Spiced Lamb and Chickpea Shawarma with Ras el Hanout

, from Issue #63. February, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Spiced Lamb and Chickpea Shawarma with Ras el Hanout

Chickpeas and tender pieces of lamb are coated in a heady mix of Middle Eastern spices, then wrapped in warm flatbreads with vibrant beetroot hummus and yoghurt. 

Serves: 4


400 grams lamb fillets, shortloin or leg steaks
4 teaspoons ras el hanout (purchased or see recipe below)
1 x 400 gram tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
To assemble
4 flatbreads, warm
100 grams purchased beetroot hummus
100 grams thick plain yoghurt
1 cos lettuce, thinly sliced
½ small telegraph cucumber, cut into matchsticks
4 medium tomatoes, sliced

Ras el Hanout
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ginger, ground pepper and sea salt
½ teaspoon each ground allspice, coriander, cinnamon and smoked paprika
​¼ teaspoon each ground cloves and turmeric


Cut the lamb into 2cm pieces, trimming off any fat and sinew.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan and add the chickpeas. Cook over a high heat until lightly golden then sprinkle over half of the ras el hanout. Cook for another 2 minutes then transfer to a bowl. 

Add the remaining oil to the pan and, when hot, add the lamb. Sprinkle over the remaining spice mix and cook for 2 minutes until lightly golden. Return the chickpeas to the pan and toss together.

To assemble: Place the flatbreads on plates and top with the beetroot hummus and yoghurt. Pile on the lettuce then the lamb and chickpeas and top with cucumber and tomatoes. 

Pantry Note: Ras el hanout translates literally as ‘head of the shop’ and originated in North Africa. It is a complex and distinctive mix of up to 27 spices and herbs with specific quantities being a much guarded secret from one spice shop to the next. Use with meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, rice and grains. Available from food stores and some supermarkets.

Ras el Hanout

Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight jar.