Shawarma Seasoning

Shawarma is kinda like gyros (and later, Mexican al pastor), from the same origin dating back to the 17th/18th century Ottoman empire, though with different flavors.  Like it’s parent, the doner kebab, it traditionally it would be lamb on a vertical spit, but neither are easily accessible to the average person, so there have been a few alternate cooking alternatives developed (mostly grilled).

This promises to be my go-to seasoning blend across the board, so I’m adding it separately for later reference.  This mix is good for about 2 pounds of meat in a marinade (maybe a rub some day?)

There seems to be about as many recipes for shawarma seasoning, from close to ‘pepper and a little paprika’ to ’25 ingredients at 1/4 tsp each’.  I went through them all and combined what I think is the best compromise in-between.  It also turned out to be pretty close to what the Lebanese place (Wally’s Cafe in Rocklin, CA) does, so there’s that.

In a bowl combine:

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of saffron (optional)*

*if you have access to a Middle-Eastern market, you ought to be able to get cooking-grade saffron for a fraction of what the supermarket wants.