There's something quite iconic about a rotating spit of meat, lit up like a beacon for all of those in need of some classic comfort food. Related to the well-known doner, but jazzed up with traditional Middle Eastern spices, this unsung hero could be your new go-to. Just check out how they do this classic over at Lazeez Lebanese Tapas, Almas Lebanese and Shawarma Grill.
Turn, turn, turn
The clue to shawarma's magic is in its name, coming from the Arabic word for 'turning'. Meat is packed onto a skewer and rotated in front of a grill, giving layer after layer of perfectly cooked yet succulent meat.
Shawarma is hugely popular across the Middle East, where you'll find it served up everywhere from street food carts to fine dining restaurants. Though it's traditionally chicken or lamb that's given the shawarma treatment, nowadays you'll find all sorts subbed onto the skewer. This delight is super versatile. You can get it as part of a hot or cold meze to start your Lebanese feast, bundled up in a wrap for an unforgettable lunch, or served up as a main with rice and salad.
The family tree
We've been grilling meat on skewers for absolutely ages, and there's even archeological evidence that links this cooking method back to the Bronze Age. And these guys must have been onto something, because we're still skewering, roasting and turning to this day.
But the process of carving off meat from the skewer as it's rotating is, comparatively, fairly new. It began in Ottoman Turkey in the 19th Century with the doner kebab, and it's even suggested by historians that everything from shawarma, Greek gyros and tacos al pastor over in Mexico are all descendants of this early kebab. It seems like we've got a lot to thank the doner for.
Almas Lebanese choose to honor the shawarma in all its original glory. Opt for either chicken or lamb, each marinated, sliced and served up with a portion of fluffy rice. If you're eyeing up something else for your main, go for the Hommos Shawarma and kick start your feast with hummus topped with sliced lamb.
Over at Lazeez Lebanese Tapas you'll find your classic Chicken Shawarma, but we love it bundled into a wrap. For a bit of flavour fusion, go for the Barbecue Chicken Shawarma, where this Middle Eastern superstar is met with the tangy notes of barbecue sauce.
If you're prone to be a bit indecisive at times, Shawarma Grill is the place for you. You'll find shawarma as everything from a hot or cold starter, as a wrap or served up solo with a side of rice. We love the grill sets they whip up here – get your choice of chicken or lamb, topped with their signature house sauce and served up with salad and a fresh naan bread.
Check out the great shawarma options you'll find on here on Deliveroo.