HomeSnacks/Breakfast Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Posted in : Snacks/Breakfast on by : Simmi Iyer


  • For the Marinade
  • 1 cup (plain curd)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon
  • For the Chicken
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts (boneless, skinless, thinly cut)
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • For the Sandwich
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • Optional: pickle slices
  • 8 small pita breads (4 large pita breads)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this chicken shawarma dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, vinegar, crushed garlic, pepper, salt, cardamom, allspice, and juice of 1 lemon, until well mixed. 
  3. Add chicken, coating well with marinade. If mixture seems too dry, add olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you’ve achieved the right consistency. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Cook the Chicken

  1. In a stockpot or large saucepan, cook chicken over medium heat for 20 minutes or until done. Be sure not to overcook!
  2. If chicken becomes a little dry, add a few tablespoons of water.
  3. When the chicken is done, you can shred it or leave it in larger slices.

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together tahini, crushed garlic, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons yogurt, mixing well. Set aside.

Assemble the Sandwich

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. To a large bowl, add onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and sprinkle with sumac. Add the parsley and optional pickle slices and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Place enough chicken on each pita so that it covers 1/4 of the bread. Add veggies and pour some sauce over all. Roll like a burrito and you have shawarma! You also can slit the pita open to form a pocket and stuff it.

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