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Iskender Kebab Recipe: Find Out Everything About Top Turkish Delicacy
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Iskender Kebab Recipe: Find Out Everything About Top Turkish Delicacy


Adjust Servings:
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
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

Nutritional information

Serving Size
947 kcal
71.6 g
38.2 g
Saturated Fat
50.8 g
3 g
198.8 mg
30.3 g
2492 mg

Iskender Kebab Recipe: Find Out Everything About Top Turkish Delicacy

Origin, Step By Step Guide, & Nutrition Info Of Iskender Kebab


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


  • Base

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Meat

  • Butter Sauce


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. So find out all you need to know about the mouthwatering Iskender Kebab Recipe and how it’s made.

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 chilly peppers, but more about this after you have gone through our recipe.

Iskender Kebab Origin: The Delicious Legacy Of Turkey

Where It All Started?


According to legend, it originated in the late 19th century, from the city of Bursa, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Who Started It?

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.

The Legacy

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.

Fun Fact

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.

Our Little Secret

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.


Iskender Kebab


Although there are at least a dozen types of kebabs in traditional #Turkish cuisine, #Iskender Kebab is one of the most famous. Click To Tweet

A Few Insights Into Our Version

Let us bring to your notice that this recipe is a recreated ‘easy to make at home’ version of the original Iskender Kebab recipe.

What We Did Differently?

If you go into the depths of Turkish cuisine and the original Iskender kebab recipe, you will find out that apart from a way of serving the meat, the original recipe also required a particular meat-grilling methodology.

The Secret Grilling Innovation

Iskender Kebab utilized an innovative technique of vertical meat grilling. However, you would need vertical rotisserie to achieve that level of authenticity. If you are just trying out new cuisine, you might not want to undertake that big an investment because it will not come into any use if you are not going to take up Turkish cuisine seriously.

Therefore, for one-off trials, it is best to grill your meat without the vertical rotisserie and still retain the authentic flavour.

How We Retain The Flavor?

The secret step to achieve the required flavour at home is marinating the meat, as mentioned in step 4 in the recipe below.

Many people use onion juice in the marinade instead of lemon juice used by us; however, it totally depends on your taste preferences. Some people also use olive oil in the marinade as it is healthier.

Marinating the meat leads to softening it, which reduces the need for vertical grilling if not completely eliminate it.

What You Get?

In a way, you get the best of both worlds through this slight tweaking of the original recipe. You get the flavour you desire, you can make it every day without buying expensive equipment, and you get a healthier version of it. Many of us would be delighted to visit the home of our Turkish friends and have the taste of the home-style cooking, and that’s why we have tried our best to make it easier for you.

A Quick-Cooking Tip

Although preparing everything from scratch is always the best thing to do when it comes to achieving the fresh flavouring, it might be too much when you don’t have enough time in one sitting or are very hungry, or have guests coming over instantly.

Our Tip: Slice the meat and prepare the tomato sauce a day before and store them well.

Most restaurants do this pre-preparation because they can’t keep the customers waiting for long and prepare everything from scratch every time a customer asks for a serving.

These advance preparations will not do much harm to the flavouring and will keep you well prepared for any urgent situation.

Turkish Restaurant Style Iskender Kebab & Where To Have It

Once you have tasted the home-style recipe, it is natural to crave the restaurant version of it. You might be on your way to your travel agent for getting your tickets to Turkey done, but we will stop you right there.

According to one of the posts in the Great British Life, there has been a burgeoning Turkish cuisine culture in the UK for some years now. You will find no shortage of listings if you search any browser for a fantastic Turkish restaurant near you.

Side Servings

If you are a true foodie and want to take one more step in the authenticity direction, you may serve the Iskender Kebab with boiled vegetables, especially bell peppers and some yoghurt.

It will complete the presentation and make the meal more balanced, filling, and healthy by increasing the nutrition quotient.

Step By Step Guide To Making Authentic Turkish Iskender Kebab

Below steps will help you make this mouthwatering Turkish delicacy with ease. So try it out and let us know in the comments how it turned out for you.

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Pita Process: Cut Cubes & Fry

Pita Bread forms the base of this Turkish delicacy. 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.


Tomato Paste Process: Making The Thick Sauce

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 tomato sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.


Meat Process: Slices & Chunks

Well, meat forms the 'meat' in the Kebab dish. To fit the cubed pita bread, cut the meat into thin slices or small chunks.


Mixing Process: Mix Lamb & Herbs & Let It Marinade

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.


Frying Process: Fry The Marinated Meat In Olive Oil

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.


Butter Process: Melt Over Low Heat

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.


Final Process: Arrange & Serve

When we have prepared everything, and are ready to serve, 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.


Enjoy The Authentic Turkish Delicacy

That’s it, you have made a fantastic and juicy Iskender kebab. 2 or 3 roasted green chillies go well with it. Call your friends over and make them try this bite-size Turkish delight, and I am sure, they will ask you to make it for every get-together from then on.

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