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rajsuman

Shawarma

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Well...it has happened. The end of the world MUST be nearng rather rapidly - McDonald's has added McShwarma to its menus in Israel. As much as I try to avoid McDonald's my critic's conscience took me there to sample this new fare. Here is the review I wrote and which appeared in HaAretz (Hebrew) on 10 Feb 05 and in the International Herald Tribune on 11 Feb 05

I just caught this. :laugh:

McDonald's and Burger King do that sort of thing. In London I saw some sort Indian burger. I don't forsee a McCouscous burger though.

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FoodMan,

1- Yes you are right about the Shawarma being essentially lamb and no chicken in sight. It is in early 80's that the chicken Shawarma appeared in Kuwait on a Palestinian request.

This reminds me of the Kufta wich moved from lamb to chicken to fish and finally to prawns.

So maybe one day we shall have a fish shawarma followed by prawns shawarma.

2- The Shish taouk, of course has no relation to Shawarma.


Edited by Almass (log)

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Are there any Nederlandse readers out there who might have a recipe for the red Shawarma sauce that is served up with Shawarma in the restaurants in Holland?

Jay

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I don't get the thing with Schawarma... Now what is it?

All we got here is the wonderful Döner-kebabs (rolling) and Alexander Kebabs (Iskender) and they are most excellent. In sweden, we would never call american brochettes "kebabs", we will call them "barbecue spits". And Döner kebab is here synonymus with "Kebab".

PS.

We had MC Moroccan burgers in sweden, and Mc Sahara. with Khoubs arabi amd lamb.

Somebody interpreted it very wrongly, and thought that through Mc Donald's "Moroccan" campaign Mc Donald's supported the Moroccan "occupation" of Western Sahara, so it was the subject of debate for a month.. hahaha. so ridiculous...

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Gotta give melkor an 'A' for effort.

I know for sure that yogurt is used to marinate shawarma in Lebanon. On a fresh skewer (one that has just been put on the rotisserie) one could see yogurt oozing out between the layers of meat. I don't marinate the meat since we can get very tender lamb here in the states.

This is how I've been making the stuff for the past 15 years:

On the cutting board are sliced onions, tomatoes, parsley, pickled Turnips and Tarator (garlic Tahini sauce).

Curry powder, Cumin, salt and pepper are the seasonings. I use either lamb shoulder or chuck-eye steak sliced into thin strips for the meat.

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I render a little lamb fat with about 1 Tsp of corn oil and put the meat in the pan. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp each of Curry and Cumin, salt and pepper for one pound of meat.

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Stir fry till done. De-glaze with 1/4 C water to clean the pan and get some juices.

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Sandwich assembly using an unsplit Pita loaf.

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Wrap like a burrito

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And enjoy. Need lots of napkins for this one.

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Nice pictures mouth watering as usual.

However, traditional Shawarma is not marinated in yogurt whatsoever.

You can marinated it if you want to, however this is not the norm.

The main ingredients which give Shawarma the typical flavour are a vinegar marinate and cardamon pods. (in addition to other spices).

What you see "oozing out between the layers of meat" is not yogurt but single layers of fat between each 8 or 10 layers of meat. I am talking "Ly'eh".

Alternatively, some place the "Ly'eh" on top of the skewer.

The closest you can make at home, is to cut lamb into slivers and place in metal round tray, marinate with red wine vinegar, few whole cardamon pods, slivered onions, cubed tomatoes, S&P, a sprinkling of EVOO and marinate for few hours untill meat almost cooked. Place in hot oven (250/280) and monitor untill meat is crisp outside/soft inside. Lay in bread with Tahineh and veggies/pickles and enjoy.

I am now going to treat myself for a Shawarma in your name today.


Edited by Nicolai (log)

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You just gave me a heart attack. I thought I was never going to be able to step foot in one of the halal shwarma restaurants in London.

I had never heard of shwarma being marinated in yogurt.

However, the shwarma looks good ChefCrash.

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Very popular dish in Russia and former Soviet republics though called sharma o saurma there. Not a foreign dish but a local one varies from region to regions surely enough.


Edited by piazzola (log)

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Nice pictures mouth watering as usual.

However, traditional Shawarma is not marinated in yogurt whatsoever.

You can marinated it if you want to, however this is not the norm.

The main ingredients which give Shawarma the typical flavour are a vinegar marinate and cardamon pods. (in addition to other spices).

What you see "oozing out between the layers of meat" is not yogurt but single layers of fat between each 8 or 10 layers of meat. I am talking "Ly'eh".

Alternatively, some place the "Ly'eh" on top of the skewer.

The closest you can make at home, is to cut lamb into slivers and place in metal round tray, marinate with red wine vinegar, few whole cardamon pods, slivered onions, cubed tomatoes, S&P, a sprinkling of EVOO and marinate for few hours untill meat almost cooked. Place in hot oven (250/280) and monitor untill meat is crisp outside/soft inside. Lay in bread with Tahineh and veggies/pickles and enjoy.

