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Turkish Shawarma Recipe

Prep Time1 d
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 d 45 mins
Servings: 6


  • Homemade Shawarma Ingredients
  • 8 fresh boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 TBL Tahini sesame paste
  • 4 TBL goat yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 to matoes
  • 2 onions


  • Ok, let’s start blooming our shawarma spices. Blooming is a great way to intensify your flavors.
  • Grab a 1/2 tsp of fennel seed, cumin seed, coriander seed, ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, smoked paprika and ground cardamom.
  • Grind them down with a mortar and pestle.
  • Roast (bloom) them in a non-stick pan or iron skillet. I prefer iron.
  • Get your exhaust fan on high and/or open the windows. The aroma will envelop the house. Not a bad thing though.
  • When everything is starting to smoke turn the heat off and remove the spices to a bowl.
  • Your should be getting excited at this point. The aromas are intoxicating and of course I missed this part in my travels to Turkey since the dish went straight from kitchen to my mouth. I wish I had some process shots of that old woman. Ugh.
  • Grab 4 TBL of goat or sheep yogurt and marry that with 1 TBL of tahini, 4 cloves of garlic, a couple bay leaves and a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Buzz that in a CuisinArt or you can use an immersion blender.
  • Pour the roasted spices into this mixture. Spin for a few seconds.
  • Add 1 tsp of fine Kosher salt and 1 tsp cayenne pepper.
  • Walaah. You have an authentic shawarma marinade / paste.
  • Coat the boneless chicken thighs with this little bit of heaven and put in the fridge for a full day.