Turkish Iskender kebab - delicious beef meat dish

Iskender Kebab recipe

Yes, Iskender kebab is a popular Turkish dish that originated in the city of Bursa. It consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef, served on top of pieces of pita bread and drizzled with tomato sauce and melted butter. It is usually accompanied by yogurt and grilled vegetables, such as peppers and tomatoes. Iskender kebab is a delicious and flavorful dish that is enjoyed by many people both in Turkey and around the world. Iskender Kebab is an easy delicious dish that depends mainly on the tenderness of tenderloin, the marinating of the beef, and the touch of the tomato sauce.

Turkish Iskender kebab recipe
Iskender kebab (Turkish Cuisine).

Iskender kebab is a popular Turkish dish that is widely recognized for its unique blend of flavors and textures. This savory meal consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef meat, tomato sauce, butter, and yogurt, all served on top of a bed of pita bread. The dish is named after its inventor, Iskender Efendi, who created it in the late 19th century in Bursa, Turkey.


In this article, we will take a closer look at the ingredients that make up this iconic dish and how they come together to create a mouthwatering culinary experience. So, let's dive in and explore the delicious world of Iskender Kebab.
  • 1 kilo of tenderloin beef (frozen for 2 or 3 hours to be easy to cut into very thin slices).
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 1 tbsp red pepper paste(optional).
  • 1 cup fresh tomato juice.
  • 2 tbsp butter.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • pita turkish bread (for serving).
  • Yogurt (for serving).
Marinating the tenderloin beef:.
  • 1 cup of onion juice(take only the water from 2 chopped onions).
  • 1/4 cup milk.
  • salt.
  • black pepper.
pita turkish bread:.
  • If you don't have pita, you can make it easily:
  • 2 &1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.
  • 1 cup of milk.
  • 1/4 cup water.
  • 1 tbsp. yeast.
Each component of this dish plays an essential role in creating its unique and delicious taste. From the succulent meat to the tangy yogurt and savory tomato sauce, each ingredient is carefully selected to bring out the best flavors and aromas. 


The preparation of Iskender kebab is a true art form. First, the lamb or beef meat is marinated with various spices, then cooked on a vertical spit called a doner kebab. As the meat slowly cooks, it is sliced off in thin strips and placed on top of a bed of warm pita bread. Next, a rich tomato sauce is poured over the meat, which is then topped with melted butter.
  1. Chop 2 onions and press on them in a sieve to take only the water out of them.
  2. In a bowl mix the onion juice with 1/4 cup of milk, add salt and black pepper.
  3. Cut the tenderloin into very thin slices ( to get thin slices easily use frozen tenderloin but at the same time not very frozen to be hard to cut e.g. you will see in the video down here it is frozen and hard from the inside but still soft from outside so it is frozen about 70%-60%).
  4. Marinate the beef slices in the onion's water and milk overnight.
  5. In a pan melt 1 tbsp of butter, add 2 tbsp of tomato paste ( and pepper paste if you use it), stir them for a few minutes, then add the fresh tomato juice, add 1/2 cup of water, let them boil together for 10 minutes, add salt black pepper and oregano.
  6. In a hot pan add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil, start to fry your beef, but don't put all the amount at once, you need to spread the slices only four or five pieces in each time until it takes good color from both sides,
  7. Repeat this step until you fry all the amount of beef.
  8. To serve the plate, cut pieces of pide turkish bread, then pour two or three ladles of the tomato sauce, add the fried beef slices, and add two to three ladles of tomato sauce, garnish with yogurt and fried pepper.
  9. Finish your dish with one teaspoon of melted butter to add to the top.
Anyone can master the art of cooking Iskender Kebab by paying attention to details, from marinating the meat to layering it with the sauce and assembling it with the perfect accompaniments, every step plays a crucial role in creating a delicious beef meat dish that is sure to satisfy any food lover's cravings.

This is how to finish off the dish

To finish off the dish, a generous helping of yogurt is added on top of the meat and sauce. This creamy addition adds a refreshing contrast to the warm, savory flavors of the dish. Some variations of the Iskender kebab also include grilled vegetables, such as peppers and onions, for an extra burst of flavor.

Iskender kebab is typically served hot and fresh, making it a perfect meal for cold winter nights. The combination of warm pita bread, tender lamb meat, and rich tomato sauce makes for a comforting and satisfying meal. The dish is also a popular street food in Turkey, where it is often enjoyed on the go.

One of the key elements that sets Iskender kebab apart from other kebab dishes is the use of yogurt. The tangy and refreshing flavor of the yogurt perfectly complements the warm and savory flavors of the meat and sauce. Additionally, the use of butter adds an extra layer of richness and depth to the dish.

In recent years, Iskender kebab has become increasingly popular outside of Turkey, and can now be found in many restaurants and food trucks around the world. Its unique blend of flavors and textures make it a favorite among foodies and kebab enthusiasts alike.
In conclusion, Iskender kebab is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the rich culinary traditions of Turkey. With its combination of tender lamb meat, rich tomato sauce, warm pita bread, and refreshing yogurt, this dish is a true feast for the senses. If you have the opportunity to try Iskender kebab, be sure to savor every bite.

Iskender kebab is a nutritious meal

In addition to its delicious taste, Iskender kebab is also a nutritious meal. Beef meat is a good source of protein, while the tomato sauce and grilled vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. Yogurt is known for its probiotic properties, which can aid in digestion and support overall gut health.

Overall, Iskender kebab is a beloved Turkish dish that has gained popularity around the world for its unique blend of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed as a street food or in a restaurant, this dish is sure to satisfy any kebab lover's cravings.

In conclusion, the Iskender Kebab is not just a dish; it's an experience that tantalizes the taste buds with its flavorful and aromatic combination of tender meat, tomato sauce, yogurt, and butter. With its origins rooted in Turkey, this recipe has stood the test of time and continues to be a popular favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you are looking to impress your guests with a unique culinary creation or simply want to indulge in a mouth-watering meal, the Iskender Kebab is the perfect choice. So why not give it a try and discover for yourself why this dish has become a beloved classic in Turkish cuisine.

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