Iskender Kebab or Iskender Döner is one of the most famous meat foods of northwestern Turkey, Bursa region It takes its name from its inventor, Iskender Efendi, who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. It is a kind of kebab prepared from thinly cut grilled lamb basted with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread and generously slathered with melted sheep butter and yogurt. Additionally, one cylindrical Köfte can be placed on top. Tomato sauce and melted butter are generally poured over the dish, at the table. Although the main ingredient is döner, it is the butter, tomato sauce, yoghurt and the oiled pieces of pide beneath, which makes Iskender as a genuine dish. Moreover, the meat of Iskender Kebap is different from the meat that it has less fat is. In popular language, it is called called as Bursa Kebap, Hacibey Kebab, Uludag Kebab or Yogurt Kebab.

A simple recipe is as follows:

300g entrecote very thinly sliced, marinated

150g pitta bread

1 tbsp Turkish yoghurt

4 thin green peppers

2 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of dried oregano

For The Sauce

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and grated

1 heaped dessert spoonful tomato paste

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vinegar

1 pinch of chili flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

400 ml water

2 tbsp melted sizzling butter for topping

Before you start making your Iskender Kebab, marinate your steak for a couple of hours in the olive oil and oregano.

For The SauceFirst of all, set your sauce simmering. Gently heat your olive oil in a saucepan and add your chopped tomato. Stir around for a few minutes and then add your garlic, chili flakes and pinch of salt and pepper. Once your tomato has really softened, add your tomato sauce and a ladleful of water. Stir and heat through until the tomato sauce has dissolved. Ladle in more water and add your vinegar and stir gently. Continue to add more water intermittently to keep your sauce at the thickness you’d like. After around 30 minutes, remove your pan from the head and seal with a lid to keep warm.

For The Meat: Whilst your sauce is simmering, grill your peppers under a high heat until charred. Place them to one side. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and, once hot, start to fry your marinated beef. Meanwhile, heat your pitta bread until it is hot and lightly toasted. Fry your meat until browned and you also have some crispy bits, too.

Build Your Iskender Kebab: Take two serving plates. Remove your bread from the oven, cut it into bite-sized chunks and divide between the two plates. Now top the bread with your beef and add a generous knob of butter to the frying pan you used for the beef. Place the pan back on the heat. Pour your tomato sauce over both plates and add a serving of yoghurt to each. Place your charred peppers on the plate and pour your sizzling butter over the top of your tomato sauce. Serve immediately.


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