With chicken, lamb or beef, the Shawarma is a sandwich served in pita bread, a typical Lebanese dish but of Turkish origin that you will certainly love.
Originating from the Turkish word, the name Shawarma means “it turns” or “it rotates”. It is said that this dish takes its name from the way the meat is prepared. First, the meats are salted and marinated in a spicy red wine vinegar. Then, they are arranged in thin slices on a rotating spit where they are grilled. To be served, they are cut little by little, accompanied by an assortment of raw vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes, salads, etc. As an assortment, we serve taratour or Tahine sauce with the Shawarma. This sauce is essentially prepared with sesame seeds, lemons and garlic.
Originally, the Shawarma was dedicated to the less well-off classes of the local population. But thanks to its freshness and great ease of preparation, this sandwich is now one of the most popular summer dishes for locals and foreigners who travel to Lebanon.
For those who want to prepare a traditional Shawarma, the Lebanese way, you need a vertical spit (but you can also use the oven spit).
Lamb meat is preferred in this culinary preparation. But you can also use beef or chicken. The ideal is to buy pre-prepared meat that you just need to reheat. But if you really want to prepare 500 g of meat on your own, first cut it into strips, before marinating it in a mixture of wine vinegar and olive oil (2 volumes of vinegar for 1 part oil) and season to taste (salt, pepper, cinnamon or paprika). Then heat the meat until it is well grilled.
Then it's time to prepare the raw vegetables. Dice 2 cucumbers, 2 onions and 1 beefsteak tomato. Then cut the lettuce leaves and a bunch of parsley into thin strips. Mix everything and add (if necessary and according to your tastes) a small amount of semmeh.
Taratour sauce is a classic in Lebanese cuisine. It voluntarily accompanies fish and also Shawarma. To prepare it, you need either sesame cream, or tahini. Add a clove of crushed garlic and mix everything with lemon juice. Moderate the taste of your sauce by gradually adding water.
To finish, take pita bread and open it on one edge. First place the meat, then the raw vegetables, well mixed and pour over all the sauce. Close your sandwich and enjoy while it's still fresh!