Our virtual gastronomic journey into the world of Turkish cuisine continues. What is Turkish cuisine? It would, first of all, be a kebab! And what is a Turkish kebab? Kebab is meat (or fish) cooked on an open fire or coals.
Every region of Turkey has its own original recipe for it, while some even more than one! Kebabs differ in both how they are cooked and served.
Adana kebab (Adana)
This is the main kebab of the country – a cutlet of lamb finely chopped by a special sharp knife with spices. It is served on a plate with rice and vegetables, or wrapped in lavash (thin flat bread) and called Adana durum. “Durum” can be stuffed with many other types of kebab too.
Urfa kebab (Urfa)
It is the main rival of Adana kebab. It looks and is cooked in a similar way, though it is not as chilly and has a more sophisticated bouquet of spices. The dispute as to which of the two kebabs is better is as anecdotal and ridiculous as any other dispute between two neighbouring villages concerning the superiority of either of them in anything.
İskender kebab (Bursa)
Lamb or beef is cut into thin slices and stewed in a tomato sauce. Served with yogurt, chilli sauce gravy and lavash. It probably is the second most popular type of Kebab after Adana.
Çağ kebab (“Ça kebab”, Erzurum)
Lamb döner is fried on a horizontal spit, then on special thin skewers and finally shaved off and cooked on the coals. It is served one skewer after another, until the guest informs he/she has had enough.
Ciğer kebab (“Ci’ar kebab”, Gaziantep and Diyarbakir)
Lamb liver kebab. When cooked by a skilful specialist it literally melts in your mouth. If not, it would hardly be edible.
Beyti kebab (Istanbul)
Minced lamb or beef fried on skewers and served in lavash under tomato sauce with yogurt.
Tepsi kebab (Gaziantep)
“Lazy” beef cutlet cooked, unlike other kebabs, in an oven, on a tray or in a pot.
The most common type of kebab widely known as “Shawarma” (if wrapped in lavash). It can also be served on a pita or a plate with rice and vegetables. The original Döner kebab in Turkey comes from Antakya: there is a whole street in the city where they cook döner kebab only. A cheaper version is made from chicken, but the authentic one should be high-quality beef.
Afyon sucuk döner kebab (Afyon)
Served in a similar manner to döner, Afyon kebab is made from Turkish sausages – sucuk.
There are many other varieties of kebab – Fıstıklı Kebab, Bekar Kebab, Tas Kebab, Çeltik Kebab, Kağıt Kebab, Ege Usulü Tencere Kebab – that we will leave aside for later!