|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 23g||30%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||47%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 9mg||45%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Kebabs of all kinds are common in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. This particular version is named after the city of Adana in Turkey, where it is said to have originated, and is traditionally made of minced lamb mounted on a skewer and grilled over charcoal.
Different cities and regions debate over how spicy the Adana kebab should be, but the inclusion of ground lamb as the choice of meat is a constant. This recipe seasons the lamb with onion, garlic, cumin, sumac, and red pepper flakes. The cooked kebabs are often served over warm flatbread to catch the drippings and are accompanied by roasted tomatoes, green or red peppers, sliced onions, and parsley. Less traditional, but equally delicious, would be to serve them over a bed of cooked basmati rice or an herbed couscous.
For this recipe, you'll need four metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in ice-cold water for an hour.
1 pound ground lamb
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons ice water
Pita bread (or naan bread)
Romaine lettuce leaves
Chopped red onion
Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, minced onion and garlic, 1 teaspoon each of the ground cumin and sumac, salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and ice water.
Knead the mixture by hand until it turns tacky and starts sticking to the side of the bowl. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill.
Wet your hands and place a quarter of the lamb mixture onto each skewer. One easy method is to use a 1-ounce scoop to form balls, thread a few onto each skewer, and then mash them together to form the kebab shape.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and sumac.
Grill the kebabs for approximately 12 minutes, until well charred on both sides. Sprinkle the spice mix over the kebabs while they are cooking.
If desired, serve the kebabs nestled in lettuce leaves with sliced red onion, parsley, tomatoes, and chopped cucumbers along with warm pita or naan bread. Enjoy.
- Forming the meat into balls first and then threading them onto the skewer can make the task of placing the meat on the skewers easier. Once threaded, you can use your fingers to press them together, making sure they are adhering well to the skewer.
- You can freeze any leftover mixture or kebabs for up to three months. The mixture should be placed in an airtight container; the skewers can be placed on a baking sheet, covered tightly, and then frozen. Do not place the skewers in a plastic freezer bag as they may puncture the bag and create holes. Defrost the meat mixture and skewered kebabs overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
What Makes It an Adana Kebab?
In addition to the recipe variations, some historical directions include a restriction on the type of lamb that can be used, the type and shape of the knife used to grind it, and even the exact dimensions of the skewers used to cook it. In modern times, however, most people buy lamb already ground, and the choice of skewer is usually just whether to opt for metal or wood. But variations in spiciness and additional ingredients, such as minced onion and garlic in the kebabs, are still up to each cook and vary by personal taste as well as the traditions of regions and countries.