Shawarma origin and history

Shawarma Origin, History & Types – Meaty Delicacy Decoded

Ah, Shawarma – our little piece of heaven on bread!

It’s juicy, it’s full of flavors, and it’s incredibly filling, Shawarma is now a super common street food here in India, with almost all cities boasting a dedicated (and busy) joint only to serve this mouth-watering delicacy.

For those who don’t know, Shawarma a lot like a taco, but tastes so, so much better. It’s almost like a carnival for the palate. It’s indescribably awesome.

Haven’t had them yet? Get out there, eat it, and thank us later. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about Shawarma, its origin, varieties, etc…

Shawarma – Quick Glance

1.OriginBursa, Turkey
2.Invented ByIskender Efendi
3.CourseFast Food
4.Serving Temperature Hot
5.Main IngredientsShawarma meat, Pita or Wrap bread, and Vegetables.
6.Side DishesMayonnaise, Fries, Salad, and Condiments
7.Preparation Time9 Hours (Average)
8.Veg VariationsPaneer, Soy, Mushroom, and Aloo
9.Non-Veg VariationsChicken, Turkey, Beef, and Lamb
10.Price Range 50 - 400 INR
12.Alternative NamesChawarma, Shaurma, and Showarma

Shawarma Origin – From the Desert to the Avengers

Believed to have been originated in the ottoman empire (now turkey) in the 18th or 19th century, Shawarma was the result of the efforts made at the time by chefs to cook meat without sacrificing its fatty/juiciness.

They pioneered the vertical split cooking style – a method that saw the meat slow cook in its own juices and fat, making it soft, tender, and delicious

The modern “rolled” style Shawarma, however, didn’t come to be until late 1800. First made by a man called Iskender Efendi in the Turkish city of Bursa, Shawarma (then called kebab) quickly become a hit in the middle-east, Mediterranean, and beyond.

Shawarma now…

The dish had its popularity really explode after the 2nd world war, as Turkish people relocated and brought this recipe to countries all over the world, evolving as it went.

Nowadays, you can find Shawarma being served at every street corner. It has even become part of pop-culture, thanks to 2012’s Avengers movie, which saw the superhero’s enjoying Shawarma in a New-York joint after their big battle.

Shawarma Origin - From the Desert to the Avengers

The Shawarma Journey – How it’s prepared? How does it Taste?

Think of it as a burrito, but in Middle Eastern style! The heart of the dish is the meat.

Seasoned, marinated, and stacked on a vertical split and cooked for hours till its juicy and tender, thin slices of meat are then carved and is stuffed into a steamed/heated flat-bread long with veggies like lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley.

All rolled together into a cylindrical shape of juicy goodness, Shawarma is usually served with a variety of condiments like;

  • Garlic yogurt, cheese
  • Hummus
  • Amba sauce (pickled mango slices with chilli)
  • Skhug (really hot chilli sauce)

Biting in, you’ll feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth. The slight heat of the juicy meat meshes well with the crunch of the veggies, while the condiments deliver a creamy sub-texture – it’s really a unique taste, and yes, is worth the hype.

Shawarma Varieties and Side Dishes – There are a Lot!

Like most globally served delicacies, Shawarma too comes in many flavors and fillings depending on the different countries and cultures.

Take India for example, depending on the region, you can get from spicy chicken tikka Shawarma to, grilled options to even fully vegetarian versions (made usually with paneer, soy, Mushroom, and Aloo) of this incredibly flavourful delicacy.

You can also get it prepared in a variety of meat types like Chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.

Rich in spice & aroma, we Indians love Shawarma when had with salads, fries, and Chutneys. In some places, it’s also served alone without Pita or Flatbread.

Shawarma – The Originals are Still the Best

Putting the cultural/regional differences aside, most Shawarma recipes can be tracked down to three original cooking styles from the middle-east. They are;

#1 The Amman Style

These guys pioneered the Chicken Shawarma. They serve it with fried potatoes sliced up in the meat and importantly, and roasted horizontally above charcoal till it’s crispy on the outside and juicy inside.

#2 The Lebanon/Jordan Style

Their Shawarma is a lot like the vertically cooked global version that we know and love. It is, however, less dominated by spices, with controlled sprinkles of Cumin, Sumac, etc…

#3 The Istanbul Style

In this method, slow-cooked mutton slices are served with grilled tomatoes, all wrapped into a cigar shape using a delicate & moist bread. This version is notable for its superior juicy and filling nature.

Which one of these is the best Shawarma recipe ever? Well, you tell us. The deliciousness is a subjective matter, after all.

Personally, we are a bit biased for the Istanbul Shawarma style – it really is a killer!

If you are somebody who loves digging into scrumptious meals, a delicious plate of Shawarma will be right up your alley.

Here are some more awesome reasons to dig into a delicious plate of Shawarma this weekend;

1 The Exotic Name

The term “Shawarma” itself makes it a no-brainer as the unique name makes you wonder what you’re gonna be biting into.

2 The Shawarma Meat Slices

Juicy & savoury, the thinly sliced meat with their spicy kicks from the seasonings and condiments can make for a flavour party in your mouth.

3 A world of Textures

From the creamy sauces to the crunchiness of the veggies, and the fullness of the bread, Shawarma will never leave your palate bored.

4 Crazy Varieties

Thanks to centuries of evolution, there are tons of Shawarma varieties to choose from, all of them unique and delicious – falafel, chicken, seafood, open plate…

5 Veg and Non-Veg Available

While we munch on meat shavings, our herbivorous friends can get the veggie falafel options. Either way, there is something for everybody

6 Incredibly Fulfilling

For a grown man, a serving of two Shawarma will be more than enough to leave him feeling full for the day.

7 Healthy AF

Seeing that most food groups are well represented, Shawarma is as good a healthy meal choice as they come. Tons of proteins to go around!

8 Affordable & Easily Available

Thanks to their crazy popularity, Shawarma places are as common as post boxes nowadays with ones in every other street.

9 The Perfect “Fast” Food

Unlike Pulao, biriyani, or bhelpuri which requires you to sit at a table while munching through them, Shawarma and its wrapped design make it is the perfect on-to-go snack for the busy crowd.

10 Ironman Himself Recommends it

Ironman recommends Shawarma

In the 2012 Avengers movie, There is a scene where Ironman shows his interest in shawarma(Doubtfully).

Ironman asks Thor “Have you ever tried shawarma? There is a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is? But I want to try it!

Thor replies “We are not finished yet..

See Ironman recommends it to the rest of the avengers without even knowing what it is. What about you? Now you have knowledge of what shawarma is? Hey, need we say more?

Shawarma – The Ultimate Comfort Food of the Street!

Today, you can find Shawarma just about everywhere, from Lebanon, England to Egypt, USA and to the busy streets of India.

You can also make Shawarma at home. Obviously, having a rotisserie would be awesome. If not, you can still make do by grilling the meat, slice them up, and loading them into Pita bread with pickled veggies, hummus, and sauces.

The recipes are also incredibly easy to tweak and adapt. Need more heat? Add some extra chilli sauce? Lovesome creaminess? Add some melted Cheddar to the blend – the possibilities are endless.

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get your Shawarma fill right now.

Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

Let us know your experience in the comment section.

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