Updated: Mar 16
Indulge in the flavours of the Middle East with my mouth-watering Chicken Shawarma served with the soft and fluffy Laffa Flatbread. To elevate the taste even more, I've included a recipe for a authentic Lebanese Spice Blend. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this delectable experience! Give it a try today!
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What is Shawarma?
Shawarma, a Middle Eastern dish consisting of meat roasted on a spit and shaved off to make a sandwich or wrap, has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The dish was first mentioned in the 10th century in a Turkish cookbook, where it was referred to as “Doner Kebab.” It is believed that the dish originated in the Ottoman Empire and was brought to the Middle East by Turkish soldiers.
Over the centuries, Shawarma has become a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, and it has spread to other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. The dish is made using various meats, including beef, chicken, lamb, and even turkey, and it is usually served with vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, along with sauces such as tahini, garlic, or hummus.
One of the most popular varieties of Shawarma is the chicken shawarma, which is made using marinated chicken that is roasted on a spit and served with a mixture of vegetables and sauces. Another popular variety is the beef shawarma, which is made using thin slices of marinated beef that are roasted on a spit and served with a mixture of vegetables and sauces.
Lamb shawarma is another popular variety, and it is made using marinated lamb that is roasted on a spit and served with a mixture of vegetables and sauces. This variety of Shawarma is often served in a pita bread and is a popular street food in many Middle Eastern countries.
There are also vegetarian versions of Shawarma, such as the falafel shawarma, which is made using falafel balls that are roasted on a spit and served with a mixture of vegetables and sauces. This variety is a popular alternative to meat-based Shawarma and is often served in a pita bread.
Shawarma is a delicious and versatile dish with a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Whether you prefer chicken, beef, lamb, or a vegetarian version, Shawarma is a dish that is sure to please. So why not try making Shawarma at home? Here is a simple recipe for chicken Shawarma that you can easily prepare in your own kitchen.
What is Laffa Flatbread?
Laffa flatbread, a soft and chewy flatbread that originated in the Middle East, has a rich history and a variety of different forms. Laffa is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and is often served with a variety of dishes, including stews, salads, and grilled meats.
The origins of Laffa bread are unclear, but it is believed to have been first made by nomadic Bedouins in the Middle East. The bread was easy to make and could be stored for long periods, making it a convenient and essential food for nomadic communities.
Over time, Laffa bread spread throughout the Middle East and beyond, and it became a staple in many different cuisines. Today, Laffa is a popular bread in countries such as Israel, Iraq, and Syria, and it is enjoyed by people of all ages.
There are several different varieties of Laffa bread, each with its own unique flavour and texture. One of the most popular varieties is traditional Laffa bread, which is made using flour, water, yeast, and salt. This bread is typically large and thin, and it is soft and chewy with a slightly tangy flavour.
Another popular variety of Laffa bread is Kurdish Laffa, which is made using a combination of flour and yogurt. This bread is thicker and softer than traditional Laffa bread, and it has a slightly sour taste. Kurdish Laffa is often served with stews and grilled meats.
There is also a variety of Laffa bread called Jibneh Laffa, which is filled with cheese and is popular in Israel. This bread is typically rolled into a cylinder shape and is served warm.
Laffa flatbread is a versatile and delicious bread with a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Whether you prefer traditional Laffa, Kurdish Laffa, or Jibneh Laffa, this bread is sure to satisfy your taste buds. So why not try making Laffa bread at home?
Ingredients for the Lebanese Spice Blend
(Enough to make this recipe twice)
1tbsp ground coriander
1tsp black pepper
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp of ground fenugreek seeds
1/4tsp ground allspice berry
1/4tsp ground cloves
1/4tsp ground cardamom seeds
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Ingredients for the Laffa Flatbread
(Makes 6 medium ones)
360g (12.7oz) of sieved plain flour plus extra for dusting
240g (8.5oz) lukewarm water
10g (0.35oz) of salt
1tsp of sugar
1tbsp of instant yeast
1tbsp of olive oil
Ingredients for the Chicken Shawarma
650g (1.4 pounds) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
juice of half a lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1tsp of minced ginger
1tbsp of refined olive oil
half of the Lebanese spice blend
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
Cucumber, cut in half and sliced
Pickled element of the salad (Lacto fermented cucumbers or red sauerkraut)
Toum (Lebanese garlic sauce made of yoghurt, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice)
How to prepare Laffa Flatbread
1. In a bowl, combine 240g (8.5oz) of lukewarm water with 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of instant yeast. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 360g (12.7oz) of sieved plain flour, 10g (0.35oz) of salt, and 1 tbsp of olive oil with the yeast mixture. Knead the mixture for 5-8 minutes using either your hands or an electric stand mixer. Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a warm and greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it proof for one hour or until it has doubled in size. (In the winter months, you can warm the metal bowl with hot water to speed up the proofing process).
3. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and shape each part into a ball. Place the balls on a floured surface, dust them with flour, and let them proof for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Roll each ball of dough into a thin circle that fits onto your frying or griddle pan. If you have a grill available, you can also cook the flatbreads outside.
5. Bake the flatbreads on a medium-high heated frying or griddle pan for a couple of minutes on each side.
How to prepare Chicken Shawarma
1. Prepare the chicken thighs by removing the skin and bones and cutting each thigh into halves. Then, marinate the meat in a bowl with half the amount of the Lebanese spice blend, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, 3 minced garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.
2. Skewer the marinated meat onto two metal skewers and place it inside a roasting dish. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven at a temperature of 200C (392F) on the grill setting for 20 minutes, then turn the skewers over and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. If the weather permits, you can also grill the skewers in your garden.
3. Once the meat is fully grilled on both sides, remove it from the oven, take it off the skewers, and shred it with a knife.
4. Build your Shawarma by topping the flatbread with the meat juices, salad, shredded meat, and sauces, wrap it up, and enjoy. For a more authentic street food experience, wrap it in paper and tin foil.
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Check out my other Recipes:
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Chicken Gyros Kebab - treat your taste buds to a delicious and satisfying Mediterranean experience with our juicy and flavourful Chicken Gyros Kebab, made with tender marinated chicken, fresh veggies and herbs wrapped in a soft pita bread.
Baba Ghanoush Dip - A smoky eggplant dip that's similar to hummus but made with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. It's a great alternative if you're looking for something different but still within the same flavour profile.
Tabbouleh Salad - A fresh and flavourful salad made with parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat. It's a refreshing side dish that pairs well with the flavours of chicken shawarma.