I am lucky to live in an area that is filled with a very diverse assortment of restaurants. There's Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Polish ~ you name it, just about every type of cuisine one could want is readily available. I especially love Middle Eastern food, so we eat it as often as possible. Recently, I was inspired to re-create a favorite dish at home.
The Chicken Shwarma I'm used to getting is thinly sliced, deliciously seasoned, and usually wrapped in pita with pickles and the most heavenly garlic sauce I've ever had in my life. I was so delighted when I found "Chicken Shwarma Seasoning" at my local spice store. So, for the dish that is pictured, I cheated by simply marinating some chicken breasts in the seasoning along with white vinegar, olive oil and water. I would imagine the seasoning contains spices like cardamom and allspice. I'm still searching for an authentic Chicken Shwarma recipe, so if you have one, please share!
I will happily share the recipe used to make the Garlic Tahini, which is the sauce that puts this dish over the top. Tahini is a sauce or paste that is made from ground sesame seeds. It is a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes. You should be able to find this in a speciality food store or even the ethnic food aisle of your grocery store.
5 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
1/3 c. tahini
1/3 c. lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
In a blender, puree the garlic with the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt and pepper until smooth. If the sauce appears thick, add water. Scrape the sauce into a bowl and serve. Can be refrigerated for one week. Bring to room temperature and stir before serving.
This recipe will result in a sauce that is a bit runny (compared to what I am used to, at least). Plain yogurt can be used in place of the EVOO and water, if desired. You really can't go wrong with it!
Serve the chicken and sauce on pita bread with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers or pickles ~ whichever you prefer!