Lamb Shawarma

    12 hours 50 minutes

    Cumin, nutmeg, and clove flavour these yogurt-marinated strips of lamb. The dish goes well served with warm pitta bread and yoghurt.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 1/2 cup (125ml) plain yogurt
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground mace
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:12hours marinating  ›  Ready in:12hours50min 

    1. Place the yogurt, water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, onion and garlic into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, clove, mace, and cayenne pepper until evenly blended. Mix in the lamb strips to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
    2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the lamb, in batches, turning occasionally about 5 minutes or until browned and cooked as desired. Serve.

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    Reviews in English (44)


    I was hesitant to make this recipe cause it wasnt reveiwed by anyone yet and i never cooked lamb before but i was so glad i tried it. It was soooo good. I had to make the marinade twice cause the first time i made it, it was way to hot and i actually like to eat hot things. So the second time i made it i reduced the cayanne pepper to 1/8tsp and it was perfect. I also tried the lamb 12hrs in the marinade and then 24 and definately the 24hrs was best.  -  03 Aug 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Made the full recipe for the sauce with the addition of 1/4tsp. allspice. However only used 1lb of Dall Sheep (game meat) cut into bite sized pieces. It was lovely. The yogurt, like buttermilk, tenderized the meat, seasoning imparted great flavor. It was not overpowering like some spice blends. Made it into gyro-like sandwiches, but would be great in couscous, chopped salads, or as Kebabs! Other reviewers have noted to cut back on cayenne if you aren't into "hot." I'd agree. Only used 1/2 tsp of cayenne and it was just the perfect amount of spicy without inducing tears and sweat. Thanks for the recipe!  -  10 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    The flavor is to die for! However, I do have some suggestions. I would double the recipe for this much meat. It was barely enough to coat 2 1/2# of meat, and I still had to add some water after a few hours because the top layer of meat was drying out. Also, I would cut the salt in half or delete it altogether. I used 1 tsp. for 2 1/2# of meat and it was still too salty. I doubled the garlic as I didn't think I'd be able to taste it at the suggested amount, and it was perfect. I also used Thai hot peppers instead of cayenne, substituting 4 peppers per teaspoon -- I chopped them up with the garlic and onion. It was pretty warm, but I like that! With the recipe doubled for the amount of meat, the spices were just right, very fragrant and the meat was so tender from the yogurt. I marinaded for 12 hours and it was terrific. The last comment I have is that I might try grilling the meat next time because in the skillet, when the marinade boils, the yogurt curdles. Overall, I think this recipe is flexible and forgiving, and the flavor combination is exotic and thoroughly enjoyable!  -  17 Aug 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)