Juicy, tender and well-seasoned meat is what Shawarma is all about. Eaten as a cheeky late-night snack or a light lunch, Shawarma has become one of the most popular foods in the world, and is similar to the famous ‘doner kebab’.
What is Shawarma?
Shawarma is marinated meat – lamb, beef, chicken, goat, turkey – that is slow roasted on a vertical spit for many hours. The meat is extremely moist and tender and is usually carved off in strips and placed inside flatbread with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles, and parsley. A sauce is usually drizzled on top, like garlic, yoghurt, hummus, chilli sauce or tzatziki!
History of Shawarma
Between 1299 and 1923, the Ottoman Empire began to notice the benefits of roasting meat vertically. Before this, they had been roasting meat horizontally and would often be disappointed as the delicious fat simply dripped into the fire, also causing the flames to rise and end up burning the meat. However, turned the other way, the fat would stay on the meat, making it moist and the flames were managed better, cooking the meat to perfection. It is believed that the Shawarma was properly created in 1870 in a Turkish town called Bursa, by a man named Iskender Efendi. Before World War 2, Shawarma was a well-kept secret throughout the middle east & the Mediterranean and didn’t hit the western world until after the war, when many Turkish people relocated to different countries around the world, such as Germany and America. Since then, the Shawarma has been re-created in various countries such as Greece and regions in Northern Africa.
How is Shawarma made?
While you can find some of the best Shawarma in your local takeaway store, you can also cook it yourself at home. There are a number of different ways to cook the meat, but it depends on which type of meat you are cooking. If you are making chicken shawarma, garlic powder, paprika, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon are added to a bowl and mixed together – this is the seasoning. Chicken strips are then placed in the mixture and tossed, before drizzling them with olive oil and placed on top of a hot grill. The chicken is cooked for around 8 minutes on each side, and when they are done, placed onto flatbread and wrapped, along with other typical shawarma condiments. If you are making lamb shawarma, the process takes a lot more time.
Where to find Shawarma in Singapore?
There are lots of restaurants and cafes in Singapore that serve juicy Shawarma. Check out This Is Eat, Original Sin and Kebab Station. They all serve shawarma at a moderate price and are rated highly on foodpanda.