Discovering Shawarma, a typical Lebanese dish

With chicken, lamb or beef, Shawarma is a sandwich served in a pita bread, a typical Lebanese dish but of Turkish origin that you will surely love.

Originally from the Turkish word, the name Shawarma means "it turns" or "it pivots". It is said that this dish gets its name from the way the meat is prepared. First, the meat is salted and marinated in a spicy red wine vinegar. Then they are placed in thin slices on a rotating spit where they are grilled. To be served, they are gradually sliced, accompanied by an assortment of raw vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes, salads, etc. As an assortment, taratour or Tahini sauce is served with Shawarma. This sauce is mainly prepared with sesame seeds, lemons and garlic.

Shawarma was originally dedicated to the poorer classes of the local population. But thanks to its freshness and ease of preparation, this sandwich is now one of the most popular summer dishes for locals and foreigners traveling in Lebanon.

For those who want to prepare a traditional Shawarma, the Lebanese way, you need a vertical spit (but you can also use the spit from the oven).

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Lamb meat is to be preferred in this culinary preparation. But you can also use beef or chicken. Ideally, you should buy meat that has been prepared beforehand and then simply reheat it. But if you really want to prepare 500 g of meat on your own, first cut it into strips before marinating it in a mixture of wine vinegar and olive oil (2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil) and season to taste (salt, pepper, cinnamon or paprika). Then heat the meat until it is well grilled.

Then it's time to prepare the crudités. Cut 2 cucumbers, 2 onions and 1 beef heart tomato into cubes. Then cut salad leaves and a bunch of parsley into thin strips. Mix everything together and add (if necessary and according to your taste) a small quantity of semmeh.

Taratour sauce is a classic in Lebanese cuisine. It deliberately accompanies fish and also Shawarma. To prepare it, you need either sesame or tahini cream. Add a clove of crushed garlic and mix it with lemon juice. Moderate the taste of your sauce by gradually adding water.

Finally, take some pita bread and open it on one side. Place the meat first, then the raw vegetables well mixed and pour over all the sauce. Close your sandwich and enjoy it while it's still fresh!

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