The traditional way to roast meat for shawarma is on a revolving, vertical spit where joints of lamb, chicken, beef, veal and water buffalo are cooked slowly, often for up to a day. The meat is then thinly sliced and served topped with tahini before being served on a plate or wrapped in a soft flatbread. As not many of us have a revolving spit in our kitchens, pay-frying the meat – in this case chicken – is a more practical way to cook a shawarma at home.

Preparation: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)

Cooking: 4-6 minutes

Serves 4

2 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp oil, plus extra for frying
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
Juice of 1 lime

To serve

4 large flatbreads, warmed
Finely chopped red onion and green pepper
Lime wedges
6 tbsp tahini mixed with 2tbsp plain Greek yoghurt or 8tbsp hummus

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film and beat with a rolling pin until thin.

Mix together the spices with the oil, garlic and lime juice and spread over both sides of the chicken breasts. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for several hours or overnight.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the chicken breasts over a brisk heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from the pan and cut into slices.

To serve, top the warmed flatbreads with the chicken and chopped red onion and green pepper. Squeeze over the juice from the lime wedges and spoon the tahini and yoghurt or hummus on top. Roll up or fold over the flatbreads and serve.


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