Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chicken Shawarma / Tahini sauce / pickled veggies / Middle Eastern Shawarma

 Shawarma is an wrap with flat bread , meat,fresh veggies,tahini ,hummus etc.A world favorite fast food  from the Arabic cuisine.




Many variations of shawarma are available. Every time someone speaks of shawarma I am very attentive and absorb everything so this recipe comes from various sources.:)
Now I don't know about the world but my daughty! she is such an addict to this wrap she even dreams of it :)) .She readily finishes any work assigned to her any time I agree to make shawarma so now u can guess how powerful it is :))
Those rotating spits with chicken in front of the fast food restaurant does attract a lot of attention. Don't you  think so ?
This is my humble effort to recreate the magic ,my daughty thinks it is a big hit.She raves about it so I guess it does a magic to some extend ..LOL.
Most of the ingredients are available pre-made u just need to assemble .I usually make everything except the bread.

Scroll down to see the steps of this completely satisfying meal which includes :
Baked chicken, tahini sauce,  pickled veggies, and here is the link for- Hummus and baked whole wheat crackers.

Trust me it might seem like a lot but it is all about planning .Most of it can be done ahead of time like marinating chicken ,pickling and making the spread.



                       CHICKEN                     



Ingredients for marinating Chicken --- (Enough for 3 people)
Chicken - 3 breast pieces (Use beef ,turkey or any meat of ur choice )
Curd- 1/3 cup
Vinegar-1 tbsp
Garlic- 1 or 2 flakes crushed
Chili powder-1/2 - 1 tsp
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Lemon juice-2 tbsp
Masala powder-1/2 tsp (Freshly made from cinnamon 1/2 inch piece+ cloves-3 + nutmeg a pinch,cardamom seeds of 1 pod )
Salt to taste

Method
1.Cut each chicken piece once horizontally so it become thin and  flat you could make it really thin too for faster baking  . Tenderize the meat by pricking holes  all over the pieces with tines of the fork so all the spices sink in. 
2.Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients and keep it for at least few hours in the refrigerator or overnight would be better.
3.Either shallow fry  chicken or bake it till cooked in a preheated oven at 400 ° F for 15 mts .Turn once or twice and coat the pieces with the left over marinating liquid (I use up all the liquid as the taste lies in it)
 I don't like the meat dry so I cook only till is done but still some really thick sticky brown sauce left .Remove from oven keep it covered.(See notes)
4.Cut the chicken pieces into thin strips .Keep it hot and ready.


                    TAHINI                       




Ingredients for Tahini :
White sesame seeds- 1/3 cup
Garlic -3 flakes crushed / I used a pinch of garlic powder instead
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Curd -1/2 cup 
Olive oil- 1-2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method
1.Dry roast the sesame seeds on low flame till they crackle and slightly golden brown.Oh! you need to keep a close eye or it will become burnt.Let it cool down then powder it.
2.Mix all the rest of the ingredients to sesame powder.Keep it in a airtight container.
Use for making Hummus or to spread on Pita bread for Shawarma.


                                      VEGGIE PICKLE               

TAHINI AND VEG PICKLE





Ingredients for Veg Pickle:
Carrot - 2 cut into  strips
Cucumber- 1 cut into strips
Chili-1 -2 slit
Vinegar- 1/2 cup
Water -1/2 cup
Salt to taste

Method
1.Boil carrots in some water so that it is slightly tender and bendy but still crunchy.Discard water.
2.Boil 1/2 cup water ,to it add vinegar let it bubble for  2 minutes switch off flame let it cool then put all the ingredients and veggies in it to soak.Bottle it .Use it with in two days.




             Assembling Shawarma                 


Slices of fresh veggies like cucumber , carrot , tomato, Romaine lettuce ,  red onion or scallions,  some Lemon wedges and olives completes the list:))

Heat the pita bread as given on the pack.
On a pita bread spread some tahini sauce arrange the lettuce then lil bit of fresh veggies and few chicken strips.Roll the bread then wrap in a wax paper to keep it intact..Too much stuffing is difficult to handle.
Serve the shawarma rolls along with hummus and pickles.Oh ! I totally forgot to put olives in the picture even though I had kept it ready.So forgetful me!!!




Notes

  • Use chicken thigh meat if u like the meat to be really tender and juicy.
  • I find that by using drip tray for grilling results in loosing all flavors from the meat.
  • Do not leave the chicken in the grill itself after cooking the heat in the oven will dry out the meat .Instead loosely cover the tray with aluminium foil to trap the steam inside and leave on the counter.
  •  Tahini is often replaced with mayonnaise but my choice would be to stick with the authentic. 

How to know if the chicken is baked properly:

When you find that most of the marinating juices have dried up gently press on the edge of a piece with a fork ,it should come apart easily without any effort and look flaky .The inside of the piece should not have any pink color of raw meat.Then it is done.When the chicken breast pieces are cooked for longer time it becomes hard and really chewy.

Let me know if u liked it .

Meena

8 comments:

  1. hi meena... very well done... have never attempted shawarma at home... :)

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  2. perfect and mouth watering shawarma.... ,Happy to follow you would be glad if you follow back... passing my liebster award to you http://ammirasoi.blogspot.ae/2013/03/my-first-liebster-award.html


    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Naaz for passing the award to me

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG! I want to try this Meena.. It looks really nice :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi.can I ask you something please? How many hours can I keep shawarma once it cooked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is best consumed immediately once assembled but a shawarma roll should be good for atleast 5-6 hours in cold climate without refrigerating. I would not suggest beyond that.Thank you for dropping by Jhona.

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Meena