Whenever I go to the Stellenbosch Slowmarket, I order a lamb shawarma for lunch. The guys at this stall make seriously awesome shawarmas, dripping with juicy marinated meat and tahini, their pitas stuffed with cucumber and red onion.
I don’t have a fabulous upright skewered shawarma grill at home – none of us do. So this is my take on an easier and quicker version, where you can marinate your lamb and give it a quick braai over hot coals. Use lamb steaks, or just cut the bone from your favourite lamb chops. The marinade is also great for a deboned leg of lamb.
Note: If you don’t have time to marinate your meat, just generously baste it with the marinade while braaing.
For the Middle-Eastern inspired shawarma marinade:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled & finely grated
- 10 ml smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 5 ml ground cumin
- 5 ml ground cinnamon
- 5 ml ground fennel / barishap
- 2,5 ml ground nutmeg
- 5 ml ground sumac (optional)
- 5 ml salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
Mix it all together (use a glass jar and shake it up!). Leave your meat to marinade in the sauce, covered, in the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. Then remove from the fridge and braai until cooked to your desired liking.
To serve: (adjust quantities according to your needs)
- marinated braaied lamb steaks (1 per person)
- pita bread (1-2 per person)
- sliced cucumber
- sliced tomato (optional)
- chopped mint leaves
- sliced red onion
- toasted pine nuts
- Greek yoghurt
- tahini (sesame paste)
- lemon wedges (optional)
Cut meat into thin strips and serve in warm pita breads, stuffed with cucumber, chopped mint leaves, finely sliced red onion, pine nuts and creamy Greek yoghurt. Drizzle with tahini and a squirt of lemon juice.
Recipe, food preparation, food styling & text: Ilse van der Merwe
Photography, food styling & prop styling: Tasha Seccombe
This post has also been featured on The Pretty Blog.