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Shawama is Arabic fast food. You can find it on sale on street corners in most Arab countries.

Slabs of lean lamb are placed alongside thin layers of fat on a giant vertical skewer. The skewer turns slowly and evenly cooks the meat. The melting fat contributes to the flavour. The cook uses a long sharp knife to shave off the cooked meat into pita bread. The Shawama normally includes some vegetables and yoghurt or a mint sauce. It can also be made with chicken, although this variant is less common than lamb.

Europeans have a similar meal called the donner kebab. Although it’s cooked and served in the same way, the main difference is the quality of meat used. European kebabs are normally made with cheaper ground meat.

The word “Shawama” is a phonetic English spelling based on the original Arabic word. You can also find it correctly spelt as Shawarma.

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