Spicy adana kebab
These kebabs from the city of Adana, where incidentally they are referred to as "kiyma", are a favourite all over Turkey. They are traditionally made by hand-mincing the meat with a large knife called the "zirh" till very fine. The meat used in this kebab is always mutton with about 20% fat from the goat's tail, this gives these kebabs their juicy texture. There are quite a few variations to this kebab, with or without tomatoes or red peppers. However, these kebabs always have the famed Turkish pul biber, or Aleppo pepper giving them a spicy flavour.
The spicy Aleppo pepper cooks with the meat and imparts a lovely heat to the kebabs. They are juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, and their bright red colour serves as a warning about their flavour. The recipe is very simple, but these kebabs bang with flavour and are a favourite.
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1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, deseeded, and chopped
1 lb ground lamb or mutton
2 teaspoons Aleppo chilli flakes
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Blitz the onion and red pepper in a small blender till finely purèed.
Mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Scoop out a teaspoon of the mix and flatten to a thin patty. fry in a pan, taste salt and spices and adjust as needed. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, but I prefer to make the kebab mix in the morning and grill the kebabs in the evening for dinner. If you prefer, you can make a small teaspoon-sized kebab and fry it on a frying pan as a taster so you can adjust your spices.
Divide the mix into 6 portions and roll them into sausage shapes. Grill the kebabs on a grill for about 3-4 minutes a side till cooked through and slightly charred. Alternatively, you can broil the kebabs in the oven for 4-5 minutes a side till charred. Serve with wedges of lime.