Adana Kebab (Adana Kebabı)

Adana kebab comes from the city of Adana located in Southern Turkey. It is the fifth largest city of Turkey and very rich in food culture. Aside from kebaps, it is also famous for other types of scrumptious food.

Adana kebab consists of ground lamb (beef may also be used but original Adana Kebab is made with ground lamb) and various spices. Skewers of minced meat are created using long wide skewers and grilled on a charcoal grill. Adana kebab is served with an onion salad called “zerzavat” on a bread similar to pita. If you only had a chance to try this bread, you would certainly love it. Unfortunately, I have not seen this bread here in the States with the same taste acquired in Turkey. I think the reason for that is that this bread is cooked in a special oven made from clay using wood fire in Turkish bakeries. The bread is thin, long and oval shaped. If you are familiar with Turkish bakeries, you probably know what I am talking about. Just passing by a Turkish bakery will make you hungry due to all the aroma filled in air.

One can find many different versions of Adana kebab in Turkey as well as abroad; however, I can assure you that the best one is made in Adana, Turkey. When you go to a Turkish restaurant, you will most likely see Adana kebab on the menu. It may not be as good as Adana’s original kebap, but it will still be very good. If you feel like making Adana kebab at home, here is a recipe (my version).

1 lb ground beef or lamb
3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
½ cup parsley (finely chopped)
½ small white or yellow onion (chopped finely)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt

10 bamboo skewers
6 green cubannelle peppers
6 roma tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients and knead for 5 minutes to make sure all the ingredients are mixed well. Let the meat sit over night in the refrigerator or for a few hours. Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes prior to cooking the meat. Take an egg sized amount of the meat and place on the skewer and keep pressing so that the meat occupies 3/4s of the skewer evenly.

Heat the oven broiler and place on a pan that allows dripping. Cook the meat for 5-6 minutes on each side. Serve with rice pilaf, grilled/broiled green peppers and tomatoes. You may also serve inside flat bread (i.e. pita) with zerzavat which is an onion and parsley mixture.

Zerzavat (Onion Salad):

2 red onions
¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped finely)
1 tsp sumac
½ tsp salt
Lemon wedges

Cut onions in half lengthwise. Slice thinly. Add the sumac and parsley and mix well. Add salt just before serving so that they do not become soggy. If you like it with lemon, squeeze one of the lemon wedges on top.

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