Turkey Shawerma Nuggets

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Okay okay, I know what you're thinking.  Shawarma by its nature means sliced so a shawarma nugget is basically an oxymoron.  But, luckily for us, the culinary world is a creative space and there are no food police so technically I can do what I want.  

This of course goes against everything my mom believes in.  I think I mentioned in the past that my mom, a culinary genius, but when it comes to Middle Eastern dishes she is absolutely by the book.  She grew up eating shawarma in a pita wrap, with garlic sauce and pickles and you absolutely cannot convince her to eat shawarma in nugget form.  She'll eat the nugget, she just won't call it shawarma.  It's unorthodox and she doesn't want to be a part of it. But with any other cuisine she will explore, create and run free. 

And just to be clear, these nuggets are not going to replace your shawarma wrap craving but they do taste amazing and they're perfect for your kids or for entertaining and thats what matters.  Anything and everything in mini form right?


Shawerma is one of those things that you have to have in the Middle East.  I have yet to find a place in the US that makes a shawarma sandwich like the way they make them in Damascus.  Don't get me wrong, I've had a ton of great tasting shawarma sandwiches but none that are similar to the ones from the street vendors or shawarma cafes in Damascus.  They are made different in various parts of the Middle East and Turkey but in Damascus they are made small and simple.  Fresh warm bread, juicy flavorful chicken shawarma, garlic sauce and green middle eastern pickles.  Thats it.  Simple but perfect.  

But back to the recipe at hand.  I have been trying hard to think of different ways to feed my child.  She sure likes to challenge me.  These were perfect because she approved of their shape (she decides what to eat based on the shape and color of the dish)  and they tasted amazing.  I actually had to "taste test" about 4 of these as I was taking pictures!

Muhammara pull apart wreath

This dish looks so impressive and looks so difficult to make but it's actually super easy!  I did semi cheat though (didn't make my own dough and used already made muhamamra) BUTT the idea is that the technique is what looks impressive and that part is not difficult at all.  You can make your own dough or use store bought, it's up to you.  You can also spread anything you want inside, it doesn't have to be Muhammara obviously.  I've made it with olive oil and zaatar, a variety of cheese, and also pizza sauce and mozzarella.  You can get as creative as you want!

For the Muhammara, you can make some and keep it stored in the fridge to use as a dip, spread on sandwiches or as a sauce.  That's what made this so simple, I had some already made and ready to go.  I posted the recipe for the Muhammara here

Since it only takes 10 minutes in the oven, I assembled it at home and wrapped it.  Once I got to my guests house I popped it in the oven for 10 minutes and it was fresh, warm and yummy!