Probably my best chicken marinade to date.  It’s amazing how tender and tasty the yogurt makes the chicken! Shawarma is one of those foods that always make me nostalgic. I have so many memories of our family going out to buy shawarma and it has become a true comfort food for me. While shawarma is commonly served with pita, I decided to make it with rice, because Asian!  This Butter-Turmeric rice goes well with grilled Mediterranean, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes like kabobs, tandoori or as served here, shawarma.  Feel free to serve it with pita if you want to be more traditional. 

Not in the photo but should not be forgotten when serving is of course, the garlic-yogurt sauce that completes the whole experience! 

Serves 4.


For the Shawarma:

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins, sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced onions
  • sliced cucumbers

For the Garlic-Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste

For the Butter-Turmeric Rice

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste


  1. Make the yogurt sauce ahead by combining all ingredients and refrigerate.
  2. Whisk together all marinade ingredients.
  3. Coat the chicken and marinate for 6-24 hours.
  4. Pan grill and make sure to brown edges.
  5. In a separate pan melt butter.
  6. Add cooked rice and season with all the spices.
  7. To serve, assemble the shawarma on top of the rice and add chopped cucumbers, onions and tomatoes and of course, the sauce!