Quick Chicken Shawarma with Raisin Rice


The beautiful Middle Eastern cuisine encompasses a huge spectrum of diverse yet similar delicacies.
Depending on the region, there exists many different ways of preparing a dish owning the same title.

The traditional shawarma that most people are familiar with is usually prepared on a large rotating grill. The meat is then cut into thin slices and served in a wrap with fresh salad and tahini sauce. However, each household has their own version and variations of shawarma. 

I have my preferences, too. I prefer baking the red meat shawarma in the oven and turn on the grill function in the end which gives it a very delicious flavour and a nice crispy texture. But for the chicken variant, I am absolutely satisfied with my deep skillet. It turns out to be as great and tender as the one served at our local Lebanese and Syrian snack bar. 

But that´s not it. You can use this chicken meat as filling for your wrap, enjoy it on its own with a nice refreshing salad or try serving on bed of raisin rice like I usually do. It is an easy dish to bring together, but tastes amazingly delicious. Together with a refreshing yoghurt tahini sauce and salad, its a party on a platter! 


What To Make?

There are lots of ways you can play around with your delicious Shawarma dish, feel free to use your imagination and creativity:

  • Chicken shawarma: The star of the show is the chicken. Cut into thin strips and marinate in flavorful blend of spices mixed with yoghurt and citrus.

  • Rice:  is the main base of this dish. You can use white or brown rice. My first choice is the exceptionally fragrant Basmati (Read here, why). A sweet addition of raisins or sultanas goes really well with its delicate taste and fluffy texture.

  • Tahini Yoghurt : is not a must but highly recommended. For a fancy variant, try my famous Mast o Khiyar.

  • Salad: to add a little refreshing touch.
    Tabbouleh or Horiatiki are my first picks when I am in the mood of elaborate cooking, otherwise chopped lettuce leaves or iceberg completely serve the purpose. Also, diced fresh tomato and cucumber make a delicious fresh topping all on their own.

  • Pickled veggies are also delicious with this dish. 

A step-by-step video tutorial is available in my Insta highlights. Do have a look before you start making the this dish! Come back to rate the recipe and if convenient, do send me a photo of your remake. I love receiving your feedback!

Quick Chicken Shawarma with Raisin Rice

Fatima Sadal - Chef on Rhine
Quick and easy homemade Chicken Shawarma and Raisin Rice recipe. Bring the bold flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine into your kitchen in a unique way!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 6


Chicken Shawarma

  • 700 g boneless chicken cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup thick yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice / white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp crushed black pepper
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice powder
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions sliced or cut in circles
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped

Raisin Rice

  • 400 g basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt
  • 700 ml water
  • 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas


Chicken Shawarma

  • Mix all the spices in the yogurt, add lemon juice, olive oil and marinate the chicken strips in it for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat the skillet, add some chicken and fry on high medium heat until all juices from the marinade are cooked off.
  • Add some olive oil, if needed!
  • Cook entire chicken in batches and keep warm in a covered pot.
  • You can also spread the chicken on a baking tray and broil in oven for a few min (after cooking in skillet) for a crispier variant.
  • Add parsley once the chicken is done.

Raisin Rice

  • Wash and soak rice in cold water for 30 min. Drain the excess water.
  • Heat oil in a big cooking pan. Fry onion slices until translucent.
  • Add all the spices.
  • Add salt and water and bring to a boil.
  • Carefully add the rice and allow to come to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and the rice absorb all the liquid.
  • Turn the heat to lowest. Add raisins on top and cover the pan tightly with lid.
  • Carefully open the lid after 5-10 minutes and toss the rice gently with a fork. DO NOT stir!


  • Spread a layer of prepared rice on the serving plate. 
  • Make a well in the centre and fill it with the shawarma chicken.
  • Serve with tahini yoghurt. See recipe in notes!


  • You can use chicken thigh meat instead of filet. That is more flavourful.
  • You can also bake the chicken instead of cooking in skillet.
  • Do not stir the rice too often. That breaks the beautiful fragile grains. 
  • For the optional sauce : Mix 1 cup yoghurt + 4 tbs tahini paste + salt + pepper. Add a little lemon juice in case the yoghurt itself is not sour enough.

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Saeeda Khalid
3 years ago

5 stars
Made the recipe as soon as it was uploaded and with all the ingredients at hand found it super easy, quick, and highly delectable. Now a definite entree for my lunch and dinner parties for it was as much of a visual treat as super it was in taste💓

3 years ago

5 stars
Just tried it… it is Super easy and very amazing taste wise ❤️ Though i skipped the main ingredient of raisins cuz of my kids, but it still turned out great… i am sure with raisins it will be a level up… Thank you for sharing amazing recipes ❤️