|Alternative names||chawarma, shaurma, showarma, other variations|
|Place of origin||Ottoman Empire|
|Region or state||Anatolia, Levant, Middle East|
|Main ingredients||Meat: lamb, chicken, turkey, beef|
Sandwich: Shawarma meat, pita or wrap bread, chopped or shredded vegetables, pickles and assorted condiments
|Similar dishes||Doner kebab, al pastor, gyros|
Shawarma (//; Arabic: شاورما) is a dish in Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today's shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. Thin slices are shaved off the cooked surface as it continuously rotates. Shawarma is one of the world's most popular street foods, especially in Egypt and the countries of the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and beyond.
Although the roasting of meat on horizontal spits has an ancient history, the technique of grilling a vertical stack of meat slices and cutting it off as it cooks first appeared in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, in what is now Turkey, in the form of doner kebab. Both the Greek gyros and shawarma are derived from this. Shawarma, in turn, led to the development during the early 20th century of the contemporary Mexican dish tacos al pastor when it was brought there by Lebanese immigrants.
Shawarma is prepared from thin cuts of seasoned marinated lamb, mutton, veal, beef, chicken, or turkey. The slices are stacked on a skewer about 60 cm (20 in) high. Lamb fat may be added to provide extra fat for juiciness and flavor. A motorized spit slowly turns the stack of meat in front of a heating element, continuously roasting the outer layer. Shavings are cut off the rotating stack for serving, customarily with a long, sharp knife.
Spices may include cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and paprika, and in some areas baharat. Shawarma is commonly served as a sandwich or wrap, in a flatbread such as pita or laffa. It is often garnished with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, pickled vegetables, and tahini sauce or amba mango sauce. Some restaurants may offer additional toppings like grilled peppers, eggplant or french fries.
In Israel, most shawarma is made with dark meat turkey and is commonly served with tahini sauce because serving yogurt sauce with meat would violate the Jewish dietary restriction of not eating milk and meat together.
Shawarma is a popular Levantine Arab specialty.
Shawarma - An Arab sandwich similar to the gyro.
Neither in the written recipes of the medieval Arab cuisine nor in the Turkish cookbooks from the first half of the 19th century are there any indications. According to research carried out by the Turkish master chef Rennan Yaman, who lives in Berlin, the doner kebab is an amazingly young creation of Ottoman cuisine. (Quote translated from the German)
Bursa is the town that gave birth to the world-famous doner kebab, meat roasted on a vertical revolving spit.