You may or may not know this but I am Israeli. I was born and raised in New York but both my parents are from Israel. If you’ve been to Israel you know they have some of the best shawarma! It’s so good! I made up this spice mixture so that I can have a taste of Israel at home. You can definitely buy shawarma mix nowadays but most likely you have these spices in your cabinet anyway so you can save a few bucks plus, its super simple! If you are vegan or vegetarian, try slabs or sticks of firm tofu, I bet that would work great. If you try it let me know! I know for a fact this recipe works really well with any kind of chicken and ground meat! If you are going the ground meat route make them into patties or kebabs. I recommend adding one minced shallot and some fresh chopped cilantro (if you like cilantro, I LOVE it) to the meat mixture as well.
(makes enough spice mix for 1 pound of meat)
- 1/2 tsp of each of the following spices: cumin, coriander, dried parsley, sesame seeds, garlic powder, paprika (smoked or hot variety), onion powder, mustard powder, turmeric, salt & pepper.
- 1 tsp fresh minced garlic (optional, but GREAT for extra flavor esp if using ground meat)
- 1 tablespoon of olive or avocado oil (NOTE: If using ground meat, use the oil for greasing the pan and do not put it in the spiced meat mixture. You can also use oil spray.)
- 1 pound of whatever meat (ground chicken/turkey/lamb/veal/beef or boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs) OR tofu (see intro and notes below for tofu pointers)
- grill pan or cast iron pan
- Place all spices in a medium bowl and mix with a fork to combine.
- Add the oil and fresh garlic, if using, to the spice mixture and mix with a fork to combine again. If using ground meat, only add in garlic and reserve the oil for greasing the pan.
- Place your choice of meat in the bowl and massage spice mixture into the meat. If using tofu, brush the spice oil mixture onto both sides of the tofu so they don’t fall apart.
- Heat up your cast iron or grill pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Place meat on the pan and cook accordingly. If you chose to try tofu, I’d recommend baking the tofu on parchment paper in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes on each side, until crispy. You can also pan fry the tofu.
- Serve shawarma over a simple romaine lettuce salad with a drizzle of tahini dressing (recipe below) or eat it as part of a larger main dish alongside veggies and rice or whatever you fancy!
Simple Tahini Dressing
Combine tahini, lemon juice, warm water, salt and pepper. This recipe is all done to taste. Start with a few tablespoons of tahini and a 1/2 of a lemon (juiced) and feel it out. Add water to thin it out and then add the salt and pepper to your liking. Drizzle over the shawarma. If you want to get super fancy, add a handful of fresh parsley, handful of cilantro and 1-2 garlic cloves to a mini food processor with the other ingredients for a Green Tahini Dressing.