Souvlaki is the best-known Greek food, a word that reminds Greece as much as the Acropolis. Anyone who has visited Greece I’m sure that he has tasted the famous Greek souvlaki at least once.
Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita roll with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes.
WHAT IS SOUVLAKI:
Souvlaki is attested in Greece since antiquity, mentioned amongst others in the works of ancient Greek famous historians and Classical writers like Aristophanes, Xenophon etc. The skewered meat, kebab-like recipe, existed as a favourite in ancient Greece at Archaic times, as the earliest references are attested in Homer. However, excavations held in Akrotiri on the Greek island of Santorini unearthed stone sets of barbecue for skewers used before the 17th century BC.
The first souvlaki shops in Greece appeared in Livadia in 1951.Today souvlaki is available in souvlaki grill houses and restaurants in every Greek corner. You can order it as a takeaway and of course you’ll always find it sold at canteens at street markets, on the beach, at every festival.
In central Athens, everyone knows that Monasthraki square is the home for the best souvlaki. Visit my “monastiraki, the souvlaki temple“, or “Monastiraki-Athens Flea Market 1“, or “Monastiraki-Athens Flea Market 2“.
HOW TO SERVE:
Souvlaki may be served either rolled in a pita bread with tomato, onion, French fries and Tzatziki sauce (it is called “tilichto”), or plain meat cubes skewered on wooden skewers, marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and oregano (it is called “kalamaki”) or as a portion in a plate (it is called “merida”).
The meat can be either pork cubes, chicken cubes, gyros meat or lamb kebab meat.
MY CHICKEN SOUVLAKI RECIPE
4-6 pita bread for souvlaki
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, the juice
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 green pepper, cut in cubes
Greek Tzatziki sauce (see my Tzatziki post here)
HOW TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
1 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of Greek strained yogurt
1 tsp of mustard
1/2 tsp of curry powder
Put it in a frying pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
Quench with the lemon juice and add the oregano.
Grill the pita breads with a drop of olive oil in a clean frying pan until they become brownish. Don’t forget to turn both sides.
Rub the onion slices with some salt and blend it with the pepper.
Take a pita bread each time and form a roll. You may fill it with the chicken and add whatever you like (eg the sauce or the Tzatziki sauce, vegetables, herbs etc).
It’s a perfect recipe for children as they will love it.