When it comes to Turkish cuisine, there is a myriad of flavours and dishes that entice the senses. Among these culinary treasures is the mouthwatering Iskender kebab. This savoury delight is a testament to the rich heritage of Turkish cuisine and has gained popularity not only in Turkey but around the world.
The Iskender kebab takes its name from its creator, Iskender Efendi, a renowned chef who lived in the late 19th century. Iskender Efendi was born in Bursa, Turkey; a city famous for its culinary traditions. He aimed to create a kebab dish that would stand out and captivate the taste buds of his patrons. And so, he came up with the Iskender kebab, a culinary masterpiece that continues to be celebrated to this day.
One of the defining features of Iskender kebab is the way it is served. The grilled kebab meat is thinly sliced and placed on a bed of fresh, warm pide bread, which is a type of Turkish flatbread. The pide acts as a foundation for the flavourful meat, soaking up its juices and adding a a gorgeous chewiness to each bite.
To elevate the dish further, a generous serving of tomato sauce, often infused with butter and other spices, is drizzled over the meat. This sauce not only adds a tangy and rich flavour but also keeps the meat and bread moist. Finally, the Iskender kebab is topped with a dollop of creamy yogurt and sprinkled with melted butter and fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill.
We decided to make our own special Iskender kebab pizza to pay homage to the great Iskender kebab.
Build the pizza
We took a 250g pizza dough ball, already proofed in a Babadoh, and shaped it into a 10” pizza.
We wanted an even base so we used a rolling pin rather than hand stretching as we would do for a Neapolitan pizza.
The plan was to use this instead of pide bread so we docked the pizza (made small holes across the pizza base) to stop it rising in the oven.
Once the base was cooked, we layered it with a generous serving of doner kebab meat, then added a ladle of tomato sauce and topped it all off with some brown foaming melted butter.
Finally, we added a dollop of cacik.
A plate of Turkish Iskender Babadoh heaven.