|Main ingredients||Meat: lamb, chicken, turkey, beef
Sandwich: Shawarma meat, pita or wrap bread, chopped or shredded vegetables, pickles and assorted condiments
Shawarma or Shawurma (Arabic: شاورما / ALA-LC: shāwarmā;) is a Levantine Arab meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Although it can be served in shavings on a plate (generally with accompaniments), shawarma also refers to a sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. Shawarma is usually eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba. It is akin to the Turkish doner kebab and the Greek gyros.
Shawarma is made by alternately stacking additional flavoring. The meat is roasted slowly on all sides as the spit rotates in front of, or over, a flame for hours (see rotisserie). Traditionally, a wood fire was used; currently, a gas flame is common. While specialty restaurants might offer two or more meat selections, some establishments have just one skewer.
The word shawarma comes from the Turkish word çevirme which means to rotate. The dish is also known as Döner kebab in Turkey.
While cooking, the meat is shaved off the stack with a large knife, an electric knife or a small circular saw, dropping to a circular tray below to be retrieved. Shawarma is eaten as a fast food, made up into a sandwich wrap with pita bread or rolled up in an Azerbaijani lavash flatbread together with vegetables and dressing. A variety of vegetables come with the shawarma which include: cucumber, onion, tomato, lettuce, eggplant, parsley, pickled turnips, pickled gherkins, pickles, rhubarb and cabbage. This will optionally be accompanied by French fries in some countries, including: Jordan, Libya, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, India, and Saudi Arabia, also countries in Europe such as Belgium, Romania, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, and in Australia and Canada. Other options include thick cut French fries served inside the lavash to help soak up the sauce and juices, keeping them inside the wrap.
Dressings include: tahini (or tahina), amba sauce (pickled mango with chili), hummus, or flavored with vinegar and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Chicken shawarma is served with garlic mayonnaise, toumaia (garlic sauce), pomegranate concentrate, or skhug (a hot chili sauce). Once the shawarma is made, it might be dipped in the fat dripping from the skewer and then briefly seared against the flame.
In the Philippines, it is very common to find beef and chicken as options for shawarma. Most shawarma restaurants use a traditional bread called khubz which is round in shape; the sandwich usually includes toumaia, green pickles, and french fries, and may have optional hot sauce. The shawarma has a very rich flavour from the toumaia which marinates the meat.
In Israel, Shawarma is mainly made of turkey, although chicken, beef and lamb shawarma can also be found.
- Philip Mattar (2004). Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle Eastern (Hardcover ed.). Macmillan Library Reference. p. 840. ISBN 0028657713.
Shawarma is a popular Levantine Arab specialty.
- John A La Boone III (2006). Around the World of Food: Adventures in Culinary History (Paperback ed.). iUniverse, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 0595389686.
Shawarma - An Arab sandwich similar to the gyro.
- Aglaia Kremezi and Anissa Helou, "What's in a Dish's Name", "Food and Language", Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 2009, ISBN 190301879X
- Terrorism, the Origin and the Sources: An Anthology of Poetry Ambigrams and Political Oratories, p. 307.
- yalla-yalla.co.uk, Beirut street food in London
- mrfalafel.net, item descriptions
- Media related to Shawarma at Wikimedia Commons