TURKISH ADANA KEBABS…Transcending borders, Finding flavour!

“Do not dismiss the dish saying that it is just, simply food.
The blessed thing is an entire civilization in itself”
Abdulhak Sinasi
Turkish Adana Kebabs…from a cuisine which is unique!

Here’s something new I made yesterday…Adana kebabs. The recipe comes from my younger sister who’s known as the ‘chicken queen’ of our family. We’re constantly digging into her reservoir of recipes because she’s always trying different chicken recipes from cuisines across borders. These days she’s exploring Turkish & North African cuisine, & I sit & wait for ‘reviews & must try recommendations’! Lucky me…these kebabs from her Turkish-Mediterranean Cookbook were on the list of ‘must tries’ & were certainly worth the recommendations. The only hard work is the chopping…so for those of you who are game to chop, take out your Santuko knives & hit the deck!! My life is a lot easier & fun ever since my sis presented me with my 2 fave kitchen tools…the microplaner & Santuko knives.
Turkish cuisine inherited its Ottoman heritage which could be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Adana Kebab is a long, charcoal grilled, minced meat brochette mounted on a wide skewer. It is named after Adana, the fourth largest city of Turkey, in the Mediterranean region.The people of this region have a passion for spicy hot food. By far its best-known dish is the namesake Adana Kebab — a spicy hot, grilled meat specialty. And when the cooking of it begins, guests gather round the mangal (BBQ) grill to engage in pleasant conversation.

Moist & delicious…as hot as you want them!

Adana kebabs are traditionally made out of lamb mince, then skewered & grilled over a BBQ. This is a pan-fried chicken version; can be grilled too. Time for the recipe then…
Chicken mince – 1 kg
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped (like for a dip)
Garlic cloves – 6 big ones, finely chopped
Red bell pepper – 1 finely diced
Red chili flakes – 1/2 tsp (adjust or omit according to taste)
Green chili – 1 , deseeded and finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves – 1 big cup, finely chopped
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 ¼ Tbsp
Paprika – 2 tsp
Sumac powder – 1 ½ tsp (I didn’t have this :0( )
Roasted Cumin powder – 1-2 tsp
Lime juice – from 1 lime
Oil – 1-2 Tbsp

  • Mix all the ingredients together working quickly; make sure the mixture is all well blended. Let it marinate for at least about 30mins to 1 hour.
  • Put a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat & coat the bottom with oil.
  • Form kebabs with the chicken mixture…approx 4” long, & thin & flat. The mixture will not be firm, but a bit squishy, but just work quickly forming the kebabs & keep putting them into the pan. Make sure they’re sort of flat coz they tend to swell up a bit when they cook..& you don’t want them very thick.
  • Let them cook for a few minutes, till you see the bottom turning white & getting firm, then shake them around a bit.
  • After 4-5 minutes flip them over & cook the other side; keep shaking them around to cook on all sides, incl the edges.
  • When they are a nice medium brown & the juices stop flowing out, they’re done. Don’t overcook or they’ll get tough.

  • Note: Serve with a nice crisp salad, or a chutney, sliced onions & lime wedges. YUMMY!! Can even cut them into bite-sized pieces & put toothpicks and serve as finger food.
  • Another idea from her is to use hot dog buns; or even make a few round kebabs like burger patties and they’d be fine in burger buns.…with lettuce, tomato, onions & cheese.
  • This makes about 25-30 kebabs, & they can be frozen after frying too.

Food across cultures…a fascinating journey!

Kebab” is a category of food which is typically Turkish dating back to the times when the nomadic Turks learned to grill and roast their meat over their camp fires.


  • Dhivya
    9 years ago

    wow,..nice pic and recipe

  • Maya
    9 years ago

    Wow, they look like the restaurant style Kebabs..The plate looks so inviting, very nice pics and a great write-up Meera..Lucky you, as ur sis tries out all new cuisines..

  • Miri
    9 years ago

    What a cool recipe for kababs which dont involve skewering – which acc to me is the most difficult part!!! They look really yummy!

  • Asha
    9 years ago

    We love Kababs at home. It’s like all in one food for us with just salad on the side. Looks great!:))

  • Bellini Valli
    9 years ago

    You’ve done your sister proud in making this delicious Turkish dish. I have been getting into Lebanese cooking lately with Fattoush, Falafels and my old tried and true Tabboulleh recipes. I will have to move over to Turkish cuisine now 😀

  • Maya
    9 years ago

    YEs, I’m so sorry Deeba.I did mean you. I just left a comment at her blog n came I think and typed her name here too..Sorry abt tht..

  • Purnima
    9 years ago

    Whoaaaaaaa…Turkish Style kababs..great presentation…tks to ur sis for sharing this with u, and tons of tks for sharing with us Deeba!!

  • Ivy
    9 years ago

    We make lots of kebabs as well in Greece. This one looks very spicy but I prefer yours with chicken instead of lamb. Great pictures Deeba.

  • vimmi
    9 years ago

    Its very similar to chicken seekh kabaBS, ISN’T IT. There are so many similarities in cooking across nations, its amazing.

  • Kalai
    9 years ago

    Wonderful looking kebabs! And yes, I’m also in love with my santuko knives and microplane!! Great recipe! 🙂

  • meeso
    9 years ago

    Chicken is quite the versatile meat, and the kebabs look great!

  • Cakespy
    9 years ago

    Delicious! I would like mine VERY spicy, please!

    9 years ago

    Nice recipe.Turkish people love kebaps.You can try other Turkish recipes also.My blog is in Turkish but i would love to help you if you are interested in any of them.Have a nice day!MUTFAKTA BIRI MI VAR??? )

  • Tania
    9 years ago

    Wow…nice recipe..my mixture is marinating…can’t wait 2 make d kebabs 😉 Got d Sumac pwdr too!!
    I tried out ur Tamatar Gosht as well…DH loved it 🙂

  • Meeta
    9 years ago

    Lovely! Kebabs are really so tasty. Perfect finger food for parties. Deeba, these are gorgeous!

  • Sia
    9 years ago

    beautifully presented plate of kebabs deeba. and congrats on getting an award:)

  • arundati
    9 years ago

    they look awesome!! you know what that means when a vegetarian…ok…eggetarian says that to you?? i love your pictures and the polaroids piled one on the other…..

  • farida
    9 years ago

    Adana kebab rocks just like the Turkish cuisine in general:) I love it! In Azerbaijan we make similar kebab called Lule Kebab. Nice pics!

  • Grapefruit
    6 years ago

    Love adana kababs and have always wanted the recipe. thanks for sharing!

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