How to make vegetarian lentil shwarma

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Shwarma refers to roasted meat, cooked on a spit, that's thinly sliced for pita-bread sandwiches. With that in mind, you might think that you can't make a vegetarian shwarma, but the recipe below totally delivers! Unlike its sandwich cousin gyros, shwarma is packed full of fragrant spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and coriander. Top it off with hummus and fresh vegetables, and you've got yourself a tasty sandwich.
I've seen vegetarian cauliflower shwarma recipes before, and those turn out pretty tasty. The thing I like about these lentil shwarma sandwiches is how similar they are in texture to roasted meat. The lentils maintain a bit of a crunch but they break down easily as you eat them and remind me of ground beef. Although I'm not a vegetarian, after eating one of these sandwiches I'm not sure I'll ever go back to the meat-filled versions.
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Vegetarian lentil shwarma
4
15 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 pitas, halved
1/4 cup hummus
Fresh vegetables, chopped
Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover them with a few inches of water. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes, adding water if needed, until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon and cardamom and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Put in the tomato paste, soy sauce, lemon juice and cooked lentils. Cook until the mixture is warmed through and the liquid has evaporated.
Spread the hummus on the pita bread and top it with the lentil mixture.
Top with fresh vegetables, such as shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers or olives.
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