shawarma, GHARSI KHOROVATS
GYROS, doner kebap
This is how we make a kitchen-friendly version of Middle Eastern beef shawarma (شاورما اللحم البيتي) at home. When cooking shawarma/shawerma in commercial restaurant kitchens, as it is with Greek gyros (γύρος) or döner kebap, slabs of marbled seasoned beef, chicken, pork or lamb are packed down and stacked on a vertical spit rotisserie. As the meat slowly rotates the outer layers are grilled to perfection, leaving the inside layers frozen to be cooked throughout the day.
In Armenia shawarma (շաուրմա) is called Gharsi khorovats/khorovadz (Ղարսի խորոված) and is served rolled up in lavash bread.
Sliced/shaved meat needs to sit in marinade for at least 24 hours for flavors to develop.
tahini sauce, TARATOR
Shawarma can be stacked on flour tortillas, scooped into pita bread pockets or rolled in lavash bread.
BEEF SHAWARMA AT HOME | TRI-TIP ROAST TACOS WITH TAHINI DRESSING
2-to-2 1/4 lbs trimmed tri-tip roast, sliced into thin strips
1 medium-large onion, sliced
2-to-3 tablespoons suet (raw hard fat), minced, optional
3-to-4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2-to-2 tablespoons ground Arabic seven spices mix
1/2-to-3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
2-to-3 mastic gum pieces, pounded
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon each lemon zest, mandarin zest and orange zest
for tahini dressing, tarator:
1/2 cup tahini
1/3-to-1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
2-to-4 cloves garlic, crushed
3+ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
3/4-to-1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, optional (can omit and use as garnish instead)
mini corn tortillas, pita bread pockets or any flatbread like lavash
shredded lettuce, diced tomato, sliced radish, minced onion, fresh mint and parsley leaves
pepperoncini, pickled turnips (turshi leffet), pickled cabbage and green beans
french fries or oven-baked fries, hummus, tabbouleh
Combine marinade ingredients in a large plastic bag. Add beef strips and toss to evenly coat in marinade. Add onions and mix once more. Refrigerate for 24 hours, tossing the bag around every so often.
* Arabic seven spices mix can be bought packaged from Middle Eastern grocers. If you can’t find it, blend your own. It varies from household to household, but it is roughly a mixture of the following: 2 tablespoons allspice + 1 tablespoon coriander + 1 teaspoon cumin + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon cloves + 1/8 teaspoon cardamom.
Prepare tahini dressing. Process all ingredients to a smooth paste and adjust seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare shawarma. Add suet, if using, into a deep/wide casserole and heat on medium-low until rendered; discard fat pieces once crispy (you can omit this step and use a mixture of oil and butter instead). Stir-fry beef on medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and meat just starts to sizzle and brown. Serve immediately.
* Shawarma can also be topped with tomatoes and baked uncovered in a 375F oven, stirring occasionally, until tender; or, baked covered in a 400F oven until thoroughly cooked, juices drained, and baked uncovered for an additional 20 minutes until browned.
To serve, layer on top of grilled corn tortillas or scoop into mini pita bread pockets. Garnish with vegetables, pickles and a dollop of tahini dressing. Serve with a side of French fries, hummus and tabbouleh.