- Adana Kebab
Made from spicy, hand-minced meat and grilled on an iron skewer on a charcoal barbeque, Adana Kebabs, unsurprisingly, are named after Adana, Turkey’s fifth largest city. The key to cooking an Adana kebab is frequent turning of the skewers and collecting the melting melting fat by pressing pieces of flatbread against the meat as it cooks. The oily flatbread is served with the kebab along with green peppers, onions, parsley and sumac.
2. Testi Kebab
Hailing from Central Anatolia and the Western Black Sea Region this flavoursome kebab is cooked in a clay pot with onions, tomatoes, potatoes, cumin, pepper and lots of butter with a bit of flour and water to thicken the sauce. It was originally made out of diced goat meat, although these days you will find mainly lamb, beef and chicken versions available. A testi kebab takes 3-4 hours to cook, and you will usually need to book it hours ahead of time so that it is ready for when you arrive at the restaurant. However, many restaurants offer a modified version that is cooked faster to allow you to try this tasty treat.
3. Iskender Kebab
Hailing from Bursa, and perhaps the “king” of the kebabs, the Iskender kebab is a simple, yet rich treat that won’t be easily forgotten. First warmed up pide bread is placed on the plate and drizzled with hot butter then covered with super thin slices of lamb This is then covered with a tomato sauce then topped with spicy melted butter and, if requested, some fat from the meat.
4. Beyti Kebab
A must-taste when you visit Turkey, the Beyti Kebab is a fresh take on the traditional skewered kebab. It is a relative newcomer on the kebab scene, having been created in 1961 by Istanbul restaurant owner Beyti Güler who was inspired by a famous Swiss butcher’s method of preparing meat during a trip to Switzerland. The minced meat is delicately seasoned with coriander, cumin, black pepper, salt, chilli flakes and parsley before cooking it on a skewer. After it is cooked, it is wrapped in a thin lavash bread and cut into small pieces. It is generally topped with a tomato based sauce and served with lashings of yoghurt.
5. Cağ Kebab
The Cağ Kebab could be considered a cousin to the famous doner kebab, however it is different in that it is rotated horizontally instead of vertically, over a wood fire. Originating from the province of Erzurum in Turkey’s South-East, the secret to this kebab is its marinating process. Lamb, spices, yoghurt and large quantities of tail fat are marinated for a full day before cooking. It is served on skewers with strips of very thin flat bread, generally along with a salad an spicy tomato paste. The result is a simple but incredible taste sensation.