Shawarma is a Levantine Arab dish prepared with spit grilled meat cut into thin slices served on flat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream and hummus
Shawarma is a sandwich wrap of Middle Eastern origin, usually made out of spit roast shaved meat of beef, lamb, goat, chicken and turkey mixed with tabouli salad and/or fattoush salad, tomatoes and cucumber This is the Middle Eastern counterpart to the ever famous American Burger where its a staple fast-food item not just in those countries but as well as in Europe. Shawarma might look similar to other dishes such as the Greek “gyros“, Armenian “Tarna” or the Turkish “doner kebab“, don’t be puzzled as they are all the same just named in their local languages in which all of it means either “to turn”, “turning” or turned”, just like the meat used in Shawarma is prepared.
The traditional way of preparing this is by placing strips of meat on a standing stick then onions and tomatoes are placed on top of the stack for flavouring. The meat is then slowly roasted on all sides like a vertical rotisserie. Once the top layer is cooked the meat is shaved off and used for the bread, and the cooking continues.
This dish became really popular in the Philippines late 1980’s, every small entrepreneur wants to own a shawarma shop, that’s why you can see a lot of stalls of shawarma during those times and even now you see remnants of those shops. But like the usual craze Pearl Drinks, Billiard Halls, Comedy Bars and Frozen yoghurt it had a short life span and eventually went out of fad late 1990’s. So to relive that moment where I usually queue up hours and hours just for a piece of a wonderful Middle Eastern cuisine I had made this simple recipe which is more suitable for home cooking as I will just use a normal roast beef.
Preheat oven at 190C, rest the beef rump in room temperature for an hour before cooking.
Rub around 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper on the roast. Place it on an oven rack with the fatty side up then place quartered tomatoes and onions on the top of the roast.
Now roast for 30 minutes at 190C then lower the heat to 100C and cook for 3 hours.
Carve the roast into flakes. Then set aside.
Now to prepare each flat bread by heating it up in a non stick pan. Remove from pan then spread 2 spoonfuls of hummus, 1 spoonful of sour cream, and chilli sauce according to your liking in the middle of the bread.
Add 3 spoonfuls of the carved meat, then a handful of chopped lettuce, 2 spoonful of chopped tomatoes and 1 spoonful of chopped onions.