How To Make Shawarma: The Most Complete Guide

Shawarma comes from the Levantine cuisine, but these days it’s so popular in Nigeria that millions of Nigerian home cooks want to know how to make shawarma. The greatest thing about shawarma is that you can customize it any way you want. Find out how to make homemade shawarma right now!

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1. What is shawarma?

There is no way you haven’t tried or at least heard about shawarma, but if you need to refresh your memory before we move on to the shawarma recipe, let us remind you what it really is. The star of the dish is the grilled protein – usually you will come across chicken shawarma, but beef or fish are also popular choices.

Originally, the meat is cooked on a vertical grill and then sliced off the big chunk until everyone is full. However, for homemade shawarma you can go the easier way and cook the meat on a pan or in the oven.

The rest of shawarma ingredients are a wrap, sauce, and filling. The filling is usually vegetables – for the Nigerian shawarma recipe you can use bell peppers, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, or any other of your favourite veggies.

2. How to make shawarma meat

The first step in learning how to make Nigerian shawarma is preparing the meat – for an especially memorable flavour you can marinade the meat 24 hours in advance. Take several chicken breasts and thighs and cut them into strips. Wondering how to make beef shawarma? Simply repeat this step with beef!

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Now take the spices and rub them into the meat, leaving it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Here are the spices you need:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Curry
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Thyme
  • Stock cube
  • Lemon juice + water

After the meat has marinated, heat up some vegetable oil in a large pan on high heat and quickly brown the meat. The key thing here is to not dry the meat out. Set the meat aside.

You can achieve an even better result with a shawarma machine. It’s especially useful if you’re cooking for the whole crowd. Plus, the flavour of the meat from a shawarma machine simply can’t be compared to pan-fried meat.

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2. How to make shawarma bread

Knowing how to make shawarma wrap is the way your shawarma filling stays in place and tastes great. The most common type of shawarma wrap is actually pita bread. Where to buy shawarma bread? You can buy it from professional bakeries or make your own! Check out this video to find out how to prepare shawarma bread.

Soft home made shawarma bread/pita bread

home made chicken shawarma recipe:

3. How to make shawarma sauce

If you’ve ever bought shawarma from a street food vendor, you probably remember the flavourful and delicious sauce. Making the sauce is the essential part of learning how to make shawarma at home, and the good news is that it’s super easy.

You only need to ingredients for the basic sauce recipe – ketchup and mayonnaise in equal proportions. To make the sauce creamier, you can add a tablespoon of salad cream, but that’s totally optional and your sauce will taste great with or without it!

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4. How to make shawarma filling

Now that you know how to make meat, bread, and sauce for your shawarma, let’s prepare the rest of the filling! Simply take the vegetables you want to use and cut them into thin strips. You can use all vegetables listed earlier or use just a couple – for example, cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

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5. How to assemble shawarma

The final step in learning how to make shawarma in Nigeria is assembling the dish. Take the pita bread and spread your diced vegetables along the central line. Add the meat and pour over the sauce.

Gently wrap the shawarma and wrap it again in foil paper. Use a shawarma toaster, regular toaster, or oven to heat the shawarma and grill the bread. If necessary, slice in half and serve immediately. That’s it, your own delicious shawarma is done!

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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 4-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!