Marinating the lamb the night before means all you need to do is roll it up and pop it in the oven.


Credit: Chelsea Kyle

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs
Serves 6 to 8

Shawarma seasoning blends can be found online, or you can make your own: Mix 2 tsp. ground coriander, 1 tsp. ground pepper, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. ground allspice, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom, and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves.

This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • For the lamb, with the food processor running, add the garlic and process until chopped. Add the yogurt, onion, and shawarma seasoning and process until almost smooth. Place the lamb in a large zip-top bag. Pour in the shawarma marinade, seal the bag, and turn to coat. Let the lamb marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the bag occasionally, or refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. If refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before continuing.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Transfer the lamb to a small roasting pan; discard marinade. Roll up the lamb and tie with kitchen twine at 1 1/2- to 2-inch intervals to form a roll. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the lamb until an instant-read thermometer registers 130° for medium-rare or 140° for medium, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the figs and 3/4 cup of water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 4 minutes. Stir in the dates, pine nuts, parsley, and lemon zest.

  • Transfer the lamb to a cutting board. Add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan, swirling to combine with the juices (leave any burnt bits behind), then stir into the fig sauce in the saucepan. Rewarm the fig sauce, simmering to thicken slightly, if needed. Remove strings and slice lamb. Serve with the sauce.