Beef Shawarma Plate and Wraps

Traditionally in our household, Eid ul Adha focuses a lot on meat. This is probably due to the fact that many Muslims sacrifice meat on this day (and many distribute this meat to the needy)…so freshly cooked meats is a big deal. Actually, freshly cooked meats is a big deal anytime of the year. Seriously, there’s a world of difference between day-old chicken versus freshly grilled chicken, for example.

The kinds of meat that my family normally cooks for Eid relies heavily on spices; the meat is usually with a thick onion/tomato based gravy, or just stir fried on a hot skillet. These are traditional Pakistani and Indian styles of cooking meat. 
Lately, though, I’ve been feeling like things should be simplified so that the flavor of the meat can shine through. That’s when I thought, why not try a different cuisine, and one of my favorite street foods, shawarma. 

Shawarma is meat that’s roasted on a spit; it can either be chicken, beef, or lamb. The meat is thinly sliced off a large cone-shaped spit that constantly turns. It’s juicy, tender meat that almost melts in your mouth.

It’s great as a main entree for any gathering or party. The meat marinades very well overnight, and the setup is pretty simple. Keep the meat warm during your event, and be sure to serve up a lot of fresh sides: hummus, tahini sauce, garlic sauce, pickles, pickled beets, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce.

You can serve shawarma meat as it is with some rice, salad, and hummus. You can make pita pockets with it, or a panini sandwich….or most easily accessible on the streets of New York, for example, is a shawarma wrap.

I chose to serve my version of beef shawarma with some quinoa (you can also serve with white or brown rice cooked in some chicken stock).

And I couldn’t resist making this delightful wrap, which is excellent for a quick lunch!

Treat your family and friends to this classic Middle Eastern inspired dinner or lunch. It can make for an unforgettable Eid! 
Beef Shawarma

Yield: 6-8 servings

Beef Shawarma


  • 3 lb top sirloin beef
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the beef into 1/4" strips, remembering to cut against the grain; leave some excess fat on the meat to add more flavor. You can also substitute beef for chicken or lamb strips. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, water, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. Be sure to grate the onion so the juices release. 
  3. Marinate the beef strips with the yogurt marinade for at least 2 hours. You can leave it overnight as well. 
  4. When ready to cook, heat up a large pan. Add a tablespoon of oil, and cook the meat in two large batches. 
  5. Cook the meat on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When meat is no longer pink and some juices have dried up, remove from pan. 
  6. Serve the beef warm with rice, hummus, tahini sauce, pickled vegetables, and fresh vegetables. 
    To make the wrap
  1. Using large thin pita bread, spread shawarma meat down the middle of each pita bread and top with hummus, tomato, pickles, pickled beets, and some parsley (optional). Roll and wrap tightly and cut in half to serve. Enjoy!
For a delicious homemade hummus recipe, click here

This entry was posted in entree.

Leave a Reply