Thursday, 21 August 2014

Turkey Shawarma {Arabic Street Food}

I have waxed lyrical about the health benefits of using turkey in your cooking on this blog before and so when I saw that "I Love British Turkey" was launching a blogging competition I knew that I had to get involved. The competition is also run alongside The Red Tractor standard which is something that I have been passionate about since my university days (I did go to Harper Adams after all). I like that as a consumer I can see a little logo on the back and can be assured that I am buying quality British produce, whilst supporting British farmers and as British food is some of the best in the world it's win win really! 

Back to the challenge - the theme was "Arabian Nights" and I spent a great deal of time thinking about what I could do... maybe a tagine or a moussaka (both delicious of course) but I wanted to do something a bit more funky and fresh and a bit less "stereotypical". So I started to think more along the lines of street food and I suddenly came up with the idea of doing a Shawarma, which is a Arabic wrap. I usually make the dish with the more traditional chicken or lamb which is served hot in a warm wrap with crunchy veg and a garlic sauce. However, in my version I like to just make a garlic oil with a good quality British rapeseed oil and let that lightly coat the salad and add a bit of a kick!  Knowing how versatile turkey is I was confident it would take on the spicy, aromatic flavours of the dish perfectly and it did. Don't be put of with the long list of ingredients everything gets thrown in to a couple of bowls, so to speak, so this dish really doesn't take long at all.  So here you have a very fresh and incredibly tasty Turkey Shawarma - enjoy!

Turkey Shawarma

For the meat: 
400g diced turkey
1 1/2 TBSP HillFarm rapeseed oil (Red Tractor logo) 
200g Greek Yogurt (Tesco - Red Tractor logo)
1 egg, beaten lightly 
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 TSP Ras el Hanout
1 TSP cinnamon powder
2 TSP freshly ground black pepper 
Couple of pinches salt
1/2 - 1 TSP red chilli flakes (to taste, i like mine spicy)!
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated 

For the garlic oil:
150ml HillFarm rapeseed oil (Red Tractor logo) 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
Squeeze of lemon juice 

For the salad:
1/2 Iceberg lettuce, finely sliced 
1/4 cucumber, shaved (with a peeler)
1 tomato, halved and thinly sliced 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
3 TBS coriander, chopped 
3 TBS pomegranate seeds

6 small or 4 big wraps or flat breads (pita bread would also work well) 

Marinate the turkey in all of the ingredients listed for the meat. You want to marinate it for at least and hour preferably a few. Heat a non stick pan and cook the turkey until it is cooked through and quite dry - this is where the yogurt cooks out don't be alarmed if it looks a bit grainy whilst you cook just stick with it. This usually takes around 10 minutes, keep stirring as it cooks. 

Take the oil and crushed garlic and whisk (or blend in a blender), add in the lemon juice to taste and season - you should have a lovely sunshine yellow sauce which is heady with the smell and taste of garlic. 

Assemble the salad ingredients and toss with about a TBSP of the garlic oil.

To make your Shawarma, warm the wrap in a dry pan. Add the salad and then top with the meat and a drizzle of the oil. You can also add a few dollops of yogurt or hummus, both work well. Serve immediately and preferably with and ice cold beer or iced tea.     

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