This dish, lamb kebap ali nazik, accompanied the manti dish that I had created for the second challenge of Project Food Blog. For simplicity sake and it being photographically dynamic, I felt the manti could stand on it’s own and therefor the only dish featured in the challenge. But there was quite a bit of the filling left over after all of the manti makings that I threw this dish together. Plus, my anxiety about the competition has me itching to post something until we know for sure about advancing to Round 3, so more lovely cuisine from Turkey!
This dish comes from the southern part of Turkey, specifically the city of Gaziantep, said to be created by a man by the name of Ali Nazik (he owned a kebab house). Kabap, from what I can gather, is to be broiled or barbequed, hence kebab house. But the basis of this dish is ground lamb which is cooked in butter in a large skillet, with no use of direct flame. Probably created to make use of all the charbroiled tasty bits left over from the grilled meats. Well, regardless of the details, it’s cooked it’s deliciously partnered with a smoky roasted, garlicky eggplant dish, which I have included.
I had tons of eggplant last week, which was originally the reason why I chose to tackle Turkish cuisine. Eggplant is a staple in Turkey, with hundreds of different recipes it could easily be called the favorite food of the Turks (along side lamb and yogurt).
I found the medium sized, purple black eggplants worked best with their good “pulp to seed” ratio. The small white eggplants and the stripped ones are beautiful but yield little usable flesh. You can pop these guys into a 450 oven for about 20 minutes (make sure you poke them a couple of times with a fork so they don’t explode on you) or you can place them directly on a flame. I simply use two burners on my stove and roast them with the open flame, turning them every 3-4 minutes. I used 6 medium eggplants.
delicious, roasted goodies.
After a good charring, set aside to cool for about 15 minutes before you try to slip the skins off. At this time minced or press 4 cloves of garlic into a mixing bowl and measure out 2/3 C plain yogurt. Once the eggplants are cool enough, remove the skins and give them a rough chop. If you happen to find large ribbons of seeds throughout, remove those as they can cause bitterness but don’t waste your time trying to remove all of them.
Combine all the ingredients together. At this time you can decide whether or not you’d like to pulse this through a blender or keep it chunky, I like both, its a textural preference, so it’s up to you just don’t forget to season with salt. This dish is dynamically smokey from the open flame roasting and super garlicky. If you’re not a fan of garlic, cut it out or reduce the amount to one clove. You’re essentially using garlic in raw form so it’ll be spicy and pungent.
At this time you just need to saute the remaining lamb filling until browned. The recipe traditionally calls for cooking in butter, which is decadent and rich, but feel free to use olive oil if you’d like.
Spoon plain yogurt over the eggplant spread and to it, add your freshly sauteed lamb.
a dish with unbelievable amounts of flavor.
kebap ali nazik, definitely give this a try!