Lebanese Lunch Today

Here in Las Palmas, we have this great little Lebanese restaurant, called “Monte Líbano” that Alvaro and I just love to go to…One of our favorite things to order is the shawarma, which I’ve tried to recreate here…..but I think it still needs some work.  The restaurant’s version is sweeter…I don’t know if it’s the amount of onions, or if it’s something else that is added, but consider this one a work in progress.  The pics turned out purty though, so I’ll post anyway. lol  (update: Alvaro said it was great the way it was…I still say that it needs more onion and less lemon ;) I have since made this a few more times…adding a bit of allspice and cinnamon gives it the sweetness I was looking for.) The hummus and lebne are regular features at our house…any sort of Middle Eastern cuisine is generally welcome at our table.  So here you have it; Chicken Shawarma, Hummus and Mixed Lebne. The hummus is both vegetarian and vegan, the lebne is vegetarian. (**warning: photo overload post***)

The Chicken Shawarma:

chicken shawarma

Ingredients:

1 pound (400 grams) chicken, sliced into very thin strips
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 small lemon (about1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons minced red onion
salt and pepper to taste
sumac to taste
allspice to taste
cinnamon to taste
Shredded lettuce, minced red onion and diced tomato (for salad bed for chicken)
flatbread of choice for wrapping (in this instance I just used flour tortillas, but naan or pitas work great too–for Gluten Free, either omit the flatbread, or choose a Gluten free substitute)
***Note…for gluten free, be sure that your spices are certified as gluten free…many spice companies add wheat based fillers to their spices.

Preparation:

Whisk together garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, curry, onion, and seasonings in a bowl.
Add chicken and toss to coat with marinade.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or even better, overnight.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
If you want, add some oil for sauteeing,  but it’s not really necessary if your pan is nonstick.
Sautee quickly, tossing and stirring until nicely browned and cooked through.
Serve over a bed of shredded lettuce, red onion and diced tomato, or rolled up in flatbread with hummus and the aforementioned salad ingredients.

shawarma

The Hummus (Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan):

hummus

Ingredients: 

1 jar garbanzo beans (16 oz, 800 grams), mostly drained
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Preparation:

Using a food processor, mince garlic first, then add garbanzos and process until semi-smooth.
Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and continue to process until creamy.
*If mixture still seems a bit thick, add a tablespoon or two of water to help it along.

The Mixed Lebne (Gluten Free, Vegetarian):

lebne

Ingredients:

10 oz (225 grams) plain yogurt (this time I used fat free, and it worked just fine), drained overnight, over a sieve lined with paper towels or a tea towl placed atop a bowl to collect the liquid.
1/3 cup finely chopped cucumber, also drained well
5-10 mint leaves, minced
garlic powder to taste
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

6 Responses to “Lebanese Lunch Today”

  1. Hi Nikki,

    I too am trying to recreate Shawarma, but I think the reason yours is not as sweet as the one from the restaurant is that the typical Shawarma spice mix always includes sweet spices like allspice, cinnamon and cloves and I have never seen some spices that are typically used in a curry like turmeric or fenugreek used for Shawarma.


  2. OOPS, I just re-read your recipe and you are using cinnamon and allspice. Maybe you are not using enough of it? Every Shawarma spice mix I buy from the Mediterranean markets where I live has allspice and cinnamon as the main ingredients.


  3. Hi Silvia! Thanks for stopping by, and for the good advice! :) The first time I made them, I hadn’t added the cinnamon and allspice, since then I’ve been adding them, and that was exactly what was missing! I should probably edit the intro… The restaurant we go to does use a bit of curry, I’m hoping to get photos the next time we go. ;)


  4. I had shawarma for the first time two nights ago. The meat was lamb (looooove lamb!), and I stuffed pita bread with the meat, rice, cabbage (white & red), veggies, and hummus. It was so delicious! My fiancé and I decided it was definitely something we wanted to add to our personal recipe collection. Yours looks fairly simple.

    For the lebne, why do you drain the yogurt?


  5. nikki again its really amazing


  6. A new spherical regarding applause for your blog site write-up.Really awaiting find out more. Great.


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