Lamb shawarma

    12 hours 40 min

    Try this Levantine favourite in your own kitchen with this easy recipe for shawarma. Lamb shoulder is marinated in an aromatic yoghurt mixture, then pan fried. Serve in pitta with lettuce, tahini sauce and pickles, or scatter over a platter of houmous to enjoy scooped up with lavash.

    54 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 100g natural yoghurt
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 small onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground mace
    • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 2.25kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into thin strips

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:12hr marinating  ›  Ready in:12hr40min 

    1. Place the yoghurt, water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, onion and garlic into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, clove, mace and cayenne pepper until evenly blended. Mix in the lamb strips to coat. Cover the bowl with cling film, and marinate in the fridge 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
    2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the lamb strips in a single layer in batches until the fat melts and the meat has browned and is no longer pink in the centre, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

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    Reviews in English (44)


    I was hesitant to make this recipe cause it wasnt reveiwed by anyone yet and i never cooked lamb before but i was so glad i tried it. It was soooo good. I had to make the marinade twice cause the first time i made it, it was way to hot and i actually like to eat hot things. So the second time i made it i reduced the cayanne pepper to 1/8tsp and it was perfect. I also tried the lamb 12hrs in the marinade and then 24 and definately the 24hrs was best.  -  03 Aug 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Made the full recipe for the sauce with the addition of 1/4tsp. allspice. However only used 1lb of Dall Sheep (game meat) cut into bite sized pieces. It was lovely. The yogurt, like buttermilk, tenderized the meat, seasoning imparted great flavor. It was not overpowering like some spice blends. Made it into gyro-like sandwiches, but would be great in couscous, chopped salads, or as Kebabs! Other reviewers have noted to cut back on cayenne if you aren't into "hot." I'd agree. Only used 1/2 tsp of cayenne and it was just the perfect amount of spicy without inducing tears and sweat. Thanks for the recipe!  -  10 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    The flavor is to die for! However, I do have some suggestions. I would double the recipe for this much meat. It was barely enough to coat 2 1/2# of meat, and I still had to add some water after a few hours because the top layer of meat was drying out. Also, I would cut the salt in half or delete it altogether. I used 1 tsp. for 2 1/2# of meat and it was still too salty. I doubled the garlic as I didn't think I'd be able to taste it at the suggested amount, and it was perfect. I also used Thai hot peppers instead of cayenne, substituting 4 peppers per teaspoon -- I chopped them up with the garlic and onion. It was pretty warm, but I like that! With the recipe doubled for the amount of meat, the spices were just right, very fragrant and the meat was so tender from the yogurt. I marinaded for 12 hours and it was terrific. The last comment I have is that I might try grilling the meat next time because in the skillet, when the marinade boils, the yogurt curdles. Overall, I think this recipe is flexible and forgiving, and the flavor combination is exotic and thoroughly enjoyable!  -  17 Aug 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)