Zero-oil Chicken Shawarma Salad (in Air Fryer)
Next morning before P left for work, I told him casually that there would be Shawarma Wraps which he can eat once he is back. He asked equally casually, "Are you going to make it in the air fryer?" "Of course not!" I replied. But once he left, the idea lingered in my head. Our air fryer was a wedding gift from P's friends S and S. They couldn't be here physically during the ceremony, so they chose to send their love and wishes through this and a kindle for P AND Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia Child) for me. Ain't they the greatest friends ever?! Now all this while, we had successfully made French Fries in it (both normal and sweet potatoes). But that was about it. A week or so back I fried some cauliflower and they turned out to be — wait for it — LEGENDARY. That was followed up with some ladies' fingers and that too came out crispy and crunchy as ever! Emboldened by my recent successes, I decided to give the air fryer a chance with the chicken. And thank God I did! It came our tender in the centre and charred at the edges. I finished off half a bowlful of shawarma strips just on its own. No wrap was made and no picture taken. Of course I had to make it again. So this time I ensured I had all the ingredients of the salad chopped and ready by the time my chicken was cooking. Otherwise my Chicken Shawarma Salad still wouldn't have seen the light of day!
Chicken, boneless and cut into thin strips: 500 gm
For the marination:
Lime juice: of 1 big lime
Hung Yoghurt: 2 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp (optional)
Paprika/Red chilli powder: 1/2-1 tsp
Sumac: 1 tsp (optional)
Salt: to taste
For the salad:
Red bell pepper, chopped: 1
Yellow bell pepper, chopped: 1
English cucumber, chopped: 1/2
Tomato, chopped: 1
Coriander/Mint leaves: a handful + for garnish
For the dressing:
Hung yoghurt: 3-4 tbsp
Mayonnaise: 2 tbsp
Sumac: 1 tsp
Olive oil: 1 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Salt, to taste (if required)
Special equipment: Air Fryer
1. Marinade the chicken strips with the items listed under marination and keep it refrigerated for 4-6 hours or overnight.
2. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat your air-fryer for 5 minutes at 200ºC for 5 minutes, tumble the chicken strips inside and air-fry for 15-18 minutes, till they are soft and tender in the middle but charred and crispy from outside. In the stretch of those 15 minutes take the tray out 2-3 times and give it a good shake.
(You can also bake the chicken in the oven — 10-12 minutes on one side, flip and then 4-5 minutes on the other at the same temperature.)
3. While the chicken is cooking, assemble your veggies in a salad bowl. Feel free to add anything else like zucchini, olives, lettuce or any other salad greens.
4. In another bowl, keep you dressing ready by whisking all the ingredients together.
5. Once the chicken is cooked, take half of it and add to the salad. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
6. Arrange the remaining strips of chicken on top, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
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