I am now going to treat myself for a Shawarma in your name today.

Thanks Nicoli, I can't insist what I saw was yogurt, but it wasn't "Lyeh". The cone was raw and the fat was visible and in tact. Now I wish I had asked. :wacko:

One recipe with yogurt. Scroll down.

Another with yogurt.

And another. Scroll down.

Another. Albeit for chicken.

It certainly deserves investigation.

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I think it'd be tough to argue that there is a single correct way to make shawarma. The spices, meat, and marinade change from region to region. Assyrian shawarma is usually beef, Israeli and Palestinian style is a mix of beef and lamb, traditional Lebanese prep is all lamb. Sometimes the meat is marinated in an acid, though there seems to be no preference between vinegar, lemon juice, and yogurt - except I've never seen shawarma marinated in yogurt in Israel (can't eat a lamb in the spoiled milk of the neighbors cow). I think shawarma can be defined as spiced meat and fat, layered in slices on a spit, then cooked upright next to a flame. Without the vertical rotisserie, I don't think the same product can be made at home.

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great mouthwatering pics as usual Chef, but I also agree that yogurt is not typical. I've never seen it marinated in yogurt until you linked to those recipes. My mom uses red wine, vinegar, some spices including cardamom and ground ginger,....Same goes for a couple of Arabic cookbooks I've seen.

It could be that some are using the yogurt to up the acid without being too harsh? You know like marinating chicken in buttermilk before frying. It is possible.

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I think it'd be tough to argue that there is a single correct way to make shawarma.  The spices, meat, and marinade change from region to region.  Assyrian shawarma is usually beef, Israeli and Palestinian style is a mix of beef and lamb, traditional Lebanese prep is all lamb.  Sometimes the meat is marinated in an acid, though there seems to be no preference between vinegar, lemon juice, and yogurt - except I've never seen shawarma marinated in yogurt in Israel (can't eat a lamb in the spoiled milk of the neighbors cow).  I think shawarma can be defined as spiced meat and fat, layered in slices on a spit, then cooked upright next to a flame.  Without the vertical rotisserie, I don't think the same product can be made at home.

I have never seen beef or beef/lamb shwarma here. We have lamb or spring chicken or turkey and occasionally goose.

The same product cannot be replicated at home unless you have a shwarma spit.

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I think it'd be tough to argue that there is a single correct way to make shawarma.  The spices, meat, and marinade change from region to region.  Assyrian shawarma is usually beef, Israeli and Palestinian style is a mix of beef and lamb, traditional Lebanese prep is all lamb.  Sometimes the meat is marinated in an acid, though there seems to be no preference between vinegar, lemon juice, and yogurt - except I've never seen shawarma marinated in yogurt in Israel (can't eat a lamb in the spoiled milk of the neighbors cow).  I think shawarma can be defined as spiced meat and fat, layered in slices on a spit, then cooked upright next to a flame.  Without the vertical rotisserie, I don't think the same product can be made at home.

I have never seen beef or beef/lamb shwarma here. We have lamb or spring chicken or turkey and occasionally goose.

The same product cannot be replicated at home unless you have a shwarma spit.

Hi Michele,

I guess you are about 85 kilometere from that promised beef/lamb Shawarma. Next time in Haifa treat yourself to my favorite Shawarma : Emil's at 33 Alenbi road (corner of Hatziyonut st.) it is a small, simple and modest place but of the finest quality made of stripes of beef (i think veal) and ground lamb meat and fat.

inside the pita you'll get Tahina and maybe some onion and tomato. basicly you are done. there is also a side collection of pickels.

Go there! and let us know.

Boaziko

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I think it'd be tough to argue that there is a single correct way to make shawarma.  The spices, meat, and marinade change from region to region.  Assyrian shawarma is usually beef, Israeli and Palestinian style is a mix of beef and lamb, traditional Lebanese prep is all lamb.  Sometimes the meat is marinated in an acid, though there seems to be no preference between vinegar, lemon juice, and yogurt - except I've never seen shawarma marinated in yogurt in Israel (can't eat a lamb in the spoiled milk of the neighbors cow).  I think shawarma can be defined as spiced meat and fat, layered in slices on a spit, then cooked upright next to a flame.  Without the vertical rotisserie, I don't think the same product can be made at home.

I have never seen beef or beef/lamb shwarma here. We have lamb or spring chicken or turkey and occasionally goose.

The same product cannot be replicated at home unless you have a shwarma spit.

Hi Michele,

I guess you are about 85 kilometere from that promised beef/lamb Shawarma. Next time in Haifa treat yourself to my favorite Shawarma : Emil's at 33 Alenbi road (corner of Hatziyonut st.) it is a small, simple and modest place but of the finest quality made of stripes of beef (i think veal) and ground lamb meat and fat.

inside the pita you'll get Tahina and maybe some onion and tomato. basicly you are done. there is also a side collection of pickels.

