Housemade Shawarma Spice Blend
I spent some wonderful time with folks in our community who are from Persian/Middle-Eastern countries and talked about what exactly goes into making a proper shawarma spice mixture. A common remark made was, "It is a lot like you say just like my mother would make. My mother makes shawarma flavors different than my neighbor. We all have shawarma that is very special." We talked a lot about what are some of the common spices that are used in making the shawarma blend and to be honest, I ran out of room on my small note book! HAHAHAH! Now, traditionally shawarma is cooked on a large vertical spit. The meat and fat are separately prepped and into thin slices. A house blend of spices are then mixed with olive oil, sometimes added Greek yogurt, and even fresh squeezed lemon. You mix this blend and will have a paste of beautiful flavors made. You can marinate thin slices of chicken, beef, turkey, goat, lamb, and even slab cuts of vegetables in this marinde. Not everyone has the luxury of owning their own vertical grill and uses a spit to pile the proteins/vegetables on. I have seen some folks do a fast home-oven version of large chunks of meat that they can later slice for their meal. Taking what I know about the traditional spices used in making a shawarma marinade, it all starts with the spice blend!
INGREDIENTS: 1/4 Cup Garlic Powder 1/4 Cup Onion Powder 1/4 Cup Cane Sugar 1/4 Cup Allspice Powder 3 TB Kosher Salt 2 TB Ginger Powder 2 TB Cinnamon Powder 1 1/2 TB Cardamom Powder 1 TB Black Pepper Powder 1 TB Nutmeg Powder 1/2 TB Chili Powder 1/2 TB Oregano Powder Mix all of your ingredients together - but do NOT include the kosher salt!
Take the initial mixture and run this through a spice grinder or high-powered blender on PULSE. Gradually pulse this mixture until this all becomes an almost fine powder.
Empty the contents back into your bowl. NOW you will add the kosher salt. The reason for this is that if we were to blitz that kosher salt, you run the risk of having a bit to much salt on the palate. With a whisk, mix this well until fully incorporated.
(You can hear me in total heaven after taste testing this) Always use a tightly sealed container to store this and make sure you label it.