Iskender Kebap

Iskender kebap – shredded beef with lavash bread under tomato sauce – is one of the most famous meat foods of northwestern Turkey and takes its name from its inventor, Iskender Efendi, who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. I tried this dish for the first time in Istanbul and absolutely loved it although I am not a big fan of meat.

Iskender Kebap
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 300 g boneless beef
  2. 1/4 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  4. 1/2 tsp dried mint
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  6. 2 tbsp sunflower oil
For Tomato Sauce
  1. 4 tbsp butter
  2. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  3. 250 ml water
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  6. 1/2 tbsp cornflour
To Garnish
  1. 2 tomatoes
  2. 2 green peppers
  3. 2 thick lavash bread
  4. 6 tbsp plain yogurt
Instructions
  1. Slice the beef. Season with salt, pepper, mint and ground cumin.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the beef slices for a couple of minutes until brown all over. Set aside.
  3. To make tomato sauce - melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan, stir in tomato paste and fry for a couple of minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Add 250 ml (1 cup) water, season with salt and pepper. Let it cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Cut tomatoes in wedges. Deseed the pepper, cut lengthways, then halve.
  6. Spread the remaining butter over the lavash bread and fry on a preheated pan for 2 minutes each side. Set aside.
  7. Increase the heat and fry the tomato wedges and the green pepper for a couple of minutes stirring constantly.
  8. In a small bowl dissolve 1/2 tbsp cornflour in a cold water (3-4 tbsp) and add to the tomato sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to let the sauce to thicken then remove from the heat.
  9. Cut lavash bread into 2x2 cm squares and divide between 2 plates.
  10. Pour over a couple of tbsp tomato sauce, top with beef slices, then pour more sauce. You can also pour over hot melted butter if wish.
  11. Place yoghurt on a side, garnish with tomatoes and pepper. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. It's easier to slice the meat when it is half frozen.
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