Thursday, 12 September 2013

Lamb Shawarmas

This morning I made the mistake of asking hubby what he felt like for dinner tonight. His answer? "I've been really craving Shawarmas"!!! Oh, ok problem, I'll just whip some up for you shall I?!!!!!

At first I just laughed and started to think about what I could actually make for dinner. Then, I started thinking maybe I could make a Shawarma of sorts. There is a little hole in the wall restaurant on Wellesley St (or maybe Victoria St, we can never remember which one) which has great Shawarmas that are incredibly tasty. Hubby absolutely loves them, so it was a tall order to recreate them in a way that would satsify his tastebuds! 

The typical Shawarma is made with marinated meat (chicken, lamb or beef), a bunch of yummy sauces and salad vegetables stuffed into a pita bread (similar to a kebab or souvlaki). 

Anyway, after a bit of research and a bit of prep I found a delicious marinade for the lamb (courtesy of, chopped up a bunch of fresh salad vegetables and served it all on a big platter with a selection of sauces so that everyone could have what they fancied.

Here is the finished product...sorry to not get in all in one photo!

Left to right: Homemade hummus (Click the link for the recipe, hot chilli sauce, homemade dairy free 'yoghurt' sauce (made with coconut and cashew nuts), lemons and limes, fresh salad vegetables (tomato, broccoli, capsicum, cucumber, carrot, lettuce), homemade tahini sauce, chopped avocado)

Succulent lamb...juicy, tender, amazing flavours!

Lamb Shawarmas


Shawarma Meat and Marinade

500g lamb leg steaks (or whichever cut you prefer) , sliced into 1cm thick strips

3 cloves of garlic
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp caraway seeds
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 cup olive oil

Tahini Sauce:

¼ cup tahini paste
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp parsley
1/8 cup lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water

Dairy Free ‘Yoghurt’ Sauce (based on recipe from Dr Libby Weaver - The Real Food Chef):

Flesh of one young drinking coconut (available in the produce section of your supermarket
¼ cup coconut water (easiest to use the water from the coconut)
1 clove garlic
juice of half a lemon
½ cup whole raw cashew nuts
1/8 cup filtered water
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp parsley or mint

1 large tomato, roughly diced
1/2 a cucumber, cut into 1cm quarters
1/2 a red capsicum, sliced into thin strips
1/2 a head of cos lettuce (or lettuce of your choice, washed and finely sliced)
1 avocado, diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 a lemon, 1/2 a lime, chopped into quarters (for garnish)


Firstly, marinade the meat...
1. In a mini blender, combine all ingredients for the marinade, excluding the lamb and olive oil. 
2. In a large bowl, place the sliced lamb, then cover with the marinade ingredients. Give everything a good mix to combine and get the lamb really well coated. Add the olive oil and mix again. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. 

Then, prepare your sauces...
3. In a blender combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce. Blend until well combined. You may beed to add a little more water if the sauce is too thick. It should be a similar consistency tomato sauce. Pour into a small bowl to serve.
4. Clean the blender, then add all the ingredients for the 'yoghurt' sauce. Blend until well combined, again adding more water if necessary. This sauce is nice slightly thicker, a similar consistency to hummus. (see notes below for further details). Pour into a small bowl to serve.

Time for the vegetables...
5. Chop all of your vegetables and arrange on a plate to serve

And now the meat...
6. Heat a frying pan to high heat. Fry the meat until blood is no longer running out. Be careful not to overcook so that the meat does not become tough. Frying time will vary depending on what size you make your meat pieces. 

Now to put it all together...
7. On a large platter place all of the sauces in a variety of small bowls (hummus, 'yoghurt' sauce, tahini sauce, chilli sauce). Put the vegetables on a large plate, and the meat on a serving platter. Place all in the centre of the table so that everyone can build their own meal. Serve the meat, vegetables and sauces with pita bread (if you can find gluten free) or tortillas. They are great with oven baked potato fries too.

 Here are some of the options for serving...Corn tortillas, pita pockets, potato chips (not all strictly Clean Eating, but they make the meal a little more authentic)...

Or you could choose to make a salad out of it which is how I chose to have mine. Very clean, but with all of the delicious flavours!


To make the coconut 'yoghurt' sauce, you will need a fresh young coconut. Getting into this will be the only hard part of making this meal! I find it easiest to hack the top top bit off and gouge a hole through the shell to drain out the water. Drain into a glass or bowl to use for the recipe (you will probably have plenty leftover which is great in a smoothie for breakfast). Once the coconut is empty, take it outside and smash it on something hard until it cracks in half. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. 

This is a seriously yummy meal, and another one to add to the list of child friendly meals. The kids loved it, and they really enjoyed the 'build your own' idea. Anything that gets them interacting with the food seems to really ensure that they eat well.