2 pounds chicken breasts
½ teaspoon ginger
3 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3½ tablespoons lemon juice
INGREDIENTS – SALAD
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 cup lettuce, shredded
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (It’s cheaper to buy a pomegranate and scoop out the seeds.)
INGREDIENTS – DRESSING
1½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
1½ tablespoons fresh mint
3 tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup tahini sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY
6 pita loves
Makes 6 pita sandwiches. Takes 40 minutes for preparation and 2-to-3 hours to marinate.
PREPARATION – CHICKEN AND MARINADE
Cut chicken into strips ¼” thick. Mince garlic. Add all chicken-and-marinade ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until ingredients are well blended and chicken strips are thoroughly coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 2-to-3 hours.
Add marinated chicken to skillet. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside and marinade is nearly dried out. Stir occasionally.
PREPARATION – SALAD
Peel and dice cucumber. Dice cilantro and tomato. Shred lettuce. Use fork to combine all salad ingredients in mixing bowl.
PREPARATION – DRESSING
Mince cilantro and mint. Add all dressing ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended.
PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY
Add pita loves to second skillet. Use medium heat for 1 minute or until pita loaves are warm. Turn over at least once. Divide salad equally among pita loaves. Top loaves amount of chicken and marinade. Ladle dressing over chicken and marinade. Shoot anyone who says you left out an ingredient. Be sure to revert to your role as a gracious host before serving. Manners matter.
1) Shawarma is in an anagram for “Has a warm.”
2) Has a warm what?
3) This is the poser that has bedeviled humanity ever since it started painting millennia ago. This might be our ultimate question, followed only by, “What happens to all those socks that disappear while in my clothes dryer?”
4) Lest you doubt, the phrase, “Has a warm” can clearly be seen in the prehistoric paintings in the famous Lascaux Caves of France.
5) However, a few decades ago, archeologists–whoa, I spelled that correctly on the first try–gave up trying to figure out what word or words would complete the sentence started by “Has a warm.”
6) The French government closed those caves to all but a few people so as to spare their archeologists further embarrassment.
7) If you take out the “r” in “archeologist” you get “acheologist.” An acheologist studies pains. Similarly, a painologist studies pains. What is the difference between an acheologist and a painologist? Two years of graduate stiudy? Kinda like the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.
8) An ologist studies olos.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.