As a descendant of Greeks of Asia Minor (my grandad grew up and lived in Istanbul and had a cheese stand at the Grand Bazaar!), I’ve always felt some sort of connection with Turkey, Turkish people and of course Turkish FOOD – YUM!!!!
The Greek menu does have many similarities to the Turkish one, but there is this one delicious dish which we don’t have – Yogurtlu Kebab. I mean seriously, it tastes like heaven.
Yogurtlu Kebab – restaurant version
Until recently, I had to head over to my favourite Turkish restaurant in London (The Grand Bazaar on St. James Street) to get my dose of Yogurtlu Kebab. It’s a great place, very good food, great atmosphere, average service but hey you can’t have everything!
Anyway, I digress… I recently came across this super recipe – it’s tested and tried – twice in fact and it’s as delicious as the real thing you’ll find in Turkey. It has lots of ingredients and spices but execution is a piece of cake.
Yogurtlu Kebab – my version
You’ll notice that the recipe says to mix the tomato sauce and yoghurt but I quite like serving them separately and tasting the contrasting hot and cold!
Shish Kofte ingredients:
1kg lean lamb mince
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
4 slices of 2 day old bread, soaked and squeezed
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground spice
1 cup crushed tomato, in can
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup yogurt, plain, room temperature
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
1 tbsp butter
4 pitta breads, cut in bite size
1. Mix all the kofte ingredients together with your hands. Take fist-sized balls and skewer them. Place on grill and cook evenly on all sides.
2. Cook the tomato sauce for a few minutes, put aside. Whisk the yogurt sauce ingredients, put aside.
3. Heat pitta pieces. Then arrange on plates and place the kebabs on them. Pour tomato and yogurt sauce all over.
4. Melt the butter in a small pan. When the the butter starts bubbling, pour over the Yogurtlu Kebab.
5. Sprinkle with paprika.
Recipe taken & slightly adapted from Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.