Shawarma is a tasty snack that is popular on the streets of Nigeria. The meal is made with beef and chicken fillings. Years back, I bought Nigerian shawarma in eateries, thinking only professionals knew how to make the meal. But then, I decided to make this delicious meal at home, and after several trials and errors, I got it right.
I still buy shawarma from the streets from time to time. But, nowadays, I prefer to make mine because I can manipulate it however I want to make this tasty dish. You can do it too if you follow the recipes I’m about to reveal.
Before we start, note that beef and chicken are the most popular proteins to use for Nigerian shawarma. You can use one or both at the same time. It’s your choice. Also, most people don’t have a vertical rotisserie, the rotating stand that street vendors use to roast their chicken. Since we’re making shawarma at home, you can use your frying pan to prepare your proteins.
I will use chicken for this recipe because I found it makes shawarma tastier. You can use beef if you want and follow the same steps in preparation. That being said, let’s dig into the recipes.
Types of shawarma
Shawarma originated from the Middle East and has seen a surge in worldwide popularity after becoming one of the most popular and delicious street foods. There are different types of shawarma, such as chicken, lamb, mutton, beef, or even pork. The most crucial component of this dish is that it must be fatty so it can marinate perfectly with a special source.
The meats are usually cooked over an open fire in most restaurants or by street food vendors. This is why the dish is cooked for a long time, as the direct flame needs to be constantly turned so that the inside of the meat cooks slowly. However, technology has changed everything; you can cook with gas or even stir fry the meat at home. But the timing hasn’t changed as marinating the meat usually takes a long time, even up to 24 hours.
Types of shawarma marinades
The type of marinade determines the entire character of shawarma. This is what distinguishes one shawarma from the other. Here are different types of marinades:
- Shawarma poultry marinades: The most common marinades are vegetable oil, yogurt, and tomato paste for poultry. Lebanon and Turkey use this type of marinade a lot. In Syria, a mixture of garlic, seven spices, and buttermilk is used in place of yogurt, while harissa replaces tomato paste. Greece marinates chicken with yoghurt and replaces tomato paste with white vinegar. Israel uses tahini instead of yoghurt since it is religiously forbidden to use meat and dairy products together.
- Shawarma red meat marinades: Here, fresh mint, thyme, parsley, black pepper, white pepper, bay leaf, and nutmeg flavors are mixed into red meat, which could be beef or lamb. This marinade is common in Lebanon. In Syria, a famous seven-spice blend, garlic, and vegetable oil are used. Turkey rarely marinates red meat, preferring to cook the meat like that. In Egypt, red meat is marinated overnight in lemon juice, olive oil, and a mixture of spices such as garlic, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and black pepper.
Types of shawarma servings
Not all shawarmas are served in pita bread. Here are some unique versions of shawarma servings:
This type of shawarma serving comes with a thinly sliced doner kebab placed on a sliced, tomato sauce-flavoured pita and served with butter poured over it. No pita.
Donner is a popular Turkish dish, a type of shawarma that is served with rice and salad.
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This shawarma comes wrapped in pita but with fried potato chips, seared onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and other classic sandwich sauces that can be found in Europe.
Hot dog bun shawarma
Shawarma can also be served in hot dog buns. This type of shawarma is common in Saudi Arabia.
Tabbouleh and Fattoush shawarma
This is a classic Lebanese dish. The shawarma is served with tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled turnips, and the unique amba and hummus in a bowl instead of pita or bread.
Making Nigerian shawarma is actually simple. The best part is you don’t need sophisticated kitchen equipment to turn out that yummy snack. If you don’t have a grill, you can use your oven, gas, or stove. There are also varieties of servings you can try. Shawarma is a global dish and you should enjoy it with no reservations whatsoever.
How to make tasty Nigerian shawarma at home
Shawarma is a tasty snack that is popular on the streets of Nigeria. The meal is made with beef and chicken fillings. Years back, I bought shawarma in eateries, thinking only professionals knew how to make the meal. But then, I decided to make this delicious meal at home, and after several trials and errors, I got it right.
Cuisine: Middle East
Recipe Yield: 4
Preparation Time: PT0H20M
Cooking Time: PT0H10M
Total Time: PT0H30M
Recipe Video Name: How To Make Nigerian Beef Shawarma | Beef Shawarma at Home
- 1 kilo of deboned or boneless chicken breasts
- Four hot dogs
- 4+ shawarma bread (pita bread or tortilla wraps)
- One small cabbage
- Three medium-sized carrots
- One large cucumber
- One medium-sized onion
- Vegetable or olive oil
- One teaspoon thyme
- Two teaspoons curry
- One teaspoon of onion powder
- One large chicken seasoning cube
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt and chilli pepper
- One teaspoon of vegetable or olive oil
- Lemon Juice (optional)
- Foil paper
How to make shawarma:
- Wash and cut the vegetables.
- Slice the cabbage thinly and grate the carrot. Also, cut the cucumber. Mix the veggies and set them aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin strips and set it aside.
- Place the chicken strips into a bowl, add the thyme, curry, onion powder, seasoning cube, black pepper, salt, and chilli pepper, and mix thoroughly.
- Cover and place inside the fridge to marinate for at least an hour. Some people prefer to leave for 24 hours because the more the chicken is left to marinate, the tastier the dish. However, I don’t wait more than two to three hours.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan, add the marinated chicken, and stir fry until golden brown. Then set it aside and leave it to rest.
- Heat the hot dogs in a pan.
- Once the chicken has cooled a bit, shred it into pieces.
- Separate the shawarma bread on foil paper on a clean, flat surface. You can double the bread if you like.
- Mix ketchup and mayonnaise and spread on the bread.
- Add the vegetables to the bread.
- Place the hot dog and chicken on the veggies.
- Gently roll the wrap.
- Repeat the process until all the ingredients have been used up.
- Place the wrap in the oven or a dry frying pan and let it heat up for 5 minutes. Serve hot with any drink of your choice.