How to make Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken Shawarma|How to make

What is Shawarma ?

Shawarma is a dish in Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal

How did Shawarma, get its name ?

Shawarma is believed to be the street food of the Middle East found in every Shouk corners,I’m told.It derives its musical sounding name from the Turkish word“Cevirme” which means to turn.

True to its name,Shawarma is an Arabic Pita bread, which holds layered meat which is cooked on a vertical spit with heat generated from the center cone which slowly rotates for a whole day.The professional Chef expertly runs a sharp knife in a rhythmic fashion up & down the spit shaving thin slices of meat which is then collected in the hot pita bread or wrap& tossed around with various crunchy veggies.It is generally accompanied by Tahini(sesame ) sauce or Hummus(spiced chickpea paste).

My experience with Middle Eastern food

The first time I heard “Shawarma”,I thought it was the long lost brother of the famous Indian artist Ravi Varma…..never realizing it was food.Venturing into new cuisnes, however adventurous, was not my cup of tea owing to my severe egg allergy. I often worried about not knowing the ingredients in a particular dish, so never tried new cuisines, I was not familiar with.

The first time, I was offered “baklava” by a colleague, I was surprised at how delicious it tasted. That was my first intro to Middle Eastern food, having never tasted it before. Slowly I ventured into finding out more about their food and their culture.I realize we use similar spices , both Indian & Middle Eastern food almost carry the same flavors & now I am a fan!

Chicken Shawarma, my style

Venturing into Middle Eastern cuisine, I have learnt to make Pita bread, so this evening, I stuffed the pita bread I made with grilled chicken, crunchy vegetables & had a hearty meal with my loved ones. For starters my Chicken shawarma was a hit at home!

Chicken Shawarma
Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

Recipe by Maya Shetty
Course: MainCuisine: Middle Eastern
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • For Pita bread:
  • 2 cups Self raising flour

  • Salt- to taste

  • 1 cup Water (as required)

  • 2 -4 tbsp Oil

  • To marinade For Chicken Filling :
  • 2 -3 Chicken breast piece

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1 medium Onions – sliced fine

  • 1/2 cup Yogurt

  • 2 tsp Pepper powder

  • 1 tspCumin powder

  • 1 tsp Garlic paste

  • Salt – to taste

  • 2 -3 tbsp Oil


  • For Pita bread:
  • Mix the self raising flour with salt & gently add water till it gets into the chappathi dough consistency.
  • Now transfer this mix into a vessel that contains the oil & gently wrap the dough with the oil, while turning it upside down
  • Now cover the mix gently with food wrap sheet or a cloth/kitchen towel & set it aside for 2-3 hours for the dough to raise.
  • Once the dough is raised & fluffy , knead it gently & then make equal size balls out of them.
  • Gently use you roller pin & make these pita breads( almost looks like our Indian paratha’s & then cook in an oven or over a skillet.
  • When it turns light brown, turn it to the other side & cook it the same way.

  • It remains soft for almost a day if you wrap them up in a small towel while they are still hot
  • Add the chicken filling, wrap it like a sandwich & enjoy the little power packed pockets of deliciousness.

  • For the Chicken filling:
  • Clean & cut chicken into thin strips or small pieces( since we do not have a rotating spit at home, this works too)
  • Marinade with all the ingredients mixed together for 2 hours & then either grill the chicken or cook it on flame.
  • Cut the crunchy vegetables like Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers lettuce  & set aside.
  • Now when the pita bread is ready gently coat it with Tahini ( sesame ) sauce which is available in stores, over the bread, spread the cooked chicken strips along with the crunchy sliced vegetables.Wrap them gently with wax paper & serve friends & family.It is very handy when you have little ones at home, makes for a good meal off the table .Enjoy the flavors of Arabic cuisine with their melodious music & shake away that fat with a little Arabic belly dancing!


  • Some prefer to slice through the pita bread making small pockets & then filling them up, the choice is yours, since the pita breads are rounder & fluffy ,it makes for a great meal for picnics & great outdoors.

Some of the links to my recipes using Chapatis and Indian flat breads are listed below for your interest.

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