Shawarma Chicken, Mujadara and Muhammara

One of the hard things we miss as immigrants to a new country is our food and environment and though this dish is not Venezuelan, Lebanese food in my hometown, Maracaibo, has always been present.

Yal-La is was our FAVORITE place to eat Arabic food and we’d go at least once a week.

Even though Orlando has its good amount of Lebanese restaurants, seeing that we haven’t been able to find a single one that has transported us back home yet, I’ve decided to recreate it!


Shawarma Chicken, Mujadara and Muhammara

(Lebanese Lentil Rice with Red Bell Pepper Spread)

Total Time: minutes     Prep Time: minutes    Cook Time:  minutes



Shawarma Chicken:
3 chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 salt kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 garlic, small, minced
Red chili flakes, to taste
Olive oil, marinade and cooking

Mujadara (Lentil Rice):
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
2 cups water, divided
2 lg yellow onions, julienne
1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
1 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
1 tsp black pepper
Dash of cinnamon
Olive oil
Paprika and olive oil for garnish

Muhammara (Red Pepper Spread):
1 lg red bell pepper, roasted
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
2 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp olive oil
¾ cup walnuts, toasted
4-6 tbsp bread crumbs



Mujadara (Lentil Rice)
  1. In a medium pot with lid, heat oil in medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and cook until crispy and golden brown. Reserve some for garnishing. 
  2. In the same pot with the onions, add a little oil, rice and parboiled lentils. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. 
  3. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer with the lid for about 20 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.  
Shawarma Chicken
  1. In a medium bowl, all ingredients together.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium or large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until fully cooked. Make sure not to move the pieces of chicken too much, in order to achieve golden, crispy goodness!
Muhammara (Red Pepper Spread)
  1. Combine red bell pepper, lemon juice, cumin, salt, brown sugar and walnuts in a food processor and purée. Drizzle in olive slowly until the mixture is mostly smooth.
  2. Add about 4 tablespoons bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is still too loose and cannot hold its shape. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Scrape spread into a bowl and make a well in the center with the back of a spoon. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle paprika.
Best served warm and garnished with crispy onions and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 6 servings. 

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