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Adana Kebab – Turkish Cuisine

If you are a food lover, it’s not possible to imagine a trip to Turkey without eating Adana kebab ! This one of the most delicious foods in Turkish traditional cuisine is quite famous worldwide also. The city of Adana, the fifth largest city of Turkey, given it’s name to this Turkish kebab, but you can easily find Adana kebab in almost every city of Anatolia, and in Istanbul of course. Let’s learn the preparation of famous and delicious Adana kebab !


Step 1 : Mincing and kneading

According to the Designation of Origin, Adana kebab is made from the meat of a male lamb that is younger than one year of age. The animal has to be grown in its natural environment and fed with the local flora.

The meat shoud then be cleansed of its silverskin, nerves and internal fat. After the cleansing, it should be cut into rough shanks and, along with tail fat at a proportion of one to five, be laid to rest for a day.

The next day, the rested meat and fat must be ground by hand, using a crescent-shaped iron cleaver known as the “Zirh“. Only salt and sweet red peppers (also hand chopped with the Zirh) should be added. The Designation of Origin also authorizes, “under certain circumstances”, the addition of spicy green capsicum and fresh garlic cloves.

The meat will then be thoroughly kneaded together with the fat, the salt and the additional ingredients for a few minutes until reaching homogenous consistency.

Step 2 : Impaling

After reaching homogeneity, the mixture is mounted on special pure iron skewers that are 0.5 cm thick, 3 cm wide and anywhere from 90 to 120 cm long. One portion of Adana kebab will typically include 180 grams of meat on one skewer. A “portion-and-half”, impaled on slightly wider skewers can not include less than 270 grams, as per the designation label.

A little water has to be used during the impaling session to help the minced meat stick to the skewer, which is the hardest step in the making of this kebab. If not done properly by an Usta, the meat will separate from the skewer during the roast, and fall on the charcoal.

Step 3 : Cooking

The impaled skewers are to be roasted on fire-less, regular charcoal embers made exclusively from oak wood. When the meat turns dark brown from the original red, it is ready. The skewers are frequently to be turned during this process. The melting fat is not to be dripped on the embers, but to be collected on flatbread by pressing the latter on the skewers during the cooking process, also heating it up for later.

Step 4 : Serving and eating

The kebab is commonly served on a plate, as a “Porsiyon”, or wrapped in flatbread, as a “Durum”. Enjoy your meal !









Adana kebab on the barbeque (mangal)