Are you a fan of shish kebab? Turkish cuisine is known not only for introducing the world to shish kebab but for a variety of delicious grilled meats and kebabs. Chunks of marinated lamb or beef are placed on the skewers, usually without vegetables, and turned over a coal fire until they’re done. Some of the world’s best and most flavorful kebabs come from Turkey’s southeastern provinces, and you can make many of these dishes at home.
Beef Shish Kebab
For a classic kebab that’s easy to make, you can’t go wrong with beef shish kebabs. This recipe calls for the meat to be marinated overnight and cooked on a charcoal grill. If you’d like grilled vegetables with your kebabs, grill them on separate skewers.
Ground Lamb Kebab
This dish is made with ground beef or lamb kneaded together with onion, garlic, and Turkish spices, then packed by hand around large, flat metal skewers. Adana is usually served with grilled vegetables like hot green chili peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and a hearty bulgur and vegetable pilaf.
Another popular kebab is the cousin of Adana kebab. Named after the city of Urfa, Urfa kebab is prepared in nearly the same fashion as Adana minus some of the spice. Urfa has a mild flavor seasoned with onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and sweet paprika kneaded into the meat. It becomes tender and juicy letting the flavor of the meat shine through.
Crispy shavings of döner are laid upon a loaf of tender, flat pide bread, similar to pita, that’s been cut into small squares. The entire dish is doused with melted butter, creamy yogurt, and a tangy tomato sauce. They’re covered in a sauce that might be yogurt-based, such as tzatziki or sesame-based such as tahini.
This succulent classic begins with tender chunks of lamb. The stewed lamb is presented on top of a bed of hot mash made with fire-roasted eggplant that’s been whipped together with strained yogurt, similar to Greek yogurt. This dish is at its best when you use chunks of tender lamb good enough for grilling.
This kebab is made with either breast meat or dark meat chicken marinated with spices and grilled on skewers. It’s a simple dish that’s sure to please everyone. A spicier version is coated with seasoned red pepper paste. You can add vegetables to the skewer such as onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.
Kebabs are traditionally served over a bed of rice or couscous, either on or off the skewers. You can accompany them with pita bread and a salad or tangy slaw. Carry the kebab theme through to dessert and serve skewered fruit, which you can even grill, with a yogurt dipping sauce.