Adana Kebab

One of the best kebabs ever created! Adana Kebab is a Turkish dish prepared with lamb mince seasoned with sumac, chili and parsley that is chargrilled and typically served with flatbread, Turkish salad called zerzavat and a garlic yogurt dip.

From the city of Adana, south of Turkey came this amazing food, the Adana Kebab, a dish that was born out of a fusion of Turkish and Arab cultures. Originally called the “Kıyma kebabı” this dish is prepared with lamb mince seasoned with a special spice mixture cooked around long and flat skewers over charcoal embers. It may sound simple but the technique in preparing them is a key to get a good result, from hand kneading and moulding, the right meat cut and the perfect charcoal temperature all plays a big part to yield a nice smoky, moist, tasty and bouncy texture yet tender kebab.

What we have prepared today in reality can’t be called an authentic one because did you know that Adana kebab has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). So, what does that mean? There are rules for this dish to be called authentic, first an original Adana kebab can only be made in Adana, by a seller who has passed an unannounced check by the Adana Chamber of Commerce, meeting a considerable number of rules. Some of these rules states that the meat should come from a male lamb, no older than one year. This mean then needs to be chopped by hand with a heavy sword-like knife called the zirh. With regards to fat and lean meat mixture a real Adana kebab need to consist of 20% tail fat. Finally, the spice mixture need to be precise. While we can’t make it authentic, we will try to follow the rules as much as possible to yield a similar result to the real thing.

It is one of our favourite types of Kebabs, a well-balanced meat together with its usual accompaniment like the zerzavat and lavash warmed on grill then served on top of the meat, it forms a really good complete tasty meal.

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Adana Kebab

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 26 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Turkish


Adana Kebab is a Turkish dish prepared with lamb mince seasoned with sumac, chili and parsley that is chargrilled and typically served with flatbread, Turkish salad called zerzavat and a garlic yogurt dip.


Units Scale


  • 1 kg minced lamb (20% fat)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 tsp sumac
  • 4 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt

Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/3 cup tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  • hummus
  • grilled capsicum
  • flatbread


  1. Place all kebab ingredients in a food processor then pulse until it is well incorporated.
  2. Remove from the food processor and place in a large container, using your hands knead the meat until sticky in texture. Cover container with clingwrap then let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Moisten your hand with water and divide mixture into 6 to 8 equal parts. Using long flat skewers, mould a long and flat kebab on it, add grooves into the surface using your fingers.
  4. Light up a charcoal grill and once charcoals have white-grey ash around it you are ready to cook the kebabs. Place your kebabs on the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side until charred, do not overcook it so it won’t be dry. You can grill the capsicums on the side.
  5. Prepare your kebabs by serving it on top of the flatbread so it absorbs the dripping juices, enjoy it with the grilled capsicum, Garlic Yogurt Sauce and hummus.


9 Responses

  1. We love Turkish food! Your kebab looks authentic and very delicious, Raymund.

  2. Michelle says:

    The kebab looks so flavourful — love the addition of sumac — I could eat it on everything! Yum!

  3. I actually have all the ingredients for this on hand (well, except for the garlic… Ha ha!). we have a friend who raises lamb and I bought 10 pounds of lamb mints from her. I can’t think of a better way to use it!

  4. suituapui says:

    I do enjoy kebabs but I don’t think I had any that looked like these before. They sell it here – the meat…in hot dog buns.

  5. Inger says:

    Love kebabs, love this from the flavors to the unique look!

  6. Hannah says:

    Those spice sound AMAZING together! I have some plant-based ground meat in the freezer so I’ll have to experiment with this.

  7. What an interesting story about how strict they are about calling the Adana Kebabs authentic. Your version looks and sounds wonderful.

  8. Just made this with a few adjustments for ingredients on hand,. Yes taking it a bit more off authentic. But absolutely outstanding!

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