Middle Eastern chicken kebab

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By: Maria Elia From: Perfect...

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.89 / 5 (109 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus marinating time
Cook time:
50 min

Treat yourself to Maria Elia’s spiced skewered chicken thighs served in warm pitta breads with salad and a creamy tomato and herb yogurt dressing


1. For the spiced chicken: crush the garlic with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Pour over chicken and coat well, refrigerate and marinade for at least an hour or overnight.

2. Pre-heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Fold the chicken thigh in half, and thread widthways onto the two skewers, leaving a 3cm gap between each. Repeat with remaining 11 until you form a solid chicken kebab. Add a little salt and oil to the chicken.

3. Place on a hot griddle pan, and sear on each side. Transfer to a baking tray, and finish in the oven for 40-50 mins, turning halfway. Reserve the cooking juices and pour over the chicken before serving.

4. For the tomato yogurt: crush the garlic with 2 teaspoons of salt and pound until smooth. Place in a bowl and mix with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until required.

5. To serve: stand kebab on a chopping board, point side down, and slice off the meat using a sharp knife. Serve in warm pitta breads, with salad and tomato yogurt. 


For the spiced chicken

For the tomato yogurt

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250 ml Greek yogurt
  • pinch caster sugar
  • 2 plum vine tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped

To serve

  • warm pitta bread
  • iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • cucumber, thinly sliced
  • red onions, thinly sliced, to garnish
  • pickled chillies, optional

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Latest Comment


A very delicious simple marinate for such an original recipe. Loved the two skewers method, as it resembles the large skewer that Chicken Shawerma "Chiken Kabab" is originally cooked on and served as a street food in Middle East. It gives the ultimate appearence, taste & serving of the dish. WELL DONE MARIA.

NevineS83508 NevineS83508  Posted 21 Feb 2013 9:26 AM

I agree with the other comments about the amount of marinade required. I also think that the tomato yoghurt sauce is too salty and will look to refine the amounts.

SteveB85329 SteveB85329  Posted 04 Jun 2012 7:50 PM

Absolutely brilliant recipe, although I put less salt in the garlic sauce. Love it!

GarethL99123 GarethL99123  Posted 28 Mar 2012 9:12 PM

Love this recipe I'm a big shwarma fan & this tasted like the ones I buy from my local kebab shop. I agree with the comment below 12 to much only used 8 & will make more marinade next time but still tasted fantastic & will be making this again.well done Maria!

AngeelaS48943 AngeelaS48943 Posted 03 Mar 2012 3:51 AM

I loved this recipe. The chicken tasted fantastic, it was nice to taste the different spices rather than just having a spicy heat. The tomato yogurt was the best dressing I've tasted and so easy to make. I will definitely make this again, but will not use 12 chicken thighs again! we had so many leftovers (which were lovely in a stirfry :-) ) also we thought more marinade to get a better coverage would work better.

GemmaB6672 GemmaB6672 Posted 14 Feb 2012 4:37 PM

Great, will def make again

Kikky Brown Kikky Brown Posted 12 Feb 2012 10:05 AM

Delicious!! Will definitely make this again!

toffcarol toffcarol Posted 09 Feb 2012 1:51 PM