Authentic Turkish İskender Kebab Recipe

Authentic Turkish İskender Kebab Recipe

Skender kebab is a well-known and everlasting Turkish delicacy that is from Bursa. It consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef that has been grilled, served over pita bread, covered in a hearty tomato sauce and melted butter, and served with yogurt.

Skender kebab can be made from scratch using this recipe, which ensures a wonderful and genuine taste that will take you to the lively streets of Turkey.

My experience:

Authentic Turkish İskender Kebab Recipe

During my recent trip to Türkiye, I had a great opportunity to taste the famous Sikander Kebab. This dish is a local specialty that has gained fame for its unique blend of flavors and aromatic spices. As a food enthusiast, I was eager to immerse myself in this cultural delight and experience the true essence of Turkish cuisine.

I arrived at a busy restaurant in Istanbul, known for its authentic Turkish dishes and inviting atmosphere. The moment I walked in, the aroma of grilled meat and spices flooded my senses, adding to my anticipation. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Turkish decor, creating an atmosphere that exudes warmth and authenticity.

As I perused the menu, my eyes were fixed on Sikander Kebab, a dish recommended by locals and foodies alike. I impatiently placed my order, eagerly waiting to taste this delicacy, which promised to be a real feast for the taste buds.

When the painting arrived, it was a sight to behold. A generous portion of spiced and succulent lamb was delicately arranged on a bed of fragrant saffron rice. The meat was grilled to perfection, displaying a tantalizing, charred exterior and a tender, juicy interior. It was garnished with fresh herbs, which added a touch of zest to the dish.

With the first bite, I was instantly transported into a world of amazing flavors. The tender lamb melted in my mouth, releasing a wave of smoky and aromatic spice. Each bite was a harmonious symphony of flavors, with hints of cumin, paprika, garlic, and other spices dancing on my taste buds. The saffron-infused rice complements perfectly the kebabs, adding a subtle sweetness to balance out the savory flavors.

By the time I finished my meal, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction and a newfound admiration for Turkish cuisine. Sikandar Kebab exceeded all my expectations, and left an indelible mark on my taste buds and memories. It was an experience that captured the essence of travel, where one can explore a culture through its culinary treasures.

Prep time: 15 minutesMarinate time: 2 hours
Cook time: 15 minutesServing: 4
Authentic Turkish İskender Kebab Recipe

Ingredients for Sikander kebab:

For the kebab:

  • 1 kg lamb or beef, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

For the tomato sauce:

  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt to taste

For serving:

  • Freshly baked pita bread
  • 200 g melted butter
  • Thick, strained yogurt


  1. Marinating the meat:
  • In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
  • Add the thinly sliced lamb or beef to the marinade, ensuring all pieces are coated.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
  1. Preparing the tomato sauce:
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, and salt, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the tomato sauce from the heat and set aside.
  1. Grilling the meat:
  • Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Place the marinated meat on the grill and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.
  • Remove the grilled meat from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  1. Assembling the İskender kebab:
  • Heat the pita bread in a skillet or on the grill for a few seconds on each side to warm it up.
  • Place the warm pita bread on a serving plate, creating a bed for the kebab.
  • Arrange the grilled meat slices on top of the pita bread.
  1. Pouring the tomato sauce and melted butter:
  • Generously drizzle the tomato sauce over the grilled meat, allowing it to soak into the bread.
  • Pour the melted butter on top of the tomato sauce, ensuring it covers the entire dish.
  1. Serving:
  • Serve the İskender kebab immediately while it’s still hot.
  • Accompany it with a side of thick, strained yogurt, which provides a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the dish.

How to store:

To properly store Sikander Kebab or any leftover Kebab, follow these instructions:

  1. Chill: Allow your cooked Sikander Kebab to cool to room temperature before storing it. This helps prevent moisture buildup and bacteria growth.
  2. Cooling: Place the kebabs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate immediately to keep it fresh. The refrigerator must maintain a temperature below 40 °F (4 °C) to ensure food safety.
  3. Consume within a few days: Sikander kebab can usually be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3–4 days. However, it is best to eat them within the first couple of days to enjoy the best flavor and quality.
  4. Freezing: If you want to store Sikander Kebab for a longer period, you can freeze it. Place the kebabs in a freezer-safe container or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or freezer bags. Make sure it is properly sealed to prevent freezer burn.
  5. Labeling and Date: A good practice is to label or wrap the container with the storage date. This helps you monitor how long your kebab has been stored and ensures that you can use it within a reasonable time frame.
  6. Thawing and Reheating: When you are ready to consume your stored kebabs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat them by grilling them, frying them, or heating them in the oven until heated through. This will help restore their flavors and textures.

Remember, although it is possible to store and reheat Sikander Kebab, freshly cooked kebabs are generally preferred for the best taste and texture.

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