World Food/ Celebration/ Meat & Fish

Lamb Shawarma

Easter 2020 …

We are in confinement, it’s weird. A celebration in such conditions had all my attention. So for the occasion, I decided to broaden the culinary horizons of my little  family.

I made a lamb shawarma.

What could be better for Easter to take a recipe from the cookbook “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi?? Obvious choice or what?

I could have chosen my 7 hour cooked lamb leg with beer and rosemary or my roasted lamb shoulder, but I wanted to travel through taste, texture, and spices with this lamb shawarma.

We were not disappointed… oh no!! A super smooth meat (you could almost have eaten it with a spoon!!), tasty, full of flavors, so tender… and with a cooking juice to die for!! and not too spicy, even you could think the opposite way considering the spices list…

Talking about spices, you may not have the full list of ingredients. Some of them are really specific of the Middle East. If you are missing 2 or 3 of them, that’s okay (I didn’t have fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds), but it’s the whole point of the marinade. Do not skip this part.

I kept the lamb leg in the marinade for a whole night (the recipe says 4 hours at least) and I finished the cooking at low temperature (meaning 90 degrees), Ottolenghi suggests 150-170 degrees all the way. You can also cook lamb shoulder or lamb shank.

I followed the Chef’s advices for the sidedishes: basmati rice, cucumber salad with tomato, basil and olive oil, and a sauce with Greek yogurt, a teaspoon of tahini and a grated garlic clove, like in my stuffed courgettes with lamb. You can have pita bread instead of rice and make a delicious kebab!

You get it: it’s a delicious meal, that requires little work. Once your marinade ready, you just have to deal with the cooking! It comes quite handy when you have guests…

The utensils:

A mortar with pestle,

A small frying pan,

A bowl

And a large roasting pan (I used my Inocuivre roasting pan by De Buyer).

I think we can start now.

The recipe, Chef!

Lamb Shawarma

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars ( Vote !)
Dîner Méditerranéen
Serves: 8 Difficulty: Easy Price: $$
Prep Time: 20 min Cooking Time: 5 hours


  • 1 leg of lamb, approx 2,5 kg
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon pods (or cardamon powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise or 1 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 grated nutmeg or 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
  • 25 g fresh grated ginger
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 40 g fresh coriander (leaves and stems)
  • 60 ml lemon juice (the juice of a large lemon)
  • 120 ml oil



Place the black peppercorns, cloves, cardamon pods, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, star anise and cinnamon stick in your small frying pan.


Dry at medium heat for 2 minutes while mixing (do not burn the spices).


Add the nutmeg, ground ginger and paprika, mix for 15 seconds and remove from the stove.


Process the spices to a uniform powder.


Transfer to a bowl, add sumac, sea salt, fresh ginger, garlic, coriander, lemon juice and oil. Mix.


Place the leg of lamb in the roasting pan and make 1,5 cm deep cuts with a knife at several places.


Pour the marinade on the meat and rub it all over.


Cover with cling film and set aside in your fridge for at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight.


Preheat your oven at 170 degrees.


Make sure the lamb has the fatty side up and put it in the oven.


After 30 minutes, add 250 ml boiling water.


During cooking use the liquid to baste the meat every hour or so. Add more water if needed to keep at least 1/2 cm of juice in the pan.


After 1 hour, reduce to 150 degrees. After 3 hours, reduce to 140 degrees. After 4 hours, reduce to 90 degrees.


Remove the lamb from the oven and wait 10 minutes before serving.

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  • Reply
    Saturday December 26th, 2020 at 04:49 PM

    Merci pour ce partage.
    Ce fut notre repas du 25 décembre.
    Excellent. Servit avec une semoule aux raisins.

    • Reply
      Saturday December 26th, 2020 at 06:43 PM

      Pareil chez moi !! avec du riz blanc 😉

  • Reply
    Sunday May 2nd, 2021 at 06:42 PM

    Encore une fois une recette parfaite qui permet de voyager sans quitter sa cuisine. En ces temps compliqué c’est exactement ce dont on avait besoin !
    On l’a mangé chez nous accompagné de semoule, d’une salade tomates-concombre et de la sauce au yaourt, tout le monde s’est régalé.

    • Reply
      Sunday May 2nd, 2021 at 07:42 PM

      Génial !! ça me fait super plaisir Céline !!

  • Reply
    Saturday March 5th, 2022 at 04:39 PM

    Bonjour, cette recette me tente beaucoup pour les 10 ans de mon fils qui auront lieu le weekend de pâques. Cependant, nous n’aimons pas la coriandre, pouvons la remplacer par du persil à votre avis ? je vous remercie. Bon weekend Anne

    • Reply
      Sunday March 6th, 2022 at 10:56 AM

      Oui tout à fait ! de l’ail des ours aussi ! 😉

  • Reply
    Sunday March 6th, 2022 at 11:08 AM

    merci ! je me disais cette nuit que un mélange menthe/persil devait être sympa aussi ! je pense que je vais tenter ainsi

    • Reply
      Monday March 7th, 2022 at 09:07 AM

      bonne idée !

  • Reply
    Monday November 21st, 2022 at 03:43 PM

    J’ai commencé cette recette ce matin . J’ai le même livre que vous et le chef ne précise pas
    Qu’il faut réduire en poudre les épices. Cela m’a semblé bizarre mais j’ai suivi la recette.
    Est ce une initiative de votre part ?

    • Reply
      Monday November 21st, 2022 at 04:20 PM

      Bonjour Caroline,
      Alors je ne sais plus très honnêtement. mais j’avoue que ça évite d’avoir des morceaux un peu désagréables en bouche (grains de poivre, graines de cumin,…)

  • Reply
    Sunday April 7th, 2024 at 07:29 PM

    Très très bon! Les épices sont très bien dosées. Le goût est top! La texture est fondante. J’ai suivi à la lettre la cuisson avec arrosage très très régulier.

    • Reply
      Monday April 8th, 2024 at 06:43 AM

      merci Amélie ! J’en suis ravie !

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