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Tastes From the Kitchen: Shawarma King

Kalamazoo’s reputation as a must-visit destination city for foodies across Michigan is growing with every addition to its impressive food landscape. Not only can you find restaurants offering food inspired by a vast array of regional American cuisines, the variety of international flavors available across the area is impressive.

For those who are looking to experience authentic and flavorful Middle Eastern Cuisine in a family environment, Shawarma King should top your list. Located at 1441 S. Drake Rd., the restaurant gets its name from its signature dish, which is characterized by a variety of meats placed on a spit and roasted slowly over long periods of time. This allows the meat to become tender and flavorful as it cooks. The meat is carved from the spit as needed and served by itself with sides, in a sandwich or on a salad.

Shawarma King’s menu is vast, with something for everyone, whether you’re dining with someone new to Middle Eastern fare or your party is full of shawarma enthusiasts. You’ll find Shish Kabobs, Biryani, Falafel, Stuffed Grape Leaves and, of course, hommous. The restaurant prides itself on being vegetarian and vegan friendly. In fact, on Wednesdays all vegetarian meals are 10% off.

Nidal Awad, the Head Chef and Owner of Shawarma King, studied at both the Notre Dame Culinary School and Jerusalem Al-Quds Open University. He is passionate about offering quality Middle Eastern food made with the freshest quality ingredients. His is a family business that he firmly believes belongs to the people of Kalamazoo. He prides himself on providing excellent customer service in a casual, family-friendly environment.

Chef Nidal is a husband and father who relishes time spent with his family. When he’s not creating delicious food for his customers, you can often find him at the gym or cooking grape leaves with lamb for the ones he loves.

People make special trips to Shawarma King just for the hommous and many will tell you that one taste of Chef Nidal’s famous hommous will ruin you for the store-bought versions. He has been kind enough to share that recipe with our readers so that you can give it a try at home. Enjoy!

Makes 4 cups

  • 1 cup dried chick peas
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup tahina
  • 2 large cloves garlic



  1. Soak 1 cup dried chick peas overnight. Boil for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.
  2. Cool the boiled chick peas down and puree in food processor
  3. Combine the chick peas with garlic, tahina, salt and lemon juice in food processor.
  4. When the mixture is smooth, pour into a container.
  5. Decorate with paprika, parsley or sumac if desired.

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