Home Made Shawarma

I think a lot of people are familiar with Shawarma, the one we see in the shops who make these delicious sandwiches, where the meat is fixed into a large skew turning on itself electrically to let the meat cook from all sides. The smell of the added spices gives the meat its appetizing aroma. The only problem is they add a lot of fat to the meat to soften it.

Since my children like Shawarma a lot, and so do I, I learned how to make it at home from my mother years ago. Everytime I prepare it I remember my small son when was three years old, and whenever I used to ask him what he would like to have for dinner he would say”Chamara sandwich”, because at his age he couldn’t pronounce the letters properly. Until now to make a joke out of this story , we still name it chamara. So, enough talking and here is my recipe for a home made chamara, sorry I mean “Shawarma”.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of sirloin steak ( faux fillet)
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup of red vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of wole cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon of clove
            

Preparation:

  • In a saucepan heat the shortening and fry the steak until they turn into a nice brown color, and place them when fried on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of shortening
  • Cut the fried steak into fine strips, place them in a tray. Cover them with the oil, vinegar and lemon and put all the spices
  • Cover in aluminium oil and place the tray in the fridge for few hours
  • Preheat the oven to 220 C, place the tray and leave it for 30 minutes with the aluminium foil on, then remove it and leave the tray in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the meat is tender
  • Remove the Shawarma pieces from the tray without all the spices

Now the Shawarma meat is ready. To serve it, cut onions into wings and sprinkle sumac over them, slice tomatoes, wash few leaves of parsley and fresh mint, and some cucumber pickles.

The most important thing to have Shawarma with is the “taratour dip”, which is a mixture of one cup of tahini, and one clove of garlic crushed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and juice of one lemon, to be mixed all together with water until they have the consistency of yogurt.

You can have the Shawarma in pita bread as a sandwich with all the vegetables topped with the taratour dip..And roll it.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..:)

Vegetarian Potato Kibbe (Kibbet Batata)

There is a wide variety of Kibbe recipes in Lebanon, as I mentioned in a previous post Baked Kibbe. It can be made by mixing bulgur with meat, or with pumpkin and even with potato like the one I made today. The bulgur is always the main ingredient of all kinds of Kibbe, it should be fine and brown color. This recipe is vegetarian, which makes it suitable for Lent. The major ingredients are simple, based on bulgur, potato and onion, but it needs a lot to spices and flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of fine brown bulgur
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 small onion grated

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan with salted water, until they becomes tender
  • When the potatoes are cold peel then mash them
  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from the excess water
  • Mix the mashed potatoes with bulgur, the grated onion, the flour, salt and the spices; mix by hand very well until smooth
  • Cut the onion of the filling into fine strips and mix with all the spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease an oven pan with little of olive oil until you cover the bottom
  • With wet hands place a thin layer of the potato Kibbe mixture and flatten it
  • Place the filling of onion and cover it with another thin layer of potato Kibbe
  • Wet a knife and cut the Kibbe into a square or diamond pattern
  • Drizzle the remaining of the olive oil on the top
  • Bake for about 30 minutes in the oven, until the top becomes a nice golden color
  • Serve with a green salad for better taste

Nota Bene:

  • You can also shape the potato Kibbe in a small ball; stuff it with the onion and close the ball forming a flat circle. Fry it in a deep frying pan. It is also DELICIOUS.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..:)

Mashed Potato Baked with Chicory

This is another recipe that is Lent-friendly, as it contains chicory and no meats or fats. I got this recipe from a friend who grew up in a distant village in mountains of South Lebanon. During the 40-day fast, her mother would like to get creative and try to make something new in her cuisine to make the fast more playful. I took the recipe from her and tried it, and it turned out to be delicious!

If you enjoy the taste of chicory, take at a look at this recipe I posted a few days ago 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1/2 kg chicory
  • 2 onions chopped into long strips
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt, seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes in salted water, when they’re cooked mash them properly
  • Boil the chicory in another pot with salted water, drain them after
  • heat the olive oil and fry the strips of onion, then add the boiled chicory and season with salt, seven spices and sumac
  • preheat the oven to 200C
  • Grease an oven tray with cooking oil and place one layer of mashed potatoes
  • Cover the potatoes with the chicory/onion mixture
  • Place the remaining mashed potatoes over the chicory to cover it all
  • Sprinkle a bit of olive oil on the top, and place the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the top becomes slightly golden

Note: this dish is usually served warm, but I secretly enjoy it cold as leftovers at night. Try it and let me know if you do too 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.