe today but feel free to use your favourite meat.
As I already mentioned that Pita bread is traditionally used due to its air pockets. Pita has a pocket-like structure that is used to fill the meat for shawarma. Although here in Hyderabad a lot of Shawarma joints use Rumali Roti which is equally good I believe.
And for the most part, it does not affect the taste since they are both flour-based bread and the only difference is yeast. Pita used a little bit of yeast for fermentation. Also, I have a very easy recipe for Pita Bread, click here to read Pita Bread Recipe! Let’s move ahead with this Chicken Shawarma recipe.
Mayonnaise was not added when shawarma was initially made at restaurants. But eventually, it substituted tahini which was originally added in shawarma. And to be honest I am really glad that it got more popular than tahini over time. Because I personally do not like tahini that much.
Also, I have got a very quick and easy method to make mayonnaise at home. And in this method, we don’t just use the egg yolks so you don’t have to worry about what to do with the egg whites. Click here to jump to the Whole Egg Mayonnaise Recipe.
Coming to the meat I already kind of told you that originally shawarma was made out of lamb meat. But eventually, as it travelled around the globe all sorts of meats were used and nowadays we even get to see vegetarian Shawarmas made out of falafel or cottage cheese.
But for this Chicken Shawarma recipe, I have used some chicken. Although if you want to use any other kind of meat feel free to do that just make sure you marinate it accordingly. That means if you’re using lamb meat you have to marinate it for a longer time so that it tenderizes properly.
Also, I have got a detailed guide on how to tenderize your meat easily. So click here to to learn 6 ways to tenderize meat. It explains you very well on how to tenderize different kinds of meat using a few different methods.
There is nothing much that you have to do if you’re making it at home and for obvious reasons we don’t have the rotating Shawarma machine.
Preparing the Chicken
So we will just marinate it with some cumin powder, chilli powder, garam Masala, little lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, and little oil. Also had Salt and pepper according to your taste and let it marinate for half an hour at least. The thigh part of the chicken is the best for this recipe. Because the breast meat kind of goes dry when you cook it for long.
Once you marinate the chicken for 30 minutes take a cast iron pan, grease it lightly with oil and start cooking it slowly for about half an hour or until it’s charred lightly. Now cut it into thin strips and you are done. And your chicken filling is ready for this Chicken Shawarma recipe.
So I think this is the part which has changed a lot over time and keeps on changing every time you eat shawarma at a new place. It really changes due to the availability of vegetables, what people prefer, and sometimes it also comes down to cost-cutting of the restaurant.
Although traditionally we just make a very simple green salad that is from cucumber, onions, and tomatoes. Trust me that is all you require. But you may also find variations like lettuce, cabbage, pickled onions, gherkins, and so on.
And please feel free to add vegetables or subtract vegetables according to your taste. Sometimes people also tend to dress the salad with mayonnaise and you can do that as well.
But for this recipe, I have used onions, tomatoes, and little cabbage. Although I did wanted to use cucumber but I couldn’t find some during this lockdown. But I would highly suggest you add some Sliced Cucumbers.
Well, that is about it and now let’s jump to the recipe!