Journey into the heart of southeastern Turkey with the Urfa Style Eggplant Kebab, a gastronomic delight that echoes centuries of Mesopotamian culinary heritage. The smoky flavors of charred eggplant combined with succulent meat capture the spirit of Urfa, a city known for its rich history and equally rich flavors.
1-Marination: In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, Urfa pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Add in the meat chunks, ensuring they are well coated. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.
2-Eggplant Preparation: Slice the eggplants into thick rings, about 1-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and leave them for 20 minutes. This process will draw out bitterness. Rinse and pat dry.
3-Skewering: Alternate skewering the marinated meat and eggplant rings. If using wooden skewers, ensure they are soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to avoid burning.
4-Grilling: Preheat a grill or barbecue. Place the skewers on the grill, turning occasionally until the meat is well-cooked and the eggplants are soft and charred, roughly 10-15 minutes.
5-Serving: Once cooked, slide the meat and eggplants off the skewers onto a serving platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Urfa Style Eggplant Kebab is not just a dish; it's a cultural experience. Every bite offers a taste of Urfa's vibrant bazaars, ancient landscapes, and culinary traditions. Best enjoyed outdoors under a starry sky, this kebab promises an Anatolian adventure of flavors.
Quality Meat: Opt for tender cuts of meat, like lamb or beef tenderloin. The quality of meat can significantly impact the kebab's texture and taste.
Eggplant Selection: Choose eggplants that are firm to the touch with smooth, shiny skin. This indicates freshness.
Urfa Pepper: Urfa pepper, also known as isot pepper, offers a unique smoky-sweet flavor. If unavailable, mix regular chili flakes with a pinch of smoked paprika as a substitute.
Resting Time: After grilling, allow the kebabs to rest for a few minutes. This ensures the meat remains juicy when bitten into.
Accompaniments: Consider serving the kebab with a side of creamy yogurt dip, tomato salad, or even a tangy pomegranate molasses drizzle.