Recipe courtesy of The Beestro

Steak Shawarma Pita

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 13 hr 30 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Green Chile Zhoug (Yemenese Hot Sauce):

3 serrano chiles

1/2 cup canola oil 

1 teaspoon ground cardamom 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed 

4 green onions, roughly chopped 

3 medium garlic cloves

Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup) 

1 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems, rough chopped 

1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, including stems, rough chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped 

1 medium jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped

Quinoa Taboulleh:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

4 bunches Italian flat leaf parsley, leaves only 

Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup) 

1 bunch fresh mint leaves 

Steak Shawarma:

2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (about 2 tablespoons) 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

2 thinly sliced blade/lifter meat, skirt steak or round steak ("carne asada cut") 

4 pitas


  1. For the green chile zhoug: Blacken serrano chiles on top rack of a toaster oven set on broil for 2 minutes per side. Let cool until cool enough to handle, then remove stems. Place in a food processor fitted with an S blade along with the oil, cardamom, coriander, salt, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, bell pepper and jalapeno and pulse for 3 to 5 turns, then process on high speed, adding 1/2 cup cool water. Adjust for salt and place in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keeps for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated. Use like hot sauce or salsa in a pita with shawarma.
  2. For the quinoa taboulleh: Combine the quinoa, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups water in a 1-quart saucepot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn off heat, then let rest without removing the lid for 20 minutes. Spread cooked quinoa over a dinner plate to cool and allow steam and moisture to dissipate.
  3. Meanwhile, mix oil, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, mint leaves and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then fold in quinoa. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Taboulleh keeps, refrigerated for 3 days.
  4. For the steak shawarma: Mix the yogurt, vinegar, garlic, coriander, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl with a whisk. One at a time, dip each thinly sliced steak into marinade on both sides and place in a plastic tub that will accommodate all marinade and steak. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
  5. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 450 degrees F. Line a pan with foil.
  6. Place steaks on hot grill and cook for 90 seconds per side, then place in lined pan. Cut thin steaks into 1/4-inch strips with a good knife. Return cut strips to pan and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. Serve steaks in pitas, and top with quinoa tabbouleh and green chile zhoug.
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