Mediterranean Holiday Series 7 -Döner Kebab in Istanbul

Have you guessed the destination? Winner gets a picnic hamper from Medi Deli

……....scroll to the bottom of the post


Beef pepper stack image


From Athens, we flew to Istanbul and I tried to conceal the excitement that bubbled through me, as the plane landed at Atatürk International. The pleasures and aromas of Turkish cuisine, experienced previously only via television cookery shows and approximations eaten at Turkish restaurants at home and abroad, were about to become my reality.

I, notoriously, jumped off a tour bus, pulling my husband by the hand at the sight of the watermelon cart around the Sultanahmet gardens. Truth be told, the bus was stationary.


Haga Sophia Mosque


From baklava the Turkish way, lokum (Turkish delight), bagel shaped breads (simit), kebaps, kofta, fresh buffalo cream and Anatolian stews and salads, eating in Istanbul is a food explorer’s dream come true, and many visits are needed to do the cuisine justice.


Turkish flag on Bosphuros


donner kebap istanbul image


A very special Döner Kebap (Kebab)

On a backstreets tour of the old city, we discovered Mr Murat in Emin. He makes döner kebap in a very special way. Our guide Claudia who has lived and eaten in Istanbul for most of her life, told us that she didn’t know of anyone who did it this way – layered with tomatoes and peppers. Normally döner consists of layers of meat only. Mr Murat also marinates the meat in onion juice for flavour and to impart moistness. He says he got the idea after a visit of Bodrum and acknowledges that only a few people in Istanbul prepare the döner in this painstaking fashion.

best donner kebap in Istanbul

Mr Murat attending to the döner kebap

My Mini Beef Stacks based on the Döner Kebap

Back in my kitchen in Cape Town, I created these mini beef and pepper stacks, based on Mr Murat’s döner, using Mediterranean Delicacies red jalapeño, grilled peppers, onions, a smokey kebab spice from Istanbul and we dipped them in Mediterranean Delicacies creamy pepper dew dip.

It is advisable to marinade the meat in the onion juice if you have time. This makes a wonderful starter or add to your picnic basket or tapas board.


mini doner kebabs


meat skewers starters



Makes 6 stacks

3 medium peppers (red, green & yellow)

300 g thin beef steak (schnitzel cut is ideal)

1/3 white or red onion finely grated or pureed (optional)

1 medium red onion, sliced thickly

6 Medi Deli red jalapeños

2 T smokey Turkish spice (subs with steak & chops spice)

olive oil for drizzling and frying

salt, to taste


ingredients mini donner kebabs


beef sizzling on pan


meat on griddle pan cooking



1. Cut peppers in half and core. Flatten gently, pressing with your palm. Cut into approximately 3 cm squares (slightly bigger). Roast drizzled with olive oil on a greased baking tray at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes on fan assist (to absorb moisture). Remove and allow to cool. Shrinkage is normal.

2. Cut the top and bottom ends of the jalapenos off. Cut along one side so that you have one sheath of jalapeño  Fashion into two squares approximately the size of the roasted peppers. Repeat with remaining jalapeños.

3. Fry onions on each side on griddle pan with a generous splash of olive oil, just until griddle marks form.

4.Cut beef into 3 cm cubes. Coat in pureed onion and marinate for 2 hours or more (omit if in a hurry). Dip each side into the smokey spice.  Oil a griddle pan and turn the stove to medium- high. Fry the meat for 30 seconds a side. Season with salt when you remove and set aside. (Turn heat up if necessary – you want the meat to sear not stew)

5. Work quickly while meat is warm. Arrange a stack as follows: beef, green pepper, jalapeño, beef, yellow pepper, jalapeño, red or green pepper,onion and beef. Skewer with a mini bamboo skewer. This is just a guide, you’re welcome to stack the layers however you feel. Repeat.

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with Mediterranean Delicacies creamy pepper dew dip.



mini beef stacks, party food


The winner of the Medi Deli picnic hamper is Benjine Gerber, congrats!

Both you and Pienaar Kloppers guessed Turkey as my next destination to be featured and we drew your name from a hat.

You will be contacted by Medi Deli, who have sole discretion in terms of what they add to the basket and their Ts & C’s apply. 

Thank you to everyone who participated, I loved reading your answers. 


beef and pepper stacks like doner kebab


This post forms part of the series of recipes I am preparing for Mediterranean Delicacies. It is a Food and the Fabulous Endorsed project and I will be remunerated for it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email