Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shawarma: Attempt number 1

Marinating: doesn't look too yummy in this stage.
Grilling up..
And here's the neighbourhood kitty that came to check out the yummy smell!
Yummy! At this point it smells great and so does the whole neighbourhood.


This recipe is for 4 medium steaks.
I'm not exactly sure what kind of meat is good for this recipe but I used a marinating steak that was similar to flank but not quite as tough.

Next time I think I'll try something with more marbling, like a sirloin, I think some melting fat would add more flavour and add moisture. Something similar to what I would do for a kebob on a skewer.

Anyway.. here it goes, same recipe as my salmon Shawarma I've blogged about years ago:

- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 onion, 4 cloves of garlic finely minced in food processor
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar

- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp dry ginger or fresh paste
- 1/2 tsp dried mint
- Smoke powder or liquid smoke
- black pepper


All the spices go into a bowl with the yogurt and aromatics, everything except the salt or that will draw moisture out of the meat so leave that for later.
The meat was cut against the grain in medium thin ribbons, and they went into the marinated and got coated nicely.
I've omitted the curry powder this time but it's been in my mothers original recipe.

The next day I removed the meat from the fridge and let it come to room tempt, shaking off excess marinade lightly and salting it.

At this point I was trying to figure out what the best approach was to cooking them, salmon biryani always got cooked in the oven but it could be done stove top. Tandoori chicken I've made in the past also in a yogurt marinade did well in a skillet or on the BBQ. This time I decided to go with the BBQ so I lit it and the pieces went on against the grill. If you have one of those baskets that goes on the grill for smaller things like veggies that would have been ideal.

Flipping them once they cooked fairly quick and then I let them rest on a plate.

The pieces were still quite large so I cut them yet again on a diagonal in smaller pieces and having no pita bread in the house (I know I know, totally unacceptable for a middle easterner!) I went with a tortilla that was homemade and frozen from the time I made fish tacos, it got grilled up in the skillet really quickly and was really delicious and fresh tasting!!

Here's the dip recipe:

Shawarma tastes good when left to sit a bit, as the flavours seem to get more intense, so leftovers are really yummy.

Have all ingredients on hand: Pita bread, chopped veggies (tomato, lettuce, pickles, cucumbers, fresh mint.. etc) for sandwhiches and make the dip by mixing:

- 1/2 cup tahini
- salt
- sumaq (can be found in middle eastern shops, leave out if not available)
- pickle juice or water
- fresh lemon juice or citric acid crystals
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt (optional)

Whisk together the tahini with the spices and add the water/pickle juice mixture gradually until it thickens, it may seperate at first but keep whisking and the mixture should come together and form a creamy dressing like consistency.


Give it a try, and if you come up with an improvement on what cuts of meat to use or method of cooking let me know, I'm definitely going to try to prefect the process as best as I can.

I've got a nice rotisserie option in my toaster oven that makes a gorgeous chicken, so if I somehow figure out how to use it for a shawarma that could have potential! Maybe chicken shawarma at least.


Mark@SeasonWithSpice said...

Attempt number 1 was clearly a success. Nice job!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the delicious recipe. Thanks to you I have mastered beef shawarma! I have a bunch of tough critics - lebanese inlaws.