Tag Archives: shawarma

Shawarma to go

The Washington Haggadah,  1478,   by Yoel ben Simeon

When the Israelites were about to leave Egypt, God told them to take a lamb. He directed Moses that …”They shall eat it roasted over the fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs…” (Exodus 12:8)…God continued the instructions. “This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly;” (Exodus 12:11)

It occurred to me that as well as telling the story of the exodus from Egypt through the haggadah, we could commemorate the exodus in another way. Through our menu.

This year I have decided to make a shawarma style main course. It will be delicious, easy, fun, and maybe even instigate a different kind of discussion.

Chicken Shawarma

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

1  1/2 kilos  (3. 3 lbs)  deboned chicken breast or chicken thighs

3 onions, sliced

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper to taste


1 Tbsp. chicken soup mix

3/4 c. olive oil

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 Tbsp. garam masala (or a mixture of cinnamon, cumin, coriander and pepper)


Slice the chicken into strips.

Make the marinade and pour over the chicken , letting it rest for at least 2 hours. It’s great if you can let it marinate longer- even overnight.

Fry the onions in a large frying pan. Add the marinated chicken and fry until the chicken is cooked through.

And that’s it! Super easy!

We’ll have a table full of hot sauce, “charif”, olives, pickles, coleslaw, and chopped cabbage to add to our “not-laffa” and shawarma.

Our vegetarians will get to tuck into marinated, sauteed portobello mushrooms, onions, and eggplant.

Have a good time at your seder, and if you try the shawarma recipe, let me know!

Chag kasher v’sameach,



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Not-Laffa for Pesach

Bird’s Head Haggadah, Ashkenaz, 1290.    The Israelites on the left are carrying dough as they escape Egypt.

I grew up and lived with my family in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We lived in a house overlooking the banks of the Red River. During Pesach of 1966 the Red River flooded and there was a possibility that we would have to leave our home. It was during Pesach – interesting timing to consider fleeing our homes!

The city of Winnipeg supplied homeowners in our situation with sand and sand bags. Each day people would go up and down the streets of threatened homes and drop in for a few hours to help build sandbag dikes to surround the houses. The army was even sent out to help with the work!

My mother Dorothy Crust- ever thoughtful- wanted to feed everyone who came out to help, but what could she feed them on Pesach? She boiled up hundreds of hot dogs and made hundreds of matzah meal latkes, and fed the kind volunteers hot dogs wrapped in latkes! What a brilliant idea! That was accompanied by soft drinks, coffee, and potato chips.

This year I decided that shawarma will be on my pesach menu. Thinking back to that exciting Pesach I decided to use my mother’s idea.Instead of laffa I will make not-laffaand for your dining pleasure I will share my recipe.


Not-Laffa Recipe

3/4 cup cake meal *

2 eggs

1 cup water (approximately)

1 tsp. saltP1140759

*cake meal is a finely ground matzah meal. You can use matzah meal instead if you want.

Combine the cake meal, eggs and salt. Add the water until you have a loose batter. It will be like a pancake batter. Pour a little oil into your heated frying pan then pour in a spoonful of the batter, smoothing it so the “blettl” (pancake) is as thin as possible. After two minutes or so on a medium high heat flip the “blettl” over. When it is a very light golden brown it is ready. Flip it out of the pan and then on to the next one.

Note: The amount of water you add will vary depending on humidity, type of cake meal, and the size of eggs you use.

I made four 6 1/2″ – 7″ inch not-laffas from this recipe.

‘m really looking forward to loading up my not-laffa with regular or veggie shawarma, Israeli salad, olives, pickles, hot sauce, pickled peppers….ooh, I can’t wait!

Enjoy your Pesach preparations, and I hope this gives you some new ideas.

Shabbat Shalom,



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