Shawarma, which can also be spelt shawurma and shawerma depending upon where you're located, is a delicacy enjoyed by millions around the world. The dish dates all the way back to ancient Eastern Mediterranean civilisations such as the Mycenaean Greek and Minoan eras. However, the practice of grilling meat on a vertical spit was created by the Ottoman Bursa in the 19th Century. So, most foodies and professionals regard shawarma as Turkish cuisine similar to doner kebab.
The name though is decidedly Arabic, inspired by the Turkish word "cevirme" meaning "turning". Of course, this is a reference to the special way in which shawarma is made. Choices of meat include lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal or a mixture, so every shawarma is different. The meat is grilled on a spit for anything up to an entire day, before chefs cut large ribbons off to be served as a sandwich or wrap. For vegetarians, there are falafel-based options that are usually served with chopped vegetables, pickles and a number of different condiments just like their meaty counterparts.
1.Keep It Simple
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Common side dishes eaten with shawarma include tabbouleh, fatoush and taboon bread, while toppings such as hummus, tahini and amba are very popular. That said, there will be different sides and toppings depending upon where you dine or get delivery from. For instance, Shawarma Time in Abu Dhabi offers patrons a wide variety of traditional shawarma recipes that are very similar to those that were created all those centuries ago. After all, there's a reason ancient dishes remain popular to this day – there's just something about how simple yet sumptuous they are.
2.A Modern Twist
That said, while you can order the authentic Jumbo Shawarma with fresh vegetables, garlic sauce and French fries, but if you're not new to shawarma there's so much more to try at Shawarma Time. Jacket potatoes topped with your choice of shawarma meat, fettuccine al shawarma with authentic traditional pasta and Shawarma Wok topped with egg noodles or jasmine rice are just some adventurous options.
Meanwhile, Dubai restaurant My Shawarma has their own expansive menu full of shawarma-based meals. Their platters are particularly popular, especially the Arabic Shawarma and original My Shawarma platters, both of which are incredibly huge and served with French fries, garlic sauce and pickles. The restaurant's speciality though, is shawarma sandwiches – in fact there's a total of twenty-four different options! Each is inspired by the flavours of different cuisines around the world such American burgers, Greek gyros and Mexican fajitas.
3.Will Yours Be Traditional or 21st Century?
Shawarma is a truly traditional, tasty dish that somehow manages to be incredibly versatile. You can stick with the authentic dish based on the classic Turkish recipe, or try shawarma infused with different flavours from around the world. Regardless though, you can guarantee each dish is grilled on a spit just as it has been for centuries, ensuring that you will experience the best shawarma possible.
To make sure you get all the options you need before making your choice, check out Deliveroo.