Shawarma (or shoarma) is one of those dishes that you can find all over the world, especially in Middle Eastern countries. It consists of layers of meat (beef, lamb, chicken…) on a spit, slowly grilled; shavings are then cut off and served as a wrap. The Lebanese marinade is truly wonderful, using cardamom as the main flavour-maker. Instead of going for the usual way of preparing shawarma at home (cut the meat in stripe and stir-fry it in a pan), I decided to make these lovely brochettes for the barbecue. You can substitute the beef with lamb, if you prefer. At the end of the recipe you can find two extra serving options. Send those invitations and let’s go!


  • 600 gr beefsteak
  • 4 shallots


  • 2 tablespoons white win vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Tahini sauce

  • 100 ml tahini (sesame paste)
  • 75 ml water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt

To serve

  • 2 tomatoes
  • A handful of parsley
  • Lebanese flatbread


  1. Crush the cardamom pods in a mortar, combine (seeds and peel) with the rest of the marinade ingredients and set aside.
  2. Cut the beef in pieces of about 2 cm. Add to the marinade, mix well and put in the fridge for about 4 hours.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic. Mix the tahini and water until you get a smooth consistency; stir in the lemon juice and garlic cloves. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Chop the tomatoes in small cubes; finely chop the parsley.
  5. Peel and quarter the shallots.
  6. If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them at least an hour before grilling.
  7. Thread the beef onto the skewers, alternating them with the shallots, making sure to discard the cardamom peel.
  8. Grill the brochette brown on the outside and rosé on the inside on a barbecue or grill pan.
  9. Serve them with the flatbread, tomatoes, parsley and sauce.