Shawarma is traditionally made with lamb and/or beef, however, has also been made with goat, chicken, turkey, and mixtures thereof. Traditionally, strips or slabs of marinated meats are stacked on a roasting spit and then slow-roasted on a vertical rotisserie for as much as a full day. A tomato, onion, and some animal fat are placed on the top of the stack in order to flavour the meat, and keep it moist. When served as a street food, shawarma is typically shaved off the roasting spit and served in pita bread, or lavash, and served with condiments such as tomato, onion, lettuce, pickled turnips, cucumber, tahini (sesame seed paste), toum (garlic paste), hummus (chick pea and tahini spread), fattoush salad (mixed greens and toasted/ fried pita chips), tabbouleh salad (parsley, bulghur, and vegetables), and/or hot sauce. Shawarma can also be served over spiced rice, or eaten by itself on a plate with hummus and vegetables.
The name shawarma is thought to have originated from the Turkish word çevirme (pronounced che-vir-meh), meaning “turning/changing”. It has many variants across the globe, and is generally named after the preparation method. In Greece, it is called gyros (pronounced yee-ros), meaning “turned”, In Armenia, it is called tarna, meaning “to turn”, and in Turkey is called dôner kebab, meaning “turning kebab”.
Shawarma has become a global street-food staple. Aside from countries in and around the Middle-East (Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), Shawarma (and variants thereof) is popular in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, India, Colombia, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Greece, Germany, Libya, Mexico, Ecuador, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Add 4-5 tbsp. (60 – 75 mL) of marinade to 1 lb. (450 g) of thinly sliced trimmed beef. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes or longer.
- Spread evenly onto lined baking tray.
- Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated.
- Increase heat to 450°F (232°C) and continue to cook until meat is browned.
- No Additives, Preservatives, Starches, Gums, or Stabilizers
- Gluten Free
- No Trans Fat
- No Cholesterol
- No Saturated Fat
- Low in Total Fat
- Low in Total Calories
- Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly
- Easy To Follow Directions
- Can be prepared at home in 30 minutes or less
- Each jar can make two meals for four people
- Locally made in Toronto
- Made with mostly fresh, local ingredients from Toronto-based suppliers
- Additional recipes available online