Iskender Kebab

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
Base
4 pcs pita bread
20 g Butter
Tomato Sauce
30 g Butter
3 tablespoons Tomato puree
1 tablespoon paprika
100 ml water lukewarm
a pinch thyme
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a pinch Black pepper
Meat
500 g lamb boneless
1 teaspoon paprika
a pinch granulated garlic
a pinch ground coriander
a pinch ground cumin
a pinch Black pepper
1 tablespoon Salt
Butter Sauce
150 g Butter

Iskender Kebab

Cuisine:

Iskender kebab is a way of serving kebabs. It is served on a pita bread topped with tomato sauce, melted butter and yoghurt.

  • 40
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Base

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Meat

  • Butter Sauce

Directions

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Although there are at least a dozen types of kebabs in traditional Turkish cuisine, Iskender Kebab is one of the most famous. Of course, besides the doner kebab. However, legend has it that they have a common past. Both were invented by the same person – Iskender Efendi. Iskender Kebab is even named after him.

In fact, Iskender kebab is a way of serving kebabs. It is served on a pita bread topped with tomato sauce, melted butter and yoghurt. Very often served roasted with green chilli peppers.

Iskender Kebab Recipe Origin

According to legend, it originated in the late 19th century, from the city of Bursa, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire. There, the Iskender Efendi family ran a family restaurant, and he suggested to his father an innovation. He proposed baking meat vertically. This is how doner kebab was created and the rest is history.  You can read more about doner kebab history on my other blog post.

Iskender kebab has maintained its popularity to this day. Although it is a speciality from the Marmara region, today it can be found in restaurants throughout Turkey. You can sometimes find it on restaurant menus under the name Bursa kebabi or Uludağ kebabı.

Let us mention that the same restaurant where doner and Iskender kebabs were invented still operates in Bursa today.  It is owned by Iskender Efendi’s descendants. Besides that, in Bursa, you can find several other restaurants with a decades-long tradition of preparing this mouth-watering speciality.

I got this Iskender kebab recipe from my friend from Istanbul. She is a foodie as well, especially interested in traditional Turkish cuisine. According to her recipes, I made dozens of extremely tasty traditional Turkish dishes. In fact, without hesitation, I can say that she is the most deserving person for exploring Turkish cuisine.

Steps

1
Done

Cut the pita bread into 1-inch cubes. Heat the butter over low heat and fry these cubes for just a few minutes until they are crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.

2
Done

In another pan heat the butter and add the tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste melts, then add water, thyme, paprika, salt and black pepper to taste and let everything simmer for a few minutes until you get a thick sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.

3
Done

Cut the meat into thin slices or small chunks.

4
Done

In a deep bowl, mix the lamb, coriander, cumin, garlic, paprika, salt and black pepper. Pour in the juice of half a lemon. Mix everything well so the meat absorbs the marinades.

5
Done

In the third fraying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the marinated meat for just a few minutes on both sides. Since the meat is thin, it will be fried quickly.

6
Done

In the fourth frying pan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter starts to boil, remove the white foam from the top. This way the butter will be nicer and even tastier.

7
Done

When we have prepared everything, the last step is to arrange the Iskender kebab. First, place the pita bread on a plate. Arrange the meat on it, pour over 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and the melted butter. Finally, pour over a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce.

8
Done

That’s it, you have made a fantastic and juicy Iskender kebab. 2 or 3 roasted green chillies go well with it.

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