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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Adana kebab

The kebab to beat at Oz Adana, Side.
Ever since my trip to Side last September I've been trying to recreate the fantastically moreish and savoury quality of the Adana kebab. I extensively roadtested this dish in Side and Manavgat and it was by far my favourite of all the kebabs on the menu - spectacularly juicy and lamby without being heavy. It is not a pretty kebab, but by god it's delicious and filling. I tended to eat one of these bad boys for lunch (around £8 including plenty of wine, starters and sides) and then not really need any further sustenance for the day. This helped make Side the cheapest holiday destination EVER.

My sick days have been productively spent re-reading the works of Arto de Haroutunian, but it took me till today to pick up the book that first introduced me to him and Turkish cuisine when I was about fourteen. And there I found the secret ingredient that makes the Adana kebab work.

"A Turkish Cookbook" can still be picked up reasonably cheaply second hand and I'm sure it won't be long till it joins "Middle Eastern Cookery", "Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East", "Classic Vegetarian Cookery", "The Yogurt Cookbook" and "North African Cookery" in getting a classy hardback reprint. Brilliantly, Arto supplied me with the missing ingredient for my Adana kebab - suet! This gives the requisite juiciness and bounciness without being heavy. I made some this evening and they have exactly the right bounce and bite. Thanks Arto, you're a star.

Adana kebab
500g minced lamb
50g Atora suet
1 onion, grated
1 egg
3 tsp kofte seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt & pepper

Mix the whole lot together either by hand or in a food processor. Take a walnut sized amount and fry in a griddle pan, flattening the ball out to about a quarter of an inch thickness. Fry both sides for 5-6 mins total or until golden brown. Test for seasoning.

Adjust seasoning as needed then either mould the remainder on to kebab skewers or make lots of little flattened meatballs. Grill or fry and serve with pitta bread, herby green salad, finely sliced red onions and yogurt.


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  2. Firstly, well done for discovering the secret ingredient! It took me about 1 year through trial and error (analysing many kebabs) to discover this.

    In fact I discovered it accidentally. Try Persian kebab, it's better.

    Best wishes