Iskender Kebab is a truly delicious Turkish dish. Homemade bread, topped with tender cuts of meat, all lathered in a perfect tomato past-based sauce served with creamy yogurt.
For the kebab meat
- 600g rib steak (entrecote)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast (5g)
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
For the tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- 1 tomato – 4 slices
- 4 green peppers
- 8 tablespoons yogurt
Prepare the Iskender kebab meat
- Cut your meat into very thin slices.
- Mix the sliced meats, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl so that the meat is completely coated.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Prepare the Iskender bread
- Mix the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.
- Add the flour slowly. Followed by the salt.
- Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, and then place it in a bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow it ferment for 15 minutes in a warm place.
- Divide the fermented dough into 4 parts. Gently air and roll each piece. Let rise for another 15 minutes on a floured tray or large plate.
- In a bowl, mix the egg yolk, yogurt and salt well.
- Place a fermented dough ball onto your floured workplace (I just use my kitchen counter). Roll it open using a roller, without pressing too much (you want to maintain a little fluffiness to the dough). Spread 1 tablespoon of the yogurt mixture on to the dough using a brush.
- Use your fingers to press and shape the dough.
- Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in a preheated 250 degrees C/450 degrees F oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a cooling wire. (Once cooled, cut the bread using the fingerprints as a guide. Place them all towards one side of a large serving dish. (Yogurt will come when serving to the empty place on the plate)
Prepare the tomato sauce
Add the tomato paste to a pan over low-medium heat (you can add a little butter or oil if you’re worried about the paste sticking). Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, water and sugar. Mix until completely combined.
Cook the meat
In a warmed pan over medium heat, arrange the thin slices of meat side by side, avoding overlap. (As the meat is very thin, it will cook very quickly.)
Assembling Iskender Kebab
Place the fried meats on top of your chopped bread pieces and fill the empty part of the dish with yogurt.
Pour the prepared tomato sauce generously over the meat. (If the sauce has cooled down while you’ve been cooking, reheat it over the stove first.)’
Drizzle melted butter over the iskender platter. Serve with tomatoes and peppers. Afiyet olsun! (Essentially, Bon appetit in Turkish!)
There are a lot of steps in this recipe – we’re making quite a few components after all! If you ever feel lost, don’t forget that there’s a short recipe video that you can watch too! Here’s the link: Iskender Kebab recipe.
If you’re wondering why this recipe provides some more precise measurements (that is, by weight/volume instead of just cups and teaspoons), it’s because recipes like this really benefit from that added precision. I’ve provided both imperial and metric measurements where applicable, but I’d urge you to go with the more precise option here.
You want your Iskender Kebab meat to be very thin. To help cut it into thin slices, you can freeze the meat for 3-4 hours. (If you find that the meat is very tough, you can let it rest for 3-5 minutes.)
Begin by pouring 2 cups of flour, if you need to collect the dough, use 1/2 cup of flour. You are looking for a soft dough.
If you find that the sauce has thickened too much, you can add 1/4- 1/2 cup of hot water to thin it out.
Both the tomato sauce and melted butter should be poured with reckless abundance (not too reckless…but be generous) so that they can reach the bread under the meat; the sauce and butter combo will soften the bread slightly allowing for a delicious bite!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Wait Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Turkish
Keywords: Iskender Kebab, Iskender Kebabi, Bursa Kebab,