A step-by-step guide to making Turkish Alinazek Kebab

A step-by-step guide to making Turkish Alinazek Kebab

Marinated meat cooked and plated on a smoky eggplant base

A step-by-step guide to making Alinazek Kebab Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Alinazek Kebab is a rich meaty dish with a smoky eggplant base. Just like the richness of this dish, its history has a tale to tell. It is believed that during the reign of Yavuz Sultan Selim in the 16th century Ottoman Empire, he was once served with a local delicacy made with eggplant, yogurt mash and grilled lamb. He loved it so much and asked whose 'gentle hands' (eli nazik) made this dish. And thats how the name - Ali Nazik got its name.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making this dish: 


For marination:

2 gms paprika

2 gms oregano

2 tbsp milk

2 gms sunflower oil

For meat: 

200 gms lamb loin

2 tsp paprika powder

Salt to taste 

For eggplant base: 

180 gms roasted eggplants (roughly 2 to 3 eggplants)

50 gms Iskender butter (any salted butter will do)

70 gms garlic-yoghurt paste (2 minced garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice and salt mixed in yogurt)

4 to 5 tbsp chili butter (50 gms melted butter and 1 tsp paprika or chilli flakes cooked together)

Ingredients for Alinazik kebab: [Left to Right] Eggplant, butter, iskendar butter or ghee, salt, garlic Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

1. Marinate the meat pieces with paprika, salt, oregano, milk and olive oil. Leave it aside for 3 hours or overnight. 

Marinate and keep it overnight
Marinate and keep it overnight Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

2. Add the marinated meat to skewers. Alternatively, while using an oven you can simply make round-shaped balls and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Place the sheet onto a baking tray and place it in the oven. Bake it at 145 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes ot until cooked. If using a pan, drizzle the pan with some oil and cook for 5 minutes on medium to high heat.

Alinazek Kebab
Place the kebab on barbeque or in the oven Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

3. Once cooked, keep the kebabs aside.

To make the eggplant:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius. 

2. If using a gas stove, place the eggplants or aubergines over the burner on medium heat. Using a pair of tongs, roast them for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep turning them over occasionally.

Tip: To cook them in an oven - preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place them on a baking tray and place them on a middle shelf. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Once the skin is evenly cooked and chargrilled, remove it onto a colander or plate. The skins should look burnt and the flesh soft. Allow it to cool dowm.

4. When they cool down, gently peel off the skins and mash the flesh.

5. In a preheated pan, add iskendar butter (you can use any other butter or ghee/clarified butter) and the roasted eggplants. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a high flame.

Add Iskendar Kebab
Add Iskender butter or any salted butter

6. Turn off the flame and allow it to cool for about 1 minute. Then while the eggplant is still warm, smear it with a layer of garlic-yoghurt paste.

Layer it with garlic-yoghurt paste
Layer it with garlic-yogurt paste

To make garlic-yoghurt paste:

Take 1 cup of yoghurt and mix it well with two cloves of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add salt to taste.

7. Place the cooked kebabs on top and drizzle it with chili butter.

Place the kebabs
Place the kebabs Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

To make the chili butter: 

In a pan, heat the Iskender butter (readily available butter), allow it to melt. Then add chilli flakes or chili powder to it and turn off the heat.

Alinazek Kebab
Alinazek Kebab Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

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