Lamb rump shawarma with tomato and tea sauce
15 minutes, plus marinating overnight
Preparation time
50 minutes
Cooking time


Shawarma paste

1 tsp black peppercorns
3 cloves
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 star anise
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground fenugreek
1 ½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sumac, ground
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
3 cm piece ginger (15 g), grated
2 garlic cloves
½ cup coriander leaves and stems
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil


4 lamb rumps, cap off and trimmed of sinew
Neutral cooking oil
Fine sea salt

Coriander, to serve


500 g plain flour
500 g yoghurt
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt flakes
2 tbsp seeds (sesame, poppy seeds etc.)

Tomato and tea sauce

1 kg ripe tomatoes, halved, stalks retained
2 tbsp lapsang souchong loose-leaf tea
1 tbsp salt flakes
1 tsp white sugar, optional
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, optional


Shawarma paste

  1. In a small frying pan, toast the black pepper, cloves, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and star anise on medium heat, induction setting 6 for approximately 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Allow to cool and then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  3. In a small food processor, add the spice powder with the remaining ingredients and process until a paste is formed.


  1. Start the lamb 1 day in advance.
  2. Rub half the shawarma paste over the lamb and place in a vacuum sealing bag. Place into the vacuum sealing drawer and Vacuum on level 3 and Seal on level 3. Allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Place the sealed bag into a perforated steam container in the steam oven. Sous-vide at 62°C for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the lamb from the bag and drain any juices. Lightly oil and season with fine sea salt.
  6. Preheat the griddle plate on medium-high heat, induction setting 7 for 7 minutes.
  7. Chargrill the lamb for 4 minutes on both sides.


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined.
  2. Rest for 30 minutes on the bench at room temperature.
  3. Heavily flour the bench, as it’s a sticky dough.
  4. Divide into 10 balls and roll 5 mm thick, sprinkle with seeds and roll them into the dough.
  5. Heat a heavy pan or griddle plate on medium heat, induction setting 5 and allow to heat for 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high, induction setting 7 and allow to heat for a further 3 minutes.
  6. Cook the flatbread for 3 minutes on both sides, until blistered and charred.

Tomato and tea sauce

  1. In a blender, add the tomatoes and salt and process on high speed for at least 2 minutes until the seeds have broken down and it’s a smooth puree.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the tomato puree, tomato stalks and loose-leaf tea. Bring to the boil on high heat, induction setting 9 and stir every couple of minutes for 10 minutes.
  3. Pass through a large double mesh sieve and press all the puree through, scraping the bottom of the sieve to get as much of the puree through as possible. Discard the loose-leaf tea and tomato stalks left in the sieve.
  4. Return the puree to a clean saucepan and continue to boil on high heat, induction setting 8 for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  5. The sauce can be passed through a fine sieve again for a smooth finish if desired.
  6. Depending on the tomatoes, the sauce may require a little sugar to balance the taste.
  7. To enrich the sauce, a little extra virgin olive oil can be emulsified in.

To serve

  1. Slice the lamb thickly against the grain and season the cut sides with salt flakes.
  2. Serve with the sauce and coriander at room temperature.

Hints and tips

  • This shawarma paste recipe makes more than you need. The remaining paste can be used for vegetables, whole roast chicken, or frozen for later use.
  • If lapsang souchong can’t be found, then loose-leaf English breakfast tea can be used. Reduce to 2 teaspoons and a few drops of hickory smoke liquid.
  • The quality of the tomato sauce will depend on the quality of the tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are great, however you need to use a very ripe tomato, so it’s best to select the tomato variety based on seasonality and ripeness.


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