• Lamb shawarma with tahini and lemon (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

For my shawarma, I use lamb fillet marinated in red wine and vinegar, which pack a flavour punch, and I like to make my own soft and fluffy bread to wrap it all up in.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (95 votes)


Lebanese bread

  • 125 ml (½ cup) warm (not hot) water, plus 2-3 tbsp extra
  • 1 sachet dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp canola oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 150 g  (1 cup) plain flour
  • 75 g (½ cup) plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt 


Lamb shawarma

  • 4 x 250 g lamb fillets
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) red wine
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) white vinegar
  • 2 tsp shawarma spice mix (see Note)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper



  • 2 thinly sliced Spanish onions
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 bunch coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small jar pickled Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1 small jar pickled turnip



  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 15 minutes (or overnight)

Resting time: 30 minutes – 2 hours

To make the Lebanese bread, combine the yeast with the water and sugar in a cup, cover with a small plate and rest for 5 minutes or until the yeast rises to the top of the cup.

Put the canola oil in a bowl, add the flours and salt, add the yeast mixture and the extra 2-3 tbsp of water and mix until a dough is formed. Knead for  5-10 minutes on a lightly dusted surface until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and rest until doubled in size (ideally 2 hours, but 30 minutes is sufficient).

Divide the dough into 4 and roll out each to about 2 mm thick.

Heat some canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the bread, in batches, flipping every 30 seconds or so until cooked and slightly charry in patches.

For the lamb shawarma, preheat the oven to 250ºC.

Combine all the ingredients in a roasting tray and marinate for 15 minutes (or ideally overnight).

Roast, uncovered, until lamb has taken on some colour on top. Reduce the heat to 180C, cover with foil and cook for another 30 minutes or until tender.

Remove from the oven and rest, then thinly slice.

For the filling, mix the onion with the sumac. Slice the tomato, cucumber, pickles and turnips in long strips, for easy rolling in the bread.

For the sauce, mix the tahini, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt to taste. Some water may be required if the tahini is very thick.

To serve, arrange all the elements on one large platter, allowing individuals to build their own wraps according to taste.


Cook's notes

• Shawarma spice mix is available from Lebanese and Iraqi grocers. 


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.