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!!
This kebab is originally made with lamb meat I believe.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.
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.