Healthy Chicken Shawarmas with Garlic Sauce

I often make shawarmas at home because they can be whipped up in no time and just require some prep work and the least amount of actual cooking on the stove. This healthy version uses yoghurt in the sauce instead of oodles of mayonnaise that they usually serve you out on the street.

For Marinade:

  • 1/2 kg of chicken – diced into small cubes
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp tikka masala
  • 1 level tsp flaked red chillies
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tblsps worchestire sauce
  • 3 tblsps soy sauce
  • 1 tblsp mustard

Mix up the marinade and coat the chicken cubes with this gorgeous sauce and let it rest in the fridge for about 3 hours. You can go up to 4- it doesn’t really matter. Take the chicken out and cook in a wok using 2-3 tblsps of oil, you can go healthier if you use olive oil.

When its done, set aside and prep yourself for – some more prep, haha!

I cook the chicken in a very teensy amount of oil – as long as the chicken is marinated well, you won’t run the risk of overcooking it because it will remain juicy and will be very happy to rest in that bed of soft bread and later – your tummy.

The real magic is in the garlic sauce. It’s a secret family recipe passed down through generat- okay just kidding, but it’ll knock your socks off!

For Garlic Sauce:

  • Half a bulb of garlic, separated but not skinned.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tblsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tblsp chilli garlic sauce

Take the bulb of garlic and separate the petals and throw them in a shallow pan with around 1 tblsp of oil, make sure you don’t peel the skins off because the garlic will roast in it’s own skin and become soft and mellow and lose it’s pungency. Roast it on low heat ensuring that the skins become golden and sheer. Take the petals and cool them before squeezing the soft pulp out. You will then need to mash up the garlic like so:


Mix this pulp with the rest of the ingredients and there you have it, your very own garlic sauce!

After the sauce and the chicken is done, chop a few of your favorite vegetables to go into the shawarma. I used olives, onions and lettuce but you can go ahead live it up and use jalapenos, cucumbers, tomatoes, and even bell peppers. Chop it so that they can easily fit into the shawarma and can be easily bit into. Julienne is your best bet, here.


Warm up the shawarma bread on a skillet and then put it on the plate. Coat it with a heaped tbsp of garlic sauce, put some cubes of chicken and top it off with the chopped salad. I used a drizzle of barbeque sauce at the very end for a slight kick, but you can omit that.

That’s it, you’re done!


This recipe is not mine neither do I want to take credit for it, but it has been passed on from my mom and my older sister to me. I was a pretty clueless cook actually, but they’ve helped me along- slowly nudging me to become better and better in the kitchen!

Batter Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup baisan/ chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp heaped salt
  • 3 tsp heaped flaked chillies
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tblsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp zeera/ white cumin
  • 1 tsp methi / dried fenugreek leaves
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garam masala/allspice
  • 3/4 cup water or more depending on the thickness of the batter


A batch of this batter makes the crispiest, crunchy golden pakoras that are a treat to have with fresh mint chutney or our local favorite: chili garlic sauce. And you can’t go wrong with this one either.

I’ve tried this batter out with potatoes and bread and aubergine- even cottage cheese, it always yields absolutely delicious results. Try it out this Ramzan or just have it the next time it rains!

Vegetables to add:

  • 1 large potato thinly sliced
  • 2 onions
  • Handful of spinach leaves chopped
  • 8-10 mint leaves chopped

Sift the baisan and add all the dry ingredients to it, mix in water, ensuring that the mix does not get too wet. (when the vegetables are added, they tend to make the batter more watery anyway) Add the vegetables prior to frying and mix until well coated. Heat oil to deep fry the pakoras in a large wok. Fry in batches until golden and drain on paper towels before serving.
I like to sprinkle a crazy amount of chat masala on top before serving, but its completely up to you if you want to, these are delicious even without! You can use this batter for bread to make bread pakoras and other vegetables as well, its amazing with cottage cheese too! Happy frying – and eating of course!