Homemade Shawarma

Though reputedly costlier, Shawarma remains a classy and popular street snack in Nigeria. It is popularly bought at restaurants or local Shawarma joints, but the good news is that you can also recreate it easily at home! The only hitch you might encounter is finding a place close to your vicinity where you can buy the Shawarma bread (mostly found at supermarkets or can be ordered from most online food stores). Note that there are several bread types used for making shawarma such as Pita bread (most common), Naan bread or flour tortilla wraps, etc. You can make use of anyone you have. It also tastes great in sliced bread (sandwich bread) and our local Agege bread, lol, though it won’t come out as the typical shawarma.

As you would know, there are various types of shawarma such as Beef shawarma, chicken shawarma, Fish shawarma, e.t.c and each has its own unique taste. They are also made in similar ways.

For the Hot press (to seal and heat up the wrapped shawarma which is typically done with a vertical broiler, locally called shawarma machine), you could make do with a sandwich Toaster if you’ve got one or simply a frying pan. They both serve the same function only that one heats both ways and leaves sandwich lines while the other heats one way leaving no line at all but you’ll have to flip. So let’s dive in!


For 3 servings,

  1. 3 hot dogs or Chunks of beef (You could also use chicken or fish)
  2. 3 pieces of pita bread
  3. 2 medium-sized Carrots
  4. half a small Cabbage
  5. 1 medium Sized Green bell pepper
  6. Half a medium-sized cucumber
  7. Half tbsp. chili powder (optional)
  8. Mayonnaise
  9. Ketchup
  10. 3 Scotch bonnets (atarodo)
  11. 1 small onion, garlic and ginger
  12. 1 seasoning cube and Half tsp. Salt
  13. Half tsp. Curry and thyme
  14. Vegetable oil


1) Dice the beef and place in a small pot. Blend the Onion, garlic, ginger and scotch bonnets and pour into the pot with diced beef. Season with the stock cubes, salt, curry & thyme. Add some water and cook till tender for about 15mins. Once done, stir fry in vegetable oil for 3 mins.

Note: instead of dicing you can blend the meat. It’s easier and faster

2) Chop the cabbage, grate the carrots, dice the green pepper & slice the cucumber- Set aside separately

To assemble (picture illustrations provided):

3) Get the pita bread and carefully open the pocket (This divides it into two). Place one on top of the other. 

4) Rub mayonnaise over the bread on top. Add the cabbage, carrot, cucumber, Beef, Sprinkle with powdered chili, and drizzle with ketchup and more mayonnaise. (Align all these in the middle)

Tip: Do not overfill the bread or it would be difficult to wrap

5) Fold to seal the contents and place them on the pan (Greased with a little vegetable oil). Reduce the burner to the barest minimum and let the shawarma heat up on the side with the open flap. Flip and do the same for the other side. 

Your shawarma is ready. Serve and enjoy!

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