Legendary Dishes | Kapsalon (the hairdresser = potato fries, shoarma / shawarma meat, cheese, salad and sauce)

West Kruiskade in central Rotterdam – the street of the thousand flavours – where the kapsalon originated. Photo from Spicy by Irene de Vette
BELGIUM | NETHERLANDS

Potato fries coated with shoarma (aka shawarma) meat and melting gouda cheese, topped with salad and served with a sauce, this is the Hairdresser! The dish originated in 2003 when Nathaniel Gomes, the Cape Verdean owner of the Rotterdam hairdresser Tati, went to the shoarma shop El Aviva and asked for all this favourite ingredients in one go. It became a regular order, took its name, and is now very popular among Dutch and Belgian youths. At 1800 kcal kapsalon is a calorie bomb.

Essential Ingredients

Kapsalon is also made with chicken, döner, falafel, gyros or kebab.

  • Shoarma (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey)
  • Baked fries
  • Grated cheese
  • Iceberg lettuce, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Sauces: garlic sauce, curry sauce, peanut sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise

Shoarma (Shawarma) Spice Mixtures

The spices for shoarma (shawarma) are variations of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace, nutmeg and black, cayenne and paprika pepper.

Dry Mix

  • 15 g coriander, ground
  • 15 g cumin, ground
  • 15 g garlic, powder
  • 8 g cinnamon, ground
  • 8 g paprika, ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric, ground
  • Cayenne, large pinch
  • Cloves, large pinch

Wet Mix

  • 120 ml lemon juice
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 60 ml apple cider / grape vinegar
  • 60 ml olive oil / vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Caraway, large pinch
  • Cardamom, ground, large pinch
  • Cayenne, ground, large pinch
  • Cinnamon, ground, large pinch
  • Cumin, ground, large pinch
  • Ginger, ground, large pinch
  • Pepper, ground, large pinch

The Dutch add nutmeg to these mixes.

Shoarma (Shawarma) Beef

Derived from the Turkish verb çevirme (revolve, rotate) to describe grilling stacked meat on a spit during the Ottoman period (1518 to 1918), migrants from the Levant brought the method to the Netherlands, where it evolved separately to the tradition that remained in the eastern Mediterranean’s Arabic regions. Traditionally it was a mixture of all kinds of poor quality meat marinated in a large quantity of garlic and spices to mask the flavour, grilled, like the Turkish döner kebab, on a vertical spit (instead of the horizontal spit), an indication that it was influenced by Iskender Efendi who changed the centuries old method of grilling stacked meat in the 1860s. Essentially döner and shoarma / shawarma are the same, with different names and variations in preparation and content between Europe and the Levant.

  • 500 g beef, lean, cut into strips
  • 75 ml shoarma (shawarma) wet mix
  • 15 ml sunflower oil

Marinate meat in the wet shoarma (shawarma) mixture overnight. Brown meat in oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat, about five minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place meat in a small baking tray, spoon a tablespoon of the marinade over the top. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake for ten minutes. Leave to rest for five minutes, serve.

Shoarma (Shawarma) Chicken

  • 500 g chicken, cut into strips
  • 15 ml red / white wine vinegar
  • 15 g shoarma (shawarma) dry mix
  • 15 ml sunflower oil

Marinate meat in the shoarma (shawarma) spices overnight. Brown meat in oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat, about five minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place meat in a small baking tray and spoon vinegar over the top. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for ten minutes. Leave to rest for five minutes, serve.

Shoarma (Shawarma) Lamb

  • 500 g lamb, lean, cut into strips
  • 120 ml yoghurt
  • 2 red peppers
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 g shoarma (shawarma) dry mix
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Marinade meat and peppers in oil and spices for an hour, separate meat. Combine garlic, yoghurt and seasonings. Brown meat in a wok over a high heat, add peppers, then the garlic yoghurt mixture. Cook for five minutes. Serve with hot pita (flatbread / pouch bread), the sauce on the side, garnished with green chillies and lemon wedges.

Text © Fricot Project 1998-2019 | Photos Irene de Vette

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