Shawarma with a twist!
Mr. H and I are such Shawarma snobs! You can't blame us though, most locals like their shawarma full of ketchup, chili, mayo and enough cabbage to feed 100 bunnies. We tend to prefer the more traditional flavour with acidic ingredients like pickles and fresh tomatoes in a garlic tahini sauce. Although once in a while, we do give in to the chicken mayo swirl of Chicken Capitol.
On this very day, we had no pita bread. So I decided to go another way. Shawarma beef sautéed in tahini sauce and served with a fragrant steamed basmati rice.
It's a very filling meal that gave us the rich middle eastern flavour of beef and tahini while the rice made it a fully satisfying meal cos we were both sooooo hungry! It went down excellently with the rice and also, thickly sliced cucumbers as a dip.
This recipe might look complex because of the long ingredients list, but it really isn't. It's quite straightforward.
For the beef shawarma
300g lean beef
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 medium onions (sliced)
2 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 stock cubes
2 tablespoons cooking margarine
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons middle eastern spice blend or
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp clove powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp star anise powder
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
For the Tahini Sauce
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon middle eastern spice blend (or as above)
2 generous tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
2 limes squeezed
One handful parsley (chopped)
Salt to taste
For the fragrant rice
2 cups of basmati rice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 inches cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Here's what I did
Wash your basmati rice until the water runs clear then soak for at least 30 minutes
Drain the basmati and transfer to a rice cooker or pot. Add the salt, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and anise. Add enough water and cook according to your rice specification. Keep warm.
Slice the beef thinly into strips
Combine all the ingredients for the beef shawarma except the margarine and onions in a bowl and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
On medium heat, place the pan with the margarine in it.
When hot, add onions and stir until the onions have wilted but not burnt. (5 - 10 minutes)
Add the beef and stir. Turn the heat down and cover pan
Stir every 2 minutes to prevent charring.
If necessary, add water one tablespoon at a time so it doesn't dry out.
Mix all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a separate bowl. When beef is tender, add the sauce to the pan and stir.
Cook for 10 minutes or when sauce is browned.
Serve! That's it!