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Adana Kebap (Famous Turkish Kebab)

The famous Turkish Adana Kebap

Adana Kebap is a dish from the Adana region of Turkey. I first ate it in India when a local cloud kitchen called Persian Palette started serving it up. Of course I had no reference because I had never eaten it but I fell in love with the flavours. Fast forward to October 2022 when I visited Istanbul and Cappadocia I got to eat some at a restaurant. Now while I didn’t visit Adana the chef who prepared the kebab in the restaurant was from Adana. So I can say I got pretty close to the real deal. 

So here I am today showing you how to make it at home. We’re going to try two different grinds of meat and two different cooking methods. Look this is probably not far off from the original but just to play it safe, this is the Headbanger’s Kitchen version. Enjoy!! 

The Meat

This kebab is originally made with lamb meat I believe. I chose beef because it’s much easier for most people to find and the kebab tastes great with beef too. What is important is to get meat with fat, like 80-20 ground beef. Alternatively you can buy fat and meat separately and grind them together. Most people will hand chop and mince the meat. Now this takes a lot of time and a lot of work. The reason you do this is mainly for the texture of the kekbab. But most people haven’t got the time or patience. In that case 80-20 ground beef works. 

Alternatively you can use the food processor like I did but that does change the texture a bit. Is it bad? Heck no! It’s delicious. But I think it won’t have that ‘authentic’ mouthfeel you get from hand chopped meat. None the less if you don’t have the time and patience just try using the chopper/food processor. I will say this texture makes it easier to skewer since the meat is bound together quite tightly. 

Also make sure the meat is as cold as possible when you work with it. If you need to pop it back in the fridge to cool down, please do. You also want to keep a bowl of water handy in case the meat is sticking to your hands when working with it. 

The cooking

Now in the video you would have seen me try two methods. I’d say don’t waste your time with the skewer on the cast iron method. It takes too long, house gets smoky. But if you have a grill or a bbq make sure you use that because that flavour is UNMATCHED! Cook outdoors over coal or open fire if you can. If you are stuck indoors use the pan method because the flavour is more intense. You can also throw them in the oven but again I feel it doesn’t give you the same intense flavour as the pan cooking does.

Why though? Well see when it’s in the oven or the cast iron method, the juices drip down from the meat. The heat is not intense enough to create a crust on the meat surface thus resulting in a less flavourful kebab. On the pan the meat juices reduce and stick to the meat and it creates a crust and more intense flavour. Over coals you get the charcoal flavour plus you get a crust on the kebabs. 

This is just my 2 cents and preference. 

More Kebab Recipes You May Like:

Adana Kebap (Famous Turkish Kebab)

A super easy kebab recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6 servings


For the kebab

  • 500 grams Ground beef with fat you want at least 80-20
  • 50 grams Onion
  • 50 grams Red Bell Pepper
  • 50 grams Green Pepper
  • 10 grams garlic
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Paprika Buy Online
  • 1/2 Tsp Urfa Pepper Buy Online
  • 1 Tsp sumac Buy Online
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • Oil/Butter for frying/basting

For the sumac onion salad

  • 50 grams Onion
  • 100 grams Tomato
  • 10 grams Parsley
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Lime/Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Tsp sumac


For the kebab

  • Start by either hand chopping or using a chopper to chop the onion, peppers and garlic. Then either using your hands, muslin/cheese cloth or a strainer remove all the water from the vegetables and add them to the meat.
  • Season the mixture with salt, paprika, urfa pepper, sumac and oregano. Then run it through the food processor for a pastier more melt in the mouth kebab or leave as is after mixing for a more meaty kebab texture.
  • Leave in the fridge to get cold. Once cool then skewer the meat and cook.
  • Best to pan fry using some oil on a grill pan. Alternatively if you can cook over a barbecue or coals then do that, baste with some butter while cooking if you are.
  • Serve with the salad once cooked. They don’t take very long to cook, the meat will be nice and firm that will indicate that it’s cooked.

For the salad

  • Slice the onion, dice the tomato and chop the parsley
  • Mix all well and season with salt, sumac and lime juice.
  • Salad is ready. Serve with the kebab.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Great tips on adapting the kebab recipe with beef! Using 80-20 ground beef as a time-saver while still ensuring flavor and texture sounds like a practical approach for busy cooks. It’s nice to see an emphasis on accessibility and convenience without compromising the integrity of the dish. Thanks for sharing this approach; I’m definitely inspired to try making kebabs this way!

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