I’ve always believed that a blog is for personal use; for venting. But, when it comes to a food blog, the idea is to share with people experiences in the kitchen and food. For me, food, being a passion in every sense of the word – to taste, to eat, to cook, to talk about and even write about – a lot of heart warmth (if that be a word) comes from the feedback of my readers. And, while every time I put up a new post it gives me immense delight to see the number of views on my blog, I get as much pleasure from the comments, feedback and even queries that I receive. So, guys, just to acknowledge and show my appreciation for your views and comments, keep them coming and feel free to keep asking as much as you want.
Now, moving on to my post of the day. I dared to make the much adored shawarma last week. The shawarma is a middle-eastern roll of lamb/beef/chicken that can be eaten on the go. The meat comes wrapped in pita bread (called khubz in Arabic) with a very delicious garlic sauce, French fries and pickled veggies. Those who haven’t tried it, it’s a must have!
I was inspired by my friend Nafisa to make the shawarma from scratch and hunted around for the perfect recipes. And, I made it for the in-law family last week along with another comfort dish that I’ll post about later. Here’s how the shawarma turned out…
Disclaimer: We were serving it to the family then and there, so the photo has been taken on a plate through the iPhone. Certainly doesn’t make it look less yummy!
Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma
An easy recipe for homemade shawarmas...
Cut the chicken into small, medium-sized pieces to help them cook quickly and all over.
Then, grind together the garlic, cinnamon, star anise and cloves and rub into the chicken.
Finally, add the rest of the ingredients for the marinade. Keep this aside for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
Once you are ready to cook the chicken, take out the pieces and fry them in 1 tbsp of oil for around 2 minutes till slightly brown and then pop into the oven for around 15 odd minutes at 180 degrees C, ensuring that they are turned over once or twice, till perfectly cooked.
For the garlic sauce, boil the potato with 2 garlic cloves.
Peel and then add the potato and garlic, the remaining raw garlic cloves, and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and blend till smooth.
Finally, for the picked vegetables, boil some water with the salt and sugar.
Once its boiled and slightly reduced, add the vinegar and let the mixture cool. (The idea is to ensure that the solvent is a perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour.)
Add the vegetables along with the chillies and put into an airtight container till you need it. (Although it is advisable to pickle it for at least a week, I just kept it for a few hours before serving, and they were just right.)
The shawarma, like I mentioned earlier, is a roll. So, you need the pita bread, which I just bought from the store -- it's the easiest thing to do! Heat the bread, lather with garlic sauce and then the pickled vegetables. Cut the cooked chicken into fine, thin slices and add to the bread and sauce. Roll up and serve warm.
You could also add french fries, pickled cabbage to the roll, and use hummus as a dipping sauce. I made hummus with this shawarma, and it went very well.