I grew up eating Shawarma; In the Netherlands, where I was born and raised, there are lots of “fast food” restaurants that sell it and serve it with pita bread and mayo based garlic sauce. I have also tried to recreate it many times since it’s such an easy flavorful meal to make that is easily “ketofied” when you leave out the bread and add salad. Most recipes I tried have been great… but this one is one step above the rest. The marinade has a beautiful consistency and the added flavor of fresh lemon juice really elevates the flavor. My husband doesn’t like coriander so I left it out, but I will add it to the recipe in case you’re a coriander fan 🙂 I served it with “Toum“, a Lebanese garlic cream, and a side salad. My whole family liked it, and that includes the kids! (And they are picky eaters…) Note: this marinade is spicy!! If you are feeding kids or you are not a fan of spicy foods, don’t use the cayenne pepper.
Ingredients for the marinade:
This marinade is enough for 2 lbs chicken. You can use either chicken thighs or breast. Thighs have a higher fat content and fat equals flavor, so a lot of people like to use them, my family however prefers chicken breast.
- 3 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp ground coriander (if you don’t like coriander, just leave it out. No need to add an extra spice).
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (leave out it you don’t want your mix to be too spicy; I will leave it out next time when I make this for my kids).
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined and put in a ziplock bag with your chicken. Marinate for 1-8 hours and cook in your favorite medium the way you normally cook your chicken (we love charcoal grill!).
As mentioned before, I served the Shawarma with a side and Lebanese garlic cream (Toum). Enjoy!