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Home Style Iskender Kebap

Iskender Kebab is one of the most popular kebabs at home and a specialty of Bursa region. You can make this delicious Iskender Kebap at home; thin slices of lamb or beef in tomato based sauce, served over pide bread with yoghurt and grilled vegetables by the side. It is easier than you think and most delicious, afiyet olsun!


For the meat marinate:
2 lbs. rib eye steak or lamb or beef tenderloin
2 large onions, grated
45 ml / 3 tbsp. olive oil
10 ml/ 2 tsp. dried oregano
10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the tomato sauce:
30 ml / 2 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste
15 ml/ 1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional; you can use extra 1 tbsp. tomato paste and red pepper flakes to your taste instead too)
30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
16 fl oz. / 2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 green pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
Thinly sliced pide ekmek or plain pita bread – 6 pieces, to serve
500 gr / 2 cups plain yoghurt to serve


First Step

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F

Second Step

Prepare the meat marination a day ahead of time of cooking.
Grate the onions or place them in a food processor and process until liquid. Squeeze all the onion juice into a non-metallic bowl and discard any remaining onion pulp.

Third Step

Slice the meat thinly (you can ask your butcher to this for you too) and then pound each slice with the back of a wooden spoon (or with a meat tenderizer). We aim to achieve the slices about 5 cm (2”) x 4 cm (1.5”) in size.

Fourth Step

Combine the onion juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the meat slices and coat each piece with this marination. Cover the bowl with a cling film and marinate overnight in the fridge.

Fifth Step

To make the tomato sauce, pour in the olive oil in a sauce pan over the medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste, red pepper paste (if using) and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and combine well. Add the water then bring to the boil. Then gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Sixth Step

Slice the pide or pita bread in 3 cm x 3 cm (about 1”) squares and place on a tray. Warm in the oven for 5 minutes.

Seventh Step

Drizzle a little olive oil on a skillet and cook the meat slices on high heat; for about 2 minutes each side (take care not to overcook). Also sauté the sliced tomatoes and peppers at the other side of the skillet, until they start to charcoal at edges.

Eighth Step

Once everything is cooked, plate your Iskender Kebap. Place the warm pide / pita bread slices on each plate. Spread the cooked slices of the meat over the pide bread and pour over the tomato sauce. Place the sautéed tomatoes and peppers at one side and a dollop of plain yoghurt at the other side. Serve immediately. This recipe serves 4 -6 generously.

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