Lamb Shawarma (Shawarma med lam)

Shawarma is an all-time favorite food and late-night snack among DIS students, and this Middle Eastern street food delicacy can be found all over Copenhagen. Try this recipe at home to bring a bit of Scandinavia to your kitchen.

Lamb Shawarma (Shawarma med lam)

Adapted from the recipe of Malene Torp, DIS Executive Director


Serves 8 to 10
1 (10-pound) bone-in leg of lamb

1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 bunch cilantro
3 lemons, juiced
3 garlic cloves
1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup peanut oil

Yoghurt dressing
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon sumac
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste

1 cup bulgur
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pound tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste

To Serve

Harissa, purchased or homemade

Pita bread

For the Lamb

Toast fennel and coriander seeds, paprika, cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise over medium heat in a large sauté pan, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burning, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer ingredients to a spice grinder and process to a fine powder.

Roughly chop the cilantro, including the stems, and the garlic. Add the ginger, lemon juice, and peanut oil. Add the ground spice mixture and stir to blend.

Place the leg of lamb in a large pan or a sturdy plastic bag. Cover with the marinade. Cover the pan/close the bag and refrigerate overnight, ideally for 24 hours.

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator one hour prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Alternatively, build an indirect fire in a charcoal grill and allow the charcoal to burn until a medium-low level of heat is achieved.

Roast in the oven or on the grill for approximately 5 hours (minimum 30 minutes per pound). If grilling, add 8 to 10 charcoal briquettes every 45 minutes or so to maintain the temperature.

Remove from the oven/grill and allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes. It should be tender enough for you to pull the meat
with a fork.

For the Yoghurt dressing

Mix all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Tabbouleh

Boil the bulgur in 2 cups of lightly salted water for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. When cool, add the parsley, tomatoes, and cucumber. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

Serve in warm pita bread with harissa, yogurt dressing, and a side of the tabbouleh.

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