Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma is a Middle Eastern Pita Sandwich stuffed with garlicy chicken marinated in yogurt and spiced. I have lived in the Middle East before and how I miss that deep seeded love affair I had with this chicken! Its really healthy, but will fill you up!

This was our goto food when we ( my family and friends ) used to come late night from a trip! Luckily, one of those friends who also happens to be a regular reader of my blog, reminded me of this a few days ago! So here’s the recipe for the most glorious chicken, try it, devour it, and thank me later ūüėČ Haha!

Ingredients :

Chicken thighs or breast ( I used thighs because those are even more tender ) – 500gms
A whole lot of garlic – pealed, smashed and minced ( 3 1/2 to 4 tbsp of it to be precise )
Yogurt ( 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp )
Lemon juice ( 3 tbsp )
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Garam masala – 3 tsp + 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder + 1 tsp black pepper powder + a pinch of cardamom powder
1 tsp Red chili powder
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Directions :

1. Wash and cut the chicken into strips and keep aside to dry.
Into a bowl, add the yogurt, lemon juice and vinegar. Mix it and then add 1 tbsp of olive oil, the spices and the garlic. Now add the chicken to it. Get in your hand and mix it all up so that all of the chicken is well coated with the marinade.

  Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate it for atleast 4 hours and upto 12 hours.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add all of the chicken to it and fry it until all the moisture is gone. There’s one bonus tip I’d like to give you. Adding some sugar always cuts the sourness of a dish. So, you might want to gravy the chicken just when the chicken is cooked, and there’s only a little gravy left. Something like this-

 Turn off the heat, and taste the gravy at this point, and if you feel that its too sour, because of the lemon juice, the add a little bit of sugar and stir it well. Do not dump in a lot of sugar at a time, just keep adding little by little, maybe a pinch at a time and taste again until you do not taste anymore sourness.
3. Turn on the heat again and keep frying it, until there is no more gravy left but do not want to cook it to the extent of completely drying. It has to have all those flavorful  juices retained,
Now your chicken filling is ready.
What you need is pita bread. If you can find some in the supermarket, great for ya! But is it worth making pita at home? absolutely! Store bought one’s may be several days old. Warm and fragrant, home made pita bread is definately superior and there’s a certain thrill in watching the bread puff up! Here’s the recipe.
For the pita bread, you will need :Ingredients :
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
Salt to taste ( about 1 tsp )

Directions :

1. Put 1 cup of lukewarm water into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Now add the  yeast. Let this sit for about a minute.
2. Meanwhile, add the wholewheat flour ,salt, oil and 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour and whisk together. Now add in the water with the yeast into this flour mixture and mix well until the dough comes together. Do not kneed too much. Lightly whisk together.
3. Cover this and keep aside for about half an hour. The dough should have doubled in size by then.
4. Add the remaining all purpose flour ( reserve 1/4 cup ) and kneed the dough for about 2 minutes until it forms a smooth and firm, but not to stiff, mass.

 5. Cover and let rest for about 20 more minutes and kneed again for 2 more minutes. Cover again and let rest for an hour.
6.Divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Now take one ball and press into a flat disk using a rolling pin. ( about 6 inch-8 inch circle ) Place this disk onto a tissue paper and let it rest for about 10 minutes. You can make the disks together and place into tissues before hand.
 7. Now heat a shallow non-stick pan.
8. I made by pitas on the stove, because my oven was preoccupied, but you can bake it in the oven.  Just bake them at 350 degrees, on the lowest rack, until the bread puffs up.
9. To make them on the stove, place the disks on the heated pan, and when you see some bubbles on the upper surface, flip it over to the other side.
Within a minute or less, you will see the bread starts puffing up.
Once it puffs up, turn over with tongs or spatula and cook for about 30 seconds more.
10. The pita should be mostly pale, with only a few brown marks.
11. Transfer warm pita to a napkin lined basket, and cover so that it stays soft.The arranging : The final step for the delicious chicken shawarma, is to put all the goodness together.
Onto the pita bread, spread some garlic sauce or hummus, whatever your prefer. You can also add some lettuce and onions.
I spread over some coleslaw, because that’s how I like it. It tastes wonderful this way too. Give it a try, and let me know what you think about it! The recipe for coleslaw is on my blog too! Head to the Chicken Malai Tikka , that’s where you’ll find it!
So, back to the arranging, add some pickled turnip and/or pickled cucumber into it. I also added some cherry tomatoes into my shawarma sandwich, but you can do as many combinations as you like, as long as it tastes delicious, and roll up the pita bread.

¬†Alternatively, you can stuff the pita pockets too. Just cut the pita bread into half and you will get 2 beautiful pita pockets. Remember when the bread puffed up, yep, that’s when these pockets were made!

¬†Just cut the pita bread into half and you will get 2 beautiful pita pockets. Remember when the bread puffed up, yep, that’s when these pockets were made!

Just trust me, and give this recipe a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments below and share this recipe!

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