The best kind of summer meals are the assemble-it-yourself kind! This spicy beef (or use quorn if vegetarian) shawarma with warm pitta bread and a yoghurt lemon mint garlic and tahini sauce is food of the Gods! I served it with a feta, pomegranate and walnut side salad with a lime and sesame oil dressing, but it’s fine on its own.
You will need:
- 1 packet of minced beef, or minced quorn (cut up chicken breasts will also work fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of paprika powder
- 1 pinch of cayenne powder
- 1 pinch of ground coriander (if you have it)
- 4 pita bread
- 1 tub of plain yogurt
- 4 tablespoons of tahini
- 1 garlic clove (or 2 if you love garlic, like me!), crushed
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 cup of shredded lettuce
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion
1. Combine the meat (or quorn) with the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon) in a bowl with some olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well, then transfer to a frying pan and fry on a low-medium heat.
2. Whilst the meat is frying, mix the yoghurt, the tahini, the garlic cloves and the juice of half the lemon in a separate bowl, and add a pinch of salt and pepper, then fold in the chopped mint
3. Toss the cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion in a bowl with some olive oil and the juice of the other lemon half (with another pinch of salt and pepper), or keep them in separate bowls if not everybody is keen on onion or tomatoes etc.
4. Warm the pita breads and serve with the hot meat, the yoghurt tahini dressing on the side and the side salads.
5. To assemble, just slice into the top of the pita to create a deep pocket, then layer in the sauce, salad and meat!