Turkish chicken kebab. Finger-licking kebabs guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest eaters. Packed with real Turkish flavors, these are perfect for summer entertaining. Delicious with a side of fresh salad and yogurt.
Time for some kebab (or kabob) talk. Well, what is a kebab really? Is it all about meat threaded onto skewers and grilled? Perfect way to enjoy a backyard barbecue with your friends? One of the most celebrated dishes of Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines? It is all of these, and more.
While this Turkish chicken kebab is super simple to make, it also lets you discover the unique flavors of Turkish cuisine. The sophisticated blend of spices, the way you cut the meat (whole or minced), and the method of cooking make these kebabs so unique and flavorful.
First, chicken diced into cubes get marinated in a flavorful mixture made with tomato purée, garlic paste, paprika, Aleppo chilies, yogurt, cumin and lemon juice. Aleppo chilies are a classic in this recipe, however, due to unavailability, I’ve substituted them with dried red chili (pepper) flakes.
While tomato purée (paste) adds a tangy flavor as well as vibrant color to the kebabs, yogurt and lemon juice keep the chicken moist and succulent. Ground cumin is the one and only spice that you will need to add the perfect spice touch.
The marinated chicken pieces are threaded on to skewers. The ideal cooking time is approximately 10 minutes turning the kebabs halfway through. The hot grilled skewers are generously sprinkled with another Middle Eastern classic – sumac.
Ground sumac is easily available in the spice section of your local grocery store or in Middle Eastern stores. Apart from flavoring this Turkish chicken kebab, it’s also perfect in your sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads. Just add a generous sprinkle, believe me, it work wonders.
Kebabs are always served with salads and dips. So, let’s whip up a quick salad when the skewers are on the grill. Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onions tossed with fresh lemon juice and sumac. Delicious!
Finally, a dollop of yogurt and few lemon wedges to complete the picture. So good!
Watch Turkish chicken kebab recipe video below:
More kebab (skewers) recipes:
- Chicken Tikka
- Chickken Tikka Kebab with Veggies
- Honey Soy Chicken Skewers
- Fish Tikka
- Spicy Paneer Tikka
- Malai Paneer Tikka
- Hariyali (Green) Paneer Tikka
- 1 kg chicken breast, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (tomato purée)
- Juice of half of lemon
- 1 tsp minced garlic (garlic paste)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp Aleppo chilies (or dried red chili flakes)
- 2 tbsp natural yogurt
- ½ tsp ground cumin (cumin powder)
- Salt to taste
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- Juice of half of lemon
- 1 tbsp sumac
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sumac, to sprinkle on chicken
- Yogurt, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- 20 bamboo skewers
- Place chicken in a bowl. Add tomato paste, lemon juice, minced garlic, oil, paprika, dried red chili flakes, yogurt and cumin. Season with salt. Coat chicken in the marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
- Preheat grill.
- Soak bamboo skewers for about 20 minutes.
- Thread diced chicken on to the skewers. Place over the grill. Cook for about 8-10 minutes turning the skewers halfway through. Sprinkle generously with sumac.
- Place cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onions in a large bowl. Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sumac. Toss to combine.
- Serve Turkish kebabs with yogurt and lemon wedges.
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