Go there! and let us know.

Boaziko

Cool. I will have to find the time to go to Haifa.

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I've also had good beef and lamb shawarma in the old part of be'er shevah.

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I have a Faberware uprite rotisery it will heat to 550 deg's. I has a basket. & ather sqewers for multible roasting seset ups this should work wit Shawarma right?

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Edited by 007bond-jb (log)

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I think you could make shawarma in this. Try it and post pictures. Put half an onion on the bottom and top of the meat.


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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Last summer when I was in Israel, shawarma became one of my favorite foods, and in the two weeks I was there I ate about a year's worth. One of my favorite things was all of the the condiments and pickles, and I usually just told them to put everything on it. Can anyone tell me what some typical condiments are, and how to make them (or find them)? It seemed like it was mostly pickles, tomatos, tehina, but I'm not sure of the exact stuff. Thanks!

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The usual offerings are:

Zhug (should be able to find this at a Middle Eastern shop or you could use Thai chili paste)

Pickles

Fried eggplant (sliced eggplant that has been salted and left to sit for an hour to extract the water. Pat dry and fry in olive oil until nice and brown on both sides.)

Pickled peppers

Tehina

Hummous

Amba

Israeli salad (chopped tomato and cucumber)

Chopped parsley

Chopped coriander

Chopped raw onion or fried onion slices

Pickled beets

Pickled radishes


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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Much depends on the shwarma joint into which you have wandered. At many, the condiments added by the counterman will be tchina, sliced eggplant, what we in Israel call Israeli salad (very finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and Turkish salad.

Then, standing in a row for you to add yourself will be any combination of:

medium-hot whole jalapeno peppers

super-hot whole Ethiopian peppers (only the most heroic eat them with the seeds)

sliced onions sprinkled over with sumac

sliced pickled cucumberss, cauliflower florettes, carrots, celery, radishes

sliced unpickled radishes

amba sauce

three - to four levels of hot sauce (zhug, etc)

turkish salad

slices of fried eggplant

chunks of deep fried pita bread

a mixture of finely chopped coriander and parsley

in the most upswing of joints, aioli sauce

more tchina

humous (which is a mistake because humous and shwarma really don't go well together)

And, if you're foolish enough to wander into McDonald's for what they call McShwarma, ketchup and mustard. Let it be kown however that ketchup and/or mustard and shwarma combined yields something far worse than the bubonic plague!!!


Edited by Daniel Rogov (log)

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What about the pink pickled Trunips? In Lebanese joints these are indispensible in a Shawarma or Falafel sandwich. Pickled radishes on the other hand are not used.

Daniel...how does "aioli sauce" taste on a shawarma? It just seems a bit over the top to me :smile:.

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...how does "aioli sauce" taste on a shawarma? It just seems a bit over the top to me 

Well, let's put it this way, if anyone is foolish enough to put any of the usual toppings on, it's abominable. On the other hand, served in a pita with nothing but the aioli, as my daughter might have said, it's "far out and funky". Actually sort of nice in its own perverse way, especially if you do it with a crisp unoaked Chablis or a nice Muscadet de Sevre et Maine.


Edited by Daniel Rogov (log)

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Not withstanding the fact that you can take any dish and add a variant to your liking.

However, to my description, Sahwarma comes in two types:

- Lamb

- Chicken

The lamb Shawarma is with Tahina and tomatoes (roasted on the skewer pile) with pickled turnips. Chilli sauce is an accepted addition.

The chicken Shawarma is of course with a garlic spread and cucumber pickles. Hummos substitute to the garlic is also accepted.

Any departure from these dressings is a variant to the traditional Shawarma.

The Turkish/Greek...etc versions are different. As for the name, Turkey claims that the name originates from "çevirme" which means "turning".

The disputed version is the Arabic name for "Shawa" which is grilling and the "ma" added to denote the meat version different from "Kawarma".

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Nicolai, what you refer to as traditional is your traditional Lebanese shwarma. Lebanon is not the father of shwarma! The question that was asked referred to what condiments are served at shwarma joints in Israel.

Shwarma joints in Israel are very interesting because they incorporate condiments from many different places:

Lebanon

Iraq

Turkey

Israel

Ethiopia

Yemen

For all we know shwarma may have been invented by the Bedouin in Central Asia or Mongolia and maybe the first shwarma was made out of camel :raz: . This is an neverending and pointless argument.

Shwarma tastes great and I think it is nice to have interesting choices to put on mine.

BTW- I meant to write Pickled Turnip instead of pickled radishes. I forgot the word for turnip in English. :wacko: Here, pickled turnips are considered an Iraqi contribution.


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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