Gentle warming spices and delicate hints of charred flavours. Marinated, melt-in-your-mouth meats, and roasted vegetables complemented with the refreshing aroma of fresh herbs. There’s just something about an authentic Shawarma that soothes the soul.
Here at Baharat, our Turkish roots run deep. We want everyone to be able to enjoy all of the flavours and spices that Turkish-inspired recipes have to offer so they can fall in love with them just like we did.
To start, or perhaps continue, your journey into the world of Turkish cuisine, let’s delve into the wonderful story of shawarma spices.
The history of shawarma
When it comes to cooking authentic Turkish cuisine, it’s barbecue season all year round. Think grilled meats, rotisserie roasts, and skewered kebabs cooked over coals. One method of cooking that perfectly fits this description and always results in smiling faces and happy tummies is shawarma.
Shawarma is a traditional middle eastern dish that originates from the Ottoman Empire. These days, the Ottoman Empire roughly translates to modern-day Turkey.
Traditionally speaking, shawarma also used to be spelled as shawurma or shawerma. The etymology behind “shawarma” comes from the method of cooking. Shawarma is an Arabic render of the Turkish word çevirme which means “turning”. The name shawarma, therefore, references the turning rotisserie upon which the meat is traditionally cooked.
Kebabs are staple in Turkish cooking, and with good reason. Turkish kebabs are versatile --- making them perfect for family picnics, summer barbecues or winter warmers.
The shawarma technique of cooking is a popular kebab style, even today. The shawarma method of grilling a vertical rotating stack of meat and cutting meat off as it slowly cooks can be traced back to the 19th-century Ottoman Empire. Today, the shawarma method is evident in modern-day doner kebabs in Turkey and around the world.
The shawarma method has also lent itself to the development of Greek gyros and the Mexican dish tacos al pastor. We really do have a lot to thank Shawarma for!
Enjoying the authentic shawarma spice blend
What truly makes Shawarma unique, though, are the spices used to cook flavoursome shawarma meats.
Before roasting the meats on a vertical stack, the meat is typically first coated in a shawarma spice blend. This mix of traditional middle eastern spices infuses the meat with flavour as it cooks away on the rotisserie.
The rich aroma of shawarma spice blend comes from the use of Mediterranean spices such as cinnamon, pul biber and cumin. These spices add a warming touch to the tender, melt-in-your-mouth shawarma meats.
The shawarma spice mix can differ from region to region and person to person. Everyone tends to add their own unique touch to shawarma to create a distinctive flavour.
Here at Baharat, we’re no strangers to spice. Having grown up in a traditional Turkish household, our founder was constantly surrounded by delicious foods overflowing with flavoursome herbs and spices. The careful pairing of spices can create a mind-blowing array of flavours.
Over time, we’ve carefully developed our own shawarma spice blend that captures the traditional flavours of authentic Turkish shawarma that we know and love.
Our authentic shawarma spice mix features a delicate mix of:
- Himalaya salt
- Pul Biber
- Sweet Paprika
All these spices come together to create a perfectly seductive middle eastern flavour. Better yet, our shawarma spice blend is only made with natural single-origin ingredients. Our spices are typically harvested by hand, naturally dried and grown organically. These spice blends are also naturally free from gluten, allergens and any other additives, colourings, anti-caking agents or fillers.
You simply get only the best with our shawarma spice blend --- all the delicious spices you need to create perfectly authentic shawarma at home.
How to use shawarma spice blend
Shawarma spice blend doesn’t have to be reserved for only being used with meats cooked on a vertical rotisserie.