Ever Have Vegan Shawarma? Get Ready…It’s Time!
Home of the Vegan Shawarma! #LIVE from Amman, Jordan at the 100% Vegan Restaurant Bayt Sara, serving Italian and Romanian cuisine, along with some Arabic street food recipes. While busy providing delicious vegan European dishes, founder Sara Banna joins us on #LunchBreakLIVE and shows us how she makes the best vegan Shawarma ever! Join in on this culinary adventure. Let’s dive right in…
A Magnificant Chef With A Passion For Food
We wanted to learn a bit more about our guest Chef Sara Bana, this is what she had to say…
“My name is Sara Bana, half Jordanian, half Romanian. I was born and raised in Romania and have lived around Europe, mostly in Italy. All my life I’ve been a waiter and a bartender and I reached a point where I became an F&B manager in Italy. I had been working for 2 years in one of the most well-known restaurants in Ischia, the Italian island. There I was impressed by our 75-year-old chef and decided that I wanted to learn the trade. One day, the chef told me “you deserve better, I’m sure that one day you will have your own business, as I see your work ethic and determination”. Since then I’ve been obsessed with this idea of having my own business in the food industry. I saved money on a monthly basis so I could achieve this dream. After 3 years of working (still in Italy) I decided to open my own restaurant. It was a fruitful business and I ran it for 3 years. However, I decided to close the place and move to Jordan to be closer to my family. Since I already had experience running a restaurant, I decided to give it a shot in Jordan, so I rented a garage. It took me 8 months of manual labor to transform the garage into what is known today as Bayt Sara (in English meaning Sarah’s House). Initially, it started as a vegetarian restaurant and because of my background, I decided to offer a Romanian and Italian menu. Speaking with my customers, I noticed that there is a real need for vegan food, as there weren’t any establishments that served a fully vegan menu and people wanted more variety. Thus, I decided to adapt some Arabic street food recipes, while serving some European dishes and the vegan shawarma was born. People loved it, as a lot of local vegans initially started as meat-eaters and were missing the taste of shawarma. The recipe was a huge hit and encouraged me to come up with new ideas. Since then, through experimentation, I expanded my menu to be what it is today. A few of the items I brought with me from Europe and some Arabic-inspired dishes as well. This made Bayt Sara be the third vegan-certified restaurant in the Middle East by BeVeg Vegan. A lot of the proceeds from the restaurant go into feeding and caring for the street cats.”
Wow, what an amazing young woman with so much dedication and passion for cooking and providing vegan food to her community.
Vegan Shawarma. Authentic and Delicious!
Shawarma is traditionally meat originally made from Lamb, but Sara has totally veganized it and her community loves it. She uses soy curls as the base for the “meat” which has the perfect texture for this meal, and she adds a whole lotta other delicious ingredients and spices to give you the flavor you expect when eating Shawarma. Once you stuff your pita bread with this vegan meat, you won’t be able to tell the difference from the traditional version. And it is far healthier for you, and contains zero cruelty! I hope you will give it a try.
- Soy curls TVP soy: 200 gr
- Pickled cucumber: around 100 although you can add more, depending on taste. Make sure that the cucumbers are pickled in salted brine, not vinegar
- Shrack bread: which is basically like a thicker pancake. When toasted this bread becomes crispy, so it adds to the general texture. However, it can be replaced with regular pita bread or tortillas.
- 400 ml soy milk
- 200 ml sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- dash of black pepper
- shawarma spices prepackaged is fine, however, make sure it contains cardamom powder. If the prepackaged doesn’t have, make sure to get 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup/molasses or to taste
- powder food base it can be from any brand like Vegeta, Maggi etc
- 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- Large pot non-stick frying pan, water to boil
- How to: Vegan mayo
- You combine the sunflower oil, the soy milk, the mustard and the 3 garlic cloves (crushed) in a bowl/measuring cup. With your hand blender you mix for 2-3 minutes until it solidifies to the desired consistency. No need to move the blender too much, it will do the work for you. The mayo is done the moment when it doesn’t fall off the spoon immediately. Add the dash of pepper (to taste)
- How to: Vegan shawarma
- *preheat your toaster/sandwich press from now, depending on what you have at home and how fast it heats up
- You fill a pot with water and add the food base. Boil on medium heat the soy curls for around 10 minutes until they are almost soft and drain. You can also squeeze the remaining water, depending on how juicy you want your soy.
- In a non-stick pan, add the olive oil and fry the soy curls on medium to high heat, until slightly cooked (it will make a crust). Add the pomegranate syrup/molasses, fry for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the shawarma spices, fry for 2-5 minutes more (depending on your type of pan), stirring continuously so the spices don’t burn.
- You fold your shrack bread in half (being quite thin, you don’t want it to break in the sandwich press when maneuvering it). On the wider side, spread the vegan mayo, add the pickles and then the soy curls. Roll it gently, first the ends so the mix doesn’t spill.
- Put the roll into your sandwich press. You might need to coat it with aluminum foil, depending on your device (if it sticks the food or no)
- Leave it in until the bread is crispy
Thank You For Joining Us On Our Culinary Experience Straight From Jordon
This was an awesome show with an incredible Chef joining us all the way from Amman, Jordon! What an amazing experience. We learned how to make traditional Shawarma, vegan style. It looks so delicious, and I think it would be a super fun recipe to try at home. If you are looking for other plant-based recipes to try, be sure to jump on over to the #LunchBreakLIVE page where we have a ton to choose from. Until next time…keep cookin’!
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Donna Dennison is an UnchainedTV writer, graphic designer, video editor, and IG contributor. Donna is also a creative in the film industry.