Chicken Shawarma Rice
By :Jeffrey Eisner
Check out this delicious recipe from Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Cookbook: 150 Plant-Based Recipes from Indian Cuisine and Beyond, available on May 24th from Hachette Go.

Shawarma is a classic Middle Eastern street food, composed of spiced meat or poultry roasted on a rotisserie, thinly sliced, and often served in a pita (not unlike a gyro). I included a recipe for it in my orange book and due to its great popularity I decided to make my own take on shawarma as a complete rice dish. The flavors will make you think you’re eating some of the best street rice in the world while using the most affordable and accessible ingredients to make it come to life. See Jeff’s Tips for information on making it spicy or mild.
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Cuisine Middle East
Difficulty Medium
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook, Sauté
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted butter 1/4 stick
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick strips
  • 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 3 cups garlic broth (e.g. Garlic Better than Bouillon) or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper see Jeff’s tips
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 cups Basmati rice rinsed for 90 seconds and drained
OPTIONAL WHITE GARLIC SAUCE
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt not Greek or flavored
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp tahini optional
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1/8–1/4 tsp garlic salt to taste
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • tzatziki if not using the white garlic sauce and you want a shortcut
  • Dill pickles diced
Cuisine Middle East
Difficulty Medium
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook, Sauté
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted butter 1/4 stick
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick strips
  • 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 3 cups garlic broth (e.g. Garlic Better than Bouillon) or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper see Jeff’s tips
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 cups Basmati rice rinsed for 90 seconds and drained
OPTIONAL WHITE GARLIC SAUCE
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt not Greek or flavored
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp tahini optional
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1/8–1/4 tsp garlic salt to taste
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • tzatziki if not using the white garlic sauce and you want a shortcut
  • Dill pickles diced
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil and butter to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Once the butter’s melted, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened and the color begins to fade.
  2. Add the chicken and garlic and sauté until the chicken is pinkish-white in color, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, paprika, curry powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir until well combined and the bottom of the pot is clear of any browned bits. Add the rice and do not stir, but rather just smooth it out on top.
  4. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes. When done cooking, allow a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
  5. If using, combine the white garlic sauce ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix together, and set aside.
  6. Mix the rice up, transfer to a serving dish, and enjoy topped with the white garlic sauce (or tzatziki) and dill pickles, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Lighter Comforts: Should you wish to use brown rice instead of white, simply increase the pressure cook time to 15 minutes for a more al dente brown rice, or up to 25 minutes for a softer one (brown rice cooks a bit longer than white). Natural release time would then be 10 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively.

Make this dairy-free by omitting the butter and using a total of 1⁄4 cup olive oil.

JEFF’S TIP: In case spice isn’t your thing, start with 1 teaspoon of black pepper. You can always add more in Step 6 to taste.

You’ll notice the cayenne and red pepper flakes are optional; this is because adding them as written will make this a spicier dish (even more so than my Chicken Shawarma in the orange book, because all the spices are absorbed into the rice rather than just serving as a marinade). So if you want something with just a touch of spice, only use 1⁄4 teaspoon of each, or just one or the other. To that point, you can keep it mild by simply not adding them at all. It’s also worth noting that as a dish cools, the spice level usually does as well.