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Easy Shawarma Seasoning Mix

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Easy Shawarma Seasoning Mix is a delightful blend of spices enjoyed in Jewish Mizrahi and Middle Eastern cooking that brings the flavor of shawarma (a favorite Middle Eastern street food) – right into your home!

Shawarma mix in a white bowl on a white wood table

Shawarma flavoring can be found in stores that carry Israeli foods and I shop where I can easily get ready-made shawarma mix.

However sometimes a company will change it’s ingredient list or sometimes, so my daughter ( and I decided we would recreate the flavor we love.

We mixed and tasted until our tongues were numb and then we called over one of my sons to help out.

When we were done, Easy Shawarma Seasoning Mix was at least as good as our favorite store-bought brand and This Easy Shawarma Seasoning Mix can be made in a matter of minutes!

Then you can enjoy Easy Homemade Chicken Shawarma or Easy Homemade Turkey Shawarma at your table!

Want to try another Israeli seasoning mix? Try Easy Israeli Grill Seasoning Mix!

Easy Homemade Shawarma in two pita halves on a white plate on a white wood table

A little background

When I was single, I would make the simplest things (like grilled cheese or boiled chicken in onion soup mix), so when I got first married, I had no idea how to cook. Over the years, I learned by asking and getting advice.

I never learned to actually like cooking, but I do so for my family and love my kids’ reaction when I make something they enjoy eating.

My kids consider me to be a very good cook. Why? Because everything I make is to their particular specifications. Every since they were little, I would make whatever anyone liked (there was no “if you don’t like it, have cereal”). Having six kids, I could easy make several dishes for a sit-down meal and was very happy when more than one of them wanted the same thing.

Besides, not liking to cook, I dislike going out even more. I used to like going out, until one day, I went out and couldn’t find anything reasonably priced on the menu that was something I couldn’t make on my own at home. So, I made a rule, if I can make it at home, I am not eating it out.

Shawarma was one of those things that I would eat out.

Then I came across Shawarma seasoning.

To be honest, I still eat Shawarma out, however sometimes a person wants to eat something and not have to drive to get it. Not to mention if you live in a place where it can’t even be considered local.

A little about Israeli cuisine

Some people complain about cultural appropriation in cuisine when food from one country is attributed to another country.

However, national cuisine in itself is often a mingling of food from of a variety of cultures, often due to a change of ruling countries and a shifting of borders.

Turkish cuisine, for example, goes back to the Ottoman Empire and was a combination of several cultures under Ottoman rule.

When people move from country to country, they will take their cultures with them and their decendents may adapt their traditional cuisine with that of their new home and, if they don’t, others might.

Chinese food in US restaurants is quite often not really authentic Chinese, but American Chinese.

Americans have created a whole variety of types and styles of pizza and pineapple pizza was apparently created in Canada by a Greek immigrant. Yet, everyone still calls them all “pizza”, which originated in Italy.

Spaghetti is thought to be an Italian food, but many historians believe that it was brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.

Apparently, battered fried fish was from the Portuguese Jewish community as a sabbath food and ended up in England via Holland during the Spanish Inquisition, yet everyone attributes the food to the British.

…and don’t get me started on Hummus.

When one lives in a melting pot, such as the US or Israel, it is just unrealistic to expect that food from a particular culture won’t mingle with that of other cultures.

That being said, “Israeli cuisine” is basically Middle Eastern (as opposed to Eastern European food) that was brought to Israel by Jews when they fled or were expelled from Muslim countries and moved to Israel mostly after the declaration of the State of Israel (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews).

Recipes were passed from generation to generation and, although decades have passed, the foods are still known by the culture they came from and everyone seems to have their own way of making them.

That said, there are many variations of pretty much any “Israeli” recipe, because of background, custom, or even just taste. When choosing a recipe, one has to know what actually constitutes a main ingredient – what makes the dish what it is – and what is left up to individual taste.

I personally find it very arrogant and quite irritating when a blogger(not naming names) will put “authentic” in the title of an “Israeli” recipe, as if all the rest are mere imitations. What’s worse, is when that blogger makes the recipe with her own twist and then calls it authentic!

Adding more or less of a spice or adding a spice that is not in the recipe, does not make it less authentic, but calling it “authentic” and then adding unnecessary extra ingredients above and beyond what needs to be there, is misleading.

For example, “authentic” Israeli salad (what Israelis call Israeli salad) is diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, they will add some oil salt and pepper, but THAT’S IT. Anything else does not have to be there, but if you leave out the cucumbers or the tomatoes, you no longer have an “Israeli salad”.

So, find the recipes you like with the ingredients you prefer, add your own twists, and בתאבון (literally translated, “with appetite”) !

A Little About Shawarma

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern meat dish that is a popular street food.

Shawarma’s origin is from the Doner Kabab from Turkey, whose modern cuisine developed from the Ottomans of the Ottoman Empire who adopted combined different traditional dishes of the countries they ruled.

The Greek version of a shawarma is a Gyro, which will often include pork.

Both names (Doner and Gyro) indicated turning or spinning and in fact the name shawarma comes from the Turkish form of the Arabic word for turn or spin.

Shawarma is made from different types of meat that can be used together to create it. These include, lamb, turkey, chicken, and beef.

The different types of seasoned meat are sliced and skewered in tight layers on a vertical rotisserie or spit with layers of fat at the top. The skewer rotates vertically and slowly near a heat source and the fat melts over the meat giving the meat a wonderful flavor as lightly roasts on the outside.

Shawarma is a popular street food in the Middle East. It seems that every country has their own traditional way of eating it.

In Israel, it will normally be served in a pita or, in a laffa (an Iraqi flatbread that is part of Israeli cuisine) together with a variety of additions, such as tahini, humus, babaganush,(eggplant spread), pickles, Israeli salad (diced cucumbers and tomatoes), French fries, pickled cabbage, and more. Everyone just puts in what they like.

Skewer of shawarma at a popular Israeli eatery.

Tips for making shawarma seasoning mix at home

  • Note that the strong Middle Eastern taste is the cumin which is the dominant taste of shawarma seasoning. Everyone has their own taste as far as the seasoning is concerned, so feel free to add more or less of whatever you like.
  • If you would like a spicier flavor, use hot paprika to taste and less sweet paprika in the same quantity.
  • The more yellow the spice, the more turmeric in the ingredients (be careful not to use too much or the resulting taste may be reminiscent of soap).
Yield: Approximate 1/2 cup

Easy Shawarma Seasoning Mix

Shawarma mix in a white bowl on a white wood table

Simple and quick homemade shawarma spice to keep for anytime you want to make homemade shawarma.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin (more, if you like a stronger taste)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)


Mix all spices together well in a bowl.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

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