What Is Adana Kebab
It is one of the most popular kebabs in the Turkish cuisine. Adana Kebab originated in the city of Adana in Turkey and is made of ground lamb mounted on a metal skewer and then grilled over hot coals. It is seasoned with sumac, chili flakes, cumin and some other spices.
Turkish Lamb Adana Kebab looks very similar to the Pakistani Seekh Kabab. They have a slightly different flavour profile but like Seekh Kabab it is long, made with mince meat and after mounting it on iron skewers it is grilled.
Please note, this is my version of the Turkish Lamb Adana Kebab made with ingredients that are readily available.
Notes On Turkish Lamb Adana Kebab Ingredients
- The Adana Kebab is traditionally made with lamb. You can substitute the meat with beef or mutton if you want.
- Sumac is a tangy spice used commonly in Turkish cuisine. It can be replaced with powdered dried pomegranate seeds.
- Parsley is also a very important herb for these kebabs and tastes quite different from coriander/cilantro. But if you are unable to get it, you can use coriander.
- Red chili flakes add the heat to these kebabs. If you are not fond of chili reduce it to ½ or 1 teaspoon.
- Grill: The authentic way is to make the Adana Kebab on a charcoal grill. The flavour and aroma of the charcoal totally elevates these kebabs.
- Pan-fry: Add a few tablespoons of oil to a flat pan (tawa), wrap the meat on wooden or metal skewers and cook till golden on all sides.
- Bake: For baking follow the instructions in my Baked Seekh Kababs recipe.
I love serving these Adana Kebabs with flatbread or pita, Garlic Yogurt Sauce (see recipe card below) and Turkish Salad (see recipe card below). You can also make wraps with these and have them for lunch.
Watch How To Make It
You can watch a step-by-step tutorial of Turkish Lamb Adana Kebab in my Instagram highlights here.
More Kebab Recipes
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Turkish Lamb Adana Kebab
FOR THE KEBABS
- 500 g mince lamb or beef
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon sumac
- 2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 teaspoon roasted and crushed cumin
- pinch cinnamon
- ½ onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon yogurt
- 2-3 tablespoon parsely chopped
FOR SPICE MIX
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- ½ teaspoon roasted and crushed cumin
FOR GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
- 1 cup yogurt
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
FOR TURKISH SALAD
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 tomato sliced
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- pinch salt
- Add all the kebab ingredients to the food processor and pulse till incorporated. Rest the meat at least for 2 hours, overnight is best though.
- Moisten your hand with water and make equal sized balls of the mixture. I was using big iron skewers so got around 6 huge balls. Take a metal or wooden skewer and make long, flat kebabs on it.
- Heat a flat pan (or tawa) and drizzle 2-3 tablespoon oil. Place your kebabs on medium heat and cook for a few minutes each side until charred. Do not over cook them or they will get dry.
- Alternatively, you can grill them on an outdoor charcoal grill or bake them. For baking see the Cooking Methods heading above.
- Mix together the spice mix ingredients. And when the Adana Kebabs are cooked sprinkle it on both sides. You can also add it while they are cooking.
- Now, make the Garlic Yogurt Sauce by combining everything together.
- Also add all the Turkish salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Serve the Adana Kebabs with flatbread, Garlic Yogurt Sauce, Turkish Salad, lemon wedges and pickled peppers.
- If you can't find sumac, grind dried pomegranate seeds and use them in the same quantity.
PIN IT FOR LATER
The kebab grilled on the green egg, some flat bread and sharisa sauce it was delicious.... To late for a picture lol Thanks 👍
Iain Lamond says
I made this and left overnight and we loved it, there was a bit too much so we made it with what we didn't cook the day after, it had lost a lot of flavour and bite, I thought it may have improved.
Just something to bear in mind but we will certainly be adding this to our BBQ favourites, we also used tradidional Turkish bread rather than flatbread.
Bob wilkinson says
Having lived in Turkey snd missing the food,?I tried this recipe with exact ingredients. Oh my, charcoal grill is truly the only way to cook these.
So happy to know you liked the recipe Bob! And definitely they taste best on a charcoal grill.
Areeba Nadeem says
Hi dear, I made these kebabs using the ingredients accurately. They tasted amazing and very tasty. The only issue I faced is that they were a bit hard after cooking. I made them in a very hot pan. Please advise how to make them softer.
Chili to Choc says
I am glad you liked the taste of the kebabs Areeba. To keep the them juicy, don't mix the meat too much in the beginning and don't over cook the kebabs. Hope this helps!
Asma Sheikh says
I'm the old fan of Kebab. Going to take the taste soon.
Thanks for sharing.
Chili to Choc says
My pleasure! Hope you like them.
Very tasty but I found it hard to hold on the skewer? How do you stop the meat falling off the skewer?? I can’t find the flat ones they use
Make shorter kababs, use enough meat that there are no gaps between the kabab and make sure the meat is finely minced.
you can also use two skewers thru the meat so you can flip it and it won't spin.