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Kebabs with Tomato and Yoghurt Sauce

23 January 2014 / 19:01:31  GRReporter
2782 reads

Danielle Lachana


Kebabs are, for many, the epitome of the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey they date back to the time of the Ottoman empire during the 18th century. The country boasts a wide variety of 'kebabs', from those comprising skewered cubes of meat to those using minced (ground) meat known as Köfte ('kofta kebabs'). Today's recipe is for the latter, served with a tasty tomato and yoghurt sauce (Yogurtlu Kebap).

Traditionally in Turkey lamb is used but you can use any other combination of minced meats including beef, chicken, pork  or even goat! I like to use half lamb, half beef.

Despite the long list of ingredients, the recipe is not complicated and you can make the kebabs and/or the sauce in advance



(Serves 8)





To make the kebabs, soak pieces of bread in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix the meats with the cumin, pepper, garlic and salt and work together. Add the onion. Squeeze bread to extract excess water, crumble and add to the meat mixture. Add 1 - 2 eggs, well beaten, to assist binding and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth.

Take a fist-sized ball of the mixture. Spike it on one end of a 30 cm skewer and smooth down and along the skewer and back again.

Or shape into shorter 'sausages' about 20 mm thick and 10 cm long.

Place on an aluminium foil-lined baking tray and brush the kebabs  lightly with olive oil.

To make the tomato sauce, sauté the onion in the oil until soft.  Add the garlic and chilli pepper, stir for a minute or two then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

Grill the kebabs on high for about 8 minutes turning once until well browned outside but still moist (and pink if you like) on the inside. Alternatively you can fry them in a non-stick frying pan.

Meanwhile, make the yoghurt sauce by whisking the garlic mixed with the salt into the yoghurt.

For the butter topping, gently heat the butter until it melts and stir in the cayenne or paprika.

Toast the pita breads and cut into cubes or strips.

Line a dish with the bread pieces, cover with the tomato sauce, the yoghurt sauce, lay the meat on top (remove first from the skewers, if using) and drizzle with the butter. Top with a sprinkling of parsley.  Garnish with sliced chile peppers, if liked.


For a lighter meal, you can serve the grilled kebabs without the tomato sauce and yoghurt and accompany them with a salad of lettuce, long spicy peppers and tomatoes, with toasted pita breads on the side.

Back next week to round off our visit to Turkey with a traditional creamy dessert!

Tags: kebab Turkish Mediterranean recipes yogurtlu yoghurt and tomato kofte Ottoman cuisine lamb
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