Love At First Bite: The Inside Story Inside Every Shawarma

Shawarma is a popular mid-eastern meal prepared from thinly-sliced cuts of meat. Various types of meat such as lamb, goat, chicken or beef are used in this dish. On rare occasions, even turkey meat is rolled in a shawarma. These slices of meat are rolled inside a typical flatbread known as pita. Pita bread is either heated or steamed before the meat slices are added to the pita bread, As well, various sauces such as tahini or hummus, pickles, salads, mayonnaise, French fries, and the like are added. In short, shawarma is a complete and very filling meal.

shawarma Gyro Machine
Love At First Bite: The Inside Story Inside Every Shawarma

What You Need To Know

Shawarma is a meat sandwich popular in the Middle East. The famous Arabic bread called pita is wrapped around slices of meat and some vegetables with a sauce or spice of your choice. This dish hails from Turkey. The slices of meat are stacked vertically on a skewer, around 20 inches high. Some extra fat is drizzled over the meat to get a juicy and well-cooked flavor. In Israel, turkey meat is commonly used inside shawarma. It is served with tahini sauce. No yogurt dip is added to the meat because of the Jewish belief that one should not eat milk or milk products and meat together.


Shawarma is not a very old dish and it first appeared in the 19th century in the Ottoman Empire that is now called Turkey. It was known as ‘doner kebab’ in Turkey. The Greek ‘gyros’ is also influenced by shawarma. In many parts of the world, meat has been roasted on vertical skewers, but wrapping these in pita bread and serving with sauces and vegetables of your choice first originated in Turkey. To reiterate, the meat is stacked on vertical skewers and grilled. As the meat is cooked, thin slices are taken from the larger chunk. This dish came to known as shawarma only in the 20th century.


Once again, the meat is stacked on a vertical skewer around 20 inches high. A motor slowly turns the skewer around and exposes it to a heating element so that it is cooked slowly as it is being rotated continuously. The outer layer roasts quickly and this is cut into thin slices. The rest of the chunk of meat continues to rotate. The spices added are cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, baharat, and turmeric. It is served inside a sandwich or a wrap only. In some places, laffa bread instead of pita is used. As mentioned, the meat is garnished with pickled vegetables, tahini sauce, hummus or some other sauces. Some restaurants also add cheese, french fries or peppers to the meat before closing the wrap.

Shop These Kitchen Tools To Enhance Your Cooking Experience

Stainless Steel Kitchen Chef Knife

Love At First Bite: The Inside Story Inside Every Shawarma

When making shawarma, you can use this sharp knife blade to speed up your cutting and chopping of vegetables. This stainless-steel kitchen chef knife is made from modern steel and the handle is engineered from wood. The knife measures 21 cm long and 1.8 mm thick. It is a very sharp and durable knife and is also quite light in weight. It looks exquisite and elegant too.

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