Chicken Shawarma with Braised Carrots and Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

The marinade in this recipe is a bit of work, but the flavor it adds to grilled chicken thighs is so worth the effort. A creamy cucumber-yogurt salad and cumin-scented braised carrots complement the spice of the chicken.
Chicken shawarma with braised carrots and cucumber-yogurt salad

*Chicken shawarma
Cumin-scented braised carrots Cucumber-yogurt salad Sparkling water with lemon*

Makes 4 servings

4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5lbs total)
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
Pinch of cinnamon

1lb baby carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), coarsely chopped.
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Pinch of salt

In Advance: Make marinade and marinate chicken thighs for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon.
  2. Add chicken to bowl and mix thoroughly to coat. Refrigerate for 1-24 hours.


  1. Heat grill to 400 degrees.
  2. While grill is heating, prepare salad. Mix together yogurt, garlic and mint. Add chopped cucumber and red onion, tossing to coat with dressing.
  3. Start carrots. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet or large frying pan. Add carrots and toss for a few minutes until they begin to brown. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper and stir briefly. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
  4. While carrots simmer, grill chicken for about 6 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Note - if two people are preparing this meal, it works well for one person to grill the chicken while the other prepares the carrots and salad.

Time Savers:

  • Mix a double batch of marinade and keep the remainder frozen for later use.