|Alternative names||chawarma, çevirme, shaurma, showarma, other variations|
|Place of origin||Ottoman Empire|
|Region or state||Levant|
|Associated cuisine||Middle East|
|Main ingredients||Meat: lamb, chicken, turkey, beef|
Sandwich: Shawarma meat, pita or wrap bread, chopped or shredded vegetables, pickles and assorted condiments
|Similar dishes||Doner kebab, kebab, İskender kebap, al pastor, gyros|
Shawarma (//; Arabic: شاورما) is a popular Middle Eastern dish that originated in the Ottoman Empire, consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in an inverted cone, and roasted on a slowly turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, it may also be made with chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. Thin slices are shaved off the cooked surface as it continuously rotates. Shawarma is a popular street food in the greater Middle East, including Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, and other Levant countries, also served widely in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Shawarma is an Arabic rendering of the Ottoman Turkish çevirme (چيويرمى) ([tʃeviɾˈme], "turning"), referring to the turning rotisserie.
Although the roasting of meat on horizontal spits has an ancient history, the shawarma technique—grilling a vertical stack of meat slices and cutting it off as it cooks—first appeared in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, in what is now Turkey, in the form of doner kebab,  which both the Greek gyros and shawarma are derived from. Shawarma, in turn, led to the development during the early 20th century of the contemporary Mexican dish tacos al pastor when it was brought there by Lebanese immigrants.
Shawarma is prepared from thin cuts of seasoned and marinated lamb, mutton, veal, beef, chicken, or turkey. The slices are stacked on a skewer about 60 cm (20 in) high. Pieces of fat may be added to the stack to provide extra juiciness and flavor. A motorized spit slowly turns the stack of meat in front of an electric or gas-fired heating element, continuously roasting the outer layer. Shavings are cut off the rotating stack for serving, customarily with a long, flat knife.
Spices may include cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric or paprika, and in some areas baharat. Shawarma is commonly served as a sandwich or wrap, in a flatbread such as pita or laffa. In the Middle East, chicken shawarma is typically served with garlic sauce, fries, and pickles. The garlic sauce served with the sandwich depends on the meat. Toum or toumie sauce is made from garlic, vegetable oil, lemon, and egg white or starch, and is usually served with chicken shawarma. Tarator sauce is made from garlic, tahini sauce, lemon, and water, and is served with beef shawarma.
In Israel, most shawarma is made with dark-meat turkey and is commonly served with tahina sauce because yogurt sauce with meat would violate the Jewish dietary prohibition on eating milk and meat together. It is often garnished with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, pickled vegetables, hummus, tahina sauce, sumac, or amba mango sauce. Some restaurants offer additional toppings, including grilled peppers, eggplant, or french fries.
In Bahrain, there is a popular shawarma variant known as 'malgoum.' This traditional shawarma is served inside chapati or paratha bread. The name 'malgoum' means 'loaded' or 'heavily filled,' and it lives up to its name with a generous serving of sauces, and fillings such as french fries and cheese, and sometimes, a dash of hot sauce.
Shawarma is a popular Levantine Arab specialty.
Shawarma - An Arab sandwich similar to the gyro.
Neither in the written recipes of the medieval Arab cuisine nor in the Turkish cookbooks from the first half of the 19th century are there any indications. According to research carried out by Turkish master chef Rennan Yaman, who lives in Berlin, the doner kebab is an amazingly young creation of Ottoman cuisine. (Quote translated from the German)
Bursa is the town that gave birth to the world-famous doner kebab, meat roasted on a vertical revolving spit.