Summary: Mediterranean-style kebob is a source of deliciousness and savory. Noosh-e jān!
I had to travel to Ankara, Turkey, for a short visit a few years ago. At the time, I had not discovered my knack for culinary adventures but I was excited to experiment a new Cuisine. I was glad to find out that there was street food available with reasonable prices.
Many types of food offered by street vendors were not authentic and had questionable appearance, however, it was delightful to see food-truck, like small restaurants that served hot aromatic delicious meals on disposable plates. Among many different dishes I tried, there was Kifta kebab that sat well with me the most.
Kifta Kebob is prepared from minced meat, and mixed with fresh herbs like parsley and mint. There are very aromatic spices such as cumin, allspices, cinnamon, etc to be added to the meat mix.
In an attempt to relive the experience, I decided to make the Kifta kebab – though with less spices – to score with my sniffy little picky eater. Caraway seeds were the spice of choice for the dish which is a close relative of cumin.
Using caraway seeds in cooking have its perks: the seeds are not only known to help with
digestion and bloating but they are also helpful in treating minor spasms in stomach and intestine. So go ahead and treat yourself to the goodness of caraway seeds in this delicious and aromatic dish.
Prep time: 45 min.
Cook time: 30 min.
Ready in: 1hr 15 min.
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely grated
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon oregano
1 whole egg
½ teaspoon salt & black pepper
Frying oil as needed
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1- In a large bowl, mix ground beef, grated onion, chopped parsley, bread crumbs, turmeric, caraway seeds, crushed oregano and egg. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Knead for 5 minutes. Then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.
Note: It is best to drain the liquid resulting from grating the onion since mixing it with the meat mixture will cause the patties to break when fried.
2- Take the mixture out of the fridge and start making oval shaped patties the size of the palm of your hand. Line them on a wax paper.
3- Pour some oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Transfer patties to hot oil and allow each side to brown. Since the patties contain bread crumbs, burned pieces will be floating around in the oil. Scrape off the bottom of the pan occasionally to avoid the blackened pieces sticking to freshly added patties.
4- In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add tomato paste and stir quickly. Add a small amount of hot water to thin out the paste. Transfer the kebabs to the tomato sauce. Lower heat and allow the kebabs to absorb the sauce.
The original kifta kebab is usually served over a loaf of flatbread like pita, topped with creamy yogurt sauce. It tastes equally good served over a bed of hot rice pilaf as well. Noosh-e jān!