This Eid, try these middle-eastern treats with a Pakistani twist!

Published: October 29, 2012
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I’ve added a Pakistani twist to both recipes, so instead of a traditional Shawarma and Shish Tawook, I present to you the Roast Beef Shawarma with Hummus and Shish Malai Boti with Vegetables. PHOTO: YOUSUF BAWANY

Eidul Azha marks the remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s commitment to sacrifice his own son. Sacrifices aside, the thing we all look forward to most is the food and the endless BBQs that are sure to follow.

However, after a few meat-eating days, one (or shall I say ‘the stomach’?) finally deserves a refreshing break from all the heaviness. It’s often difficult to find the right balance between light and delicious; fortunately, there are a few middle-eastern staples that fit the bill. However, I’ve added a Pakistani twist to both recipes, so instead of a traditional Shawarma and Shish Tawook, I present to you the Roast Beef Shawarma with Hummus and Shish Malai Boti with Vegetables.

For the Roast Beef Shawarma with Hummus, this is what you will need:

Roast Beef

1/2 kg beef (single lean cut)

Three tbsp ginger paste

Two tbsp green chili paste

1/2 cup vinegar

Salt to taste

Two tsp black pepper

One tsp red chilies (ground)

Four to five cups water

Hummus with Tahini

One cup garbanzo beans (canned works best but you can also boil at home)

One tsp sesame seeds

Two tbsp olive oil

Two to three cloves of garlic

Three tbsp yogurt

Salt to taste

Olives for garnish

Paprika or cayenne pepper for garnish

Shawarma

Six to eight pieces of pita bread

One onion (thinly sliced)

Two cups iceberg lettuce (thinly sliced)

One cup pickled jalapenos, cucumbers, gherkins, beetroots and carrots (thinly sliced)

One cup tomatoes (cubed)

One cup cabbage (thinly sliced)

Method:

Take a pan and add all the ingredients for the roast beef into it; cook on low flame till the meat is tender and the water has completely dried out.

Wrap the meat in a foil and put it in the oven for three to five minutes on medium temperature. This step is optional.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Cut into thin slices and set aside.

Put garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, olive oil, garlic, yogurt and salt into a jug and blend till everything is a smooth paste; set it aside in a bowl.

Cut pita bread into half and spread a tablespoon of hummus on the inside.

Add two to three slices of roast beef to it.

Top it off with onions, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, pickled vegetables and tomatoes.

Serve with a side of hummus (garnish with paprika/cayenne and olives) and pickled vegetables.

Note: You can easily pickle vegetables at home. Just dice the veggies you wish to pickle and mix them in vinegar, some salt and sugar. Heat this mix in a pan for five to seven minutes to get instant results.

To make Shish Malai Boti with Vegetables follow this recipe:

Malai Boti

Two chicken breasts (cut into one-inch cubes)

Two tsp ginger and garlic paste

1/2 tsp white cumin seeds (roasted and powdered)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds (roasted and powdered)

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

Three tbsp cream (one that rises to the surface after boiling and cooling whole full-fat milk)

Three tbsp fresh cream (aka heavy cream)

1/4 cup olive oil

Two tbsp lemon juice

One tbsp green chili paste

1/2 tsp garam masala

One tsp red chili powder

One tbsp vinegar

Three tbsp yogurt

Salt to taste

For Shish

15 to 20 bamboo skewers

Two tomatoes (cut into eighths)

Two onions (cut into eighths)

Two capsicums (cut into eighths)

Optional Ingredients

One small piece of hot coal

One tsp olive oil

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl for malai boti and marinate the chicken for an hour.

Put the marinated chicken in a pan and cook on medium flame till it is tender.

If you like adding a smokey flavor to the chicken, (a) take a small steel bowl and put it in the centre of the pan, (b) place the hot coal into it, (c) drizzle the olive oil on the coal, (d) cover the pan immediately, (e) let it stay for two to threee minutes.

Once the chicken has cooled significantly, put the individual cubes onto bamboo skewers interleaved with pieces of tomato, onion and capsicum.

To give the skewers a slight char, place them directly over a flame; be careful not to set the bamboo skewers on fire.

Serve with a side of tamarind chutney or mint raita.

Enjoy these delicious treats warm with your family and friends this Eid!

Eid Mubarak!

The original version of this post can be seen here.

Read more by Yousuf here or follow him on Twitter @YousufBawany 

Yousuf Bawany

Yousuf Bawany

A writer who enjoys to cook foods from across the world. He blogs at yousufbawany.wordpress.com. He tweets @YousufBawany (twitter.com/YousufBawany)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    ………….so where is your restaurant ? Recommend

  • gp65

    Mmm..the pictures look so appetizing…Recommend

  • Hina B.

    How light and refreshing! I may have to try these very soon.

    I am a big fan of middle-eastern cuisine. Can you post a good Falafel recipe?

    -HBRecommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    WoW!!!Recommend

  • Erum

    loved ur blog, as always :DRecommend

  • http://yousufbawany.wordpress.com Yousuf Bawany

    Dear Readers,

    Once again, I’m overjoyed by your responses.

    @Parvez: Soon, Insha Allah. Please remember me in your prayers.
    @Hina: Got it. One falafel coming right up.

    Take care,
    YousufRecommend