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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lamb Souvlaki for a Friday night

A good Friday night meal to be eaten in front of the TV watching one of our favourite old movies (Diva - from France. 1981). Souvlaki in one hand, beer in the other....noice! Souvlaki (or shwarma as I noticed they were called in Europe) is a really popular take-away meal here, especially after a few drinks at the pub when you could eat a horse...and as fast foods go, it's the healthiest you can choose. Fresh bread, grilled lamb and fresh salads will always beat a McDonald's burger or take-away pizza hands down - and is tastier anyway. We have a favourite place in Melbourne that makes the best souvlakis (in our opinion), and sprinkles them with ground sumac, which gives it a great tangy and spicy flavour. We don't have sumac at home so I had to compromise by using lemon juice and chili powder.
Just marinate some lamb (or chicken) overnight in lots of garlic, lemon juice, chili powder and good, dried oregano (we used our stuff from Greece. Again!). Cook it up the next day, so it gets crispy and crunchy on the outside and wrap it in some pita bread with lettuce, raw onion and tomatoes (I liked our baby tomato variation). The take-away shops always use a great garlic sauce, but we make it easier by buying a tub of tzaziki from the supermarket: yogurt, cucumber & garlic dip. It gives the moistness needed when wrapping something in pita bread. Wrap into a roll and eat, trying not to let it explode out the other end onto your lap.
A great lazy meal after another great lazy summer day!


  • (ronald-lovesicily) - souvlaki is short for souvla and souvla is essentially a big skewer while souvlaki is a small skewer - souvla takes big chunks of meat and souvlaki little ones. tzatziki (or talatouri as it is called in cyprus) - is wonderful with also some mint in addition to the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and salt... I feeling homesick already!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/01/2005 07:23:00 am  

  • I think it was the huge wave of Greek migrants in the 1950s and 60s that is the reason we always call these souvlaki. Most shops that sell them aren't run by Greeks anymore, but Lebanese and Turkish, but the name souvlaki has entered the Australian conscious and that's still what everyone asks for. It must really annoy the non-Greek people!
    Mmm - mint with tzaziki would be a wonderful idea. Very cooling for a summer's day. Perfect for the weather here at the moment!

    By Blogger Niki, at 2/01/2005 01:04:00 pm  

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