For those who have seen Shawerma sold in a restaurant or even a little joint have probably seen the impressive way it is cooked. You can hardly reproduce the same thing at your home, but you can get a nice taste from the version you make yourself.
It is a very simple thing to make actually, all you need to do is chop some onions, wash tomatoes and marinate the meat and voilà!
For those in Lebanon the spices for the marinade can be bought from any supermarket or even small store in your street. For the rest who do not have access to this, you can make a mix of the spices and keep them in a sealed container for ease of use. This is what I did, it makes it less tedious than to mix all each time.
I am not going to give a recipe Per-Se for this dish but I am going to point the steps leaving the amounts to your judgement.
What you need first is meat sliced in strips, it does not matter if beef or lamb (it is pretty versatile). You can buy this at the store or cut the meat yourself. The last time I made it, I used Carne Asada that I cut myself. It does not have to be extra lean because the fat that is already in the meat tenderizes it. And let us face it, originally Shawerma is made with a lot of fat that drips along that huge skewer!
Marinate the meat for at least an hour (better overnight) in about 2 to 3 Tbsp vinegar per 1 Kg (2,2 lbs) and the Shawerma spices. The mix can be made using salt, all spice, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, garlic and sage. You can use the ratios you want for this, but I tried to keep them more or less even. I recommend using powder spices for this mix.
Chop a small onion (medium by non American standards) in strips. When the meat is done marinating, pour the mixture in a baking dish adding the onion strips and 2 or 3 whole tomatoes.
Serve in Pita, Lebanese bread or even Kaakeh like I did in the pictures. I don’t know if it is possible to find these here in the US, but if you do the taste is worth it. Nothing says you can’t nibble at it with a fork either.
In some places Shawerma is served with Tzatziki, in Lebanon we serve it with Tarator (you can find the recipe here) and sometimes a sprinkle of chopped parsley.