Shawarma spice blend

Preparing properly authentic shawarma at home is a pretty tall order, as this traditional Middle Eastern street food is cooked on a rotisserie. Meat is rubbed with a shawarma spice blend, left to marinade and then once cooked, is shaved off the spit.

We’re big fans of applying this to pork belly, lamb shoulder and chicken legs, but even fish and vegetables work too. Serve with tabbouleh and hummus, or go hand-held and fill a flatbread with the meat, some pickles and a yoghurt dressing.

Chef Tom’s top tip: Our shawarma spice blend can be used as a dry rub to marinate most meats (leave it on overnight if you have time), or you sprinkle over fish and vegetables (leave it no longer than 30 minutes). You can store it in an airtight container for up to two months.

Shawarma spice blend recipe


10g smoked paprika
5g turmeric, ground
5g cayenne pepper
6g white pepper, ground
20g fine salt
6g green cardamom pods, seeds only
5g coriander seeds
6g cumin seeds
6g all spice, whole


1. Put a large frying pan on a low heat and toast everything together until fragrant – this won’t take long, so be careful not to let them burn!
2. Allow them to cool, then blitz in a spice grinder or grind with a pestle and mortar.