Veggie Shawarma

Veggie Shawarma

This little recipe is just a follow up of my awesome story “The Con Artist”. I hope you read it, because the following recipe is going to make a lot of sense; well, at least, I hope so. You see, when we grew up in the unforgiving world of Rock’n’Roll fueled, penny less like many in the city of Rennes, administrative Capital of Brittany ( we all know Quimper is the real one!), we young Bretons had to treat each other once in a while. As I am writing these words, I noticed that a little red zig-zag appeared underneath the noun; this aggravates me greatly! Anyhow, it also appear to happen for the word “Zigzag” … Sigh! We drank bear during concerts and gigs and yet, we didn’t go to the temptation of “Mr Mc”… If we were lucky enough to have a few credits left, we went to the Lebanese, the Turks or even the Greeks for a soaking Shawarma. There was many different names for it, especially on St Anne’s square, our hunting ground, but we didn’t care… Our left wing upbringing made us all friends… 22 Francs for a Shawarma or a Djeros? Big money then for the poor, but we valued what was good to us!

St Annes’ Square- Rennes ( Photo Credit Cousin Julien Gillet)

Some of us even dedicated a song to the jolly sandwich, Harvey and brother Gael… Good times really! I decided to do a vegetarian version as I am off meat for some personal reasons, I hope you like it!

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Les Roufles

For The Chickpeas:

  • 200g of organic cooked chick peas
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Few leaves of fresh mint
  • Black pepper
  • A pinch of Fleur de Sel
  • 1/2 a lemon juice

Gently blitz all the ingredients in a blender, not too much! You need a bit of texture there…

Blitz the ingredients

For The Dressing…

  • Two large tbsp of kefir yogurt
  •  Olive oil
  • Fleur de sel
  • Fresh mint
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 a lemon
Mint and yogurt dressing

For The Dough:

  • 100 g of chestnut flour
  • 100 g of Buckwheat flour
  • Salt
  • olive oil
  • Water
Chestnut and Buckwheat Flour

Mix the dough with the two flours, with salt and water and let it rest… Now, you need too look at your chick pea mix, ready to fry…

Chick pea mix

So, all the ingredients are ready, this is how it goes…

All the ingredients…

First, make little cakes with the chick pea mix and fry with olive oil… Set aside when done…

Frying the chick pea mix

Et voila once cooked…

Fried chick pea cakes

Pour the dough on a very hot pan cake pan and spread gently, the Breton way…

A gentle spread

The dough should start to look like this, after a couple of tosses…

Ready to serve

Lay some fresh leaves first, then a bit of dressing, the wee chick pea cakes then and a bit more minty dressing…

Dressed and all…

An extra bit for the road…

The final compo…

Since things have changed and that I do not have the lip for meat anymore – especially lamb- I hope you will enjoy this recipe, revisited and from times gone by… Our hearts were in the right place… So were our livers!

Veggie Shawarma

Keep Well and Eat Happy…

Slán Tamall,







The Con Artist

Young Hungry Breton in fashion mode

You know, when you have to survive, one has to do some pretty crazy things. Well, when I mean survive, I really mean having enough money to have a bite to eat and most importantly, a few bob for a beer or two with your friends. It was in November 1991, and the autumnal air was brisk in Rennes, the Breton Capital. I had recently joined my comrades from secondary school and their rogue theater company called “The Smoking Dogs”, a “troop” made of former students from the college (Lycée) Alain-Renée Lesage, conveniently named after the Breton born playwright from the 17th/18th century. Funny really, the irony, knowing that he was born in Sarzeau, the birth place of our theatrical mutiny, where the father of my friend “ The Hero” had a country restaurant, HQ of our young lucubration. We moved to Rennes, Breton Mecca for students of all kinds: Law, psychology, history of art to just name a few and an absolute magnet for late teenagers and young adults who had a thirst for identity, music and art in general. The City allowed us to be us, yet to feed the need to be unknown again. We were broke but we managed with our few gigs here and there, chipping in when the going was good. I wasn’t an actor in the company, but a musician; Tom, our friend and director had had a vision and he wanted the dark concept of our plays to mix circus themes and live music on stage. I was happy to get the job, accompanying the talented Ronan on guitar with my tin whistles and sometimes playing riffs of bass to the performing actors. “The Hero” and Sergio were in charge of the lights, especially the pursuit projector following the every moves of the comedians, not an easy task!

Continue reading “The Con Artist”