Fozia’s Chicken Shawarma Wraps
An Arabic-American fusion wrap. Developed by a Saudi woman who was craving shawarma but had to get creative with what she could find at her local grocery store here in the states. These shawarma wraps will have your house smelling AMAZING!
Fozia’s Chicken Shawarma Wraps
Middle Eastern Fusion | Low Fat
This is one of my favorite recipes! It brings me back to memories of quiet afternoons chatting about simple nothings and cooking up amazing meals in the kitchen just to be enjoyed by two friends. I had a friend from Saudi Arabia, named Fozia, a while back. Her husband was in grad school here in the states, so he was out most of the day but she was lonely and too shy about her Egnlish skills to venture outside the house. I was a part time undergrad student at the time and between jobs, so we both had a lot of time on our hands to spend hanging out together.
I was the only one there with her, but Fozia would always cook up something nice for lunch whenever I visited. There was something so indulgent feeling about eating a beautiful fresh-cooked lunch that was made to be enjoyed by just the two of us friends. Even before I became a mom, I never cooked anything for lunch besides eggs or ramen, and if I were going to have a lunch date with a friend, we’d just meet at a restaurant. Having a home cooked meal at lunch made especially for you… Fozia made me feel so special. A few years ago Fozia moved back to Saudi Arabia, and unfortunately we lost touch, but I still reminisce about our long conversations and the time I spent learning from her in her kitchen.
One day Fozia made me chicken shawarma wraps and I was blown away by how flavorful they were. And the way they are assembled and broiled.. these wraps blew my mind!
These wraps are made using soft-taco-size flour tortillas. A yogurt sauce is spread thinly over the whole tortilla – right up to the edge. The yogurt sauce acts as a glue that keeps the tortilla sealed. The wraps are put under the broiler just until they start to brown, giving a slight nutty flavor to the whole thing!
Speaking of yogurt sauce! I like to make extra and serve it on top of a tomato salad on the side of the shawarma wraps (tomato salad recipe coming soon 😉
The key to this recipe are the pickles.
I know what you’re thinking – Pickles belong on burgers, otherwise they may sit, untouched, on the side of my plate while I eat my sandwich at Potbelly. Many will reject this post as mere pickle propaganda.. But I challenge you to open your minds and believe!
I, personally, don’t mind a pickle on its own here or there. I wouldn’t buy a jar of them or keep them in my house, however, because… meh, pickles. what’s the big deal?
But these wraps call for you to make a “quick pickle” with white vinegar and no other seasonings or herbs. As much as I feel “meh” about bread and butter pickles or dill pickles, THESE pickles are especially strange because they are not flavored at all. Even the white vinegar has no flavoring! I cut up the cucumbers first so I can get them soaking in the plain white vinegar while I cook the chicken. In the span of about 30 minutes, the cucumbers absorb the acidity of the vinegar and that acidity makes all the difference in these wraps.
The chicken shawarma filling is filled to the brim with spices and flavor. It’s like a spice punch to the mouth. Those pickles cut through the spices and give your palate a break. Without the pickle, this wrap is tasty, but with the pickle, this wrap is MIND BLOWING!
So. If you’re not a pickle fan, I argue that it’s the spices in the pickling juices that you don’t like. These pickles have no spices. That being said, I would not eat them straight. If you decide to make these wraps and you’re not sold on the idea of including the pickle, try – without tasting the pickles first! try making 2 wraps – one with the pickle and one without. I think you will be surprised at the brightness that acidity adds and how much the shawarma is enhanced by it.
Fozia’s Chicken Shawarma Wraps
An Arabic-American fusion wrap. Developed by a Saudi woman who was craving shawarma but had to get creative with what she could find at her local grocery store here in the states. These shawarma wraps will have your house smelling AMAZING! And don’t forget the pickles!
For the wraps:
- 6 “soft taco” size flour tortillas
- 1 Cucumber, peeled, sliced into 1/4 inch thick half moons a
- 1/2 cup White vinegar
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 1/8 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1 onion diced very fine
- 1 large tomato, diced small
- 1.5 lb chicken breasts cut into thin 1×2 inch pieces
- 2 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Ground cardamom
- 3/4 tsp Garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Step by Step Instructions
Place the sliced cucumbers in a bowl, cover with white vinegar and set aside to marinate while you cut up the onion and tomato and cook the chicken
Saute the onion over medium high heat until translucent – do not brown (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes break down and a lot of the juice has evaporated (about 5 minutes)
Add all of the spices and mix well
Add the chicken and stir well to coat it in the onion and spice mixture. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally
While the chicken is cooking, mix together the yogurt ingredients
In the same 3 quart pot that you used to sauté the onions, make sure there is a thin layer of oil covering the bottom (if you plan to decorate with vegetables on the side of the pot, use a paper towel to spread the oil up the sides of the pot as well – this will help the vegetables to adhere to the sides of the pot and stay put before the pot is filled with rice to keep them in place) This oil will ultimately guarantee that your vegetables don’t stick to the pot when it’s time to turn the dish out onto a plate
Assemble the wraps:
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Lay out a tortilla on the baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce, thinly, over the whole tortilla – right up to the edges
- Add a line of chicken down the middle of the tortilla, being careful to drain the chicken of as much juice as possible
- Place a line of pickles on top of the chicken so that there will be some pickel in every bite
- Fold up each side of the tortilla over the chicken and press down on the top layer of tortilla to stick it in place.
- Place on the baking tray, closed side up. The yogurt keeps the wrap closed
Put the top rack of your oven all the way at the top of your oven near the broiler. Put the wraps under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the tortillas begin to brown
Layer in the rest of the eggplant and caramelized onions and cover it with the rest of the rice
Mix the last 2 Tbsp of the spice mix with 4 cups of broth. Add 3 cups of spiced broth to the filled pot (or add broth until there is just half a centimetre of space left in the pot). Using a chopstick or knife to make small holes down to the bottom of the pot will help the liquid soak down to the bottom
Serve immediately with a tomato salad on the side (recipe coming soon)
Did you make this recipe? Have a question?
Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!