Pure plated indulgence. That’s our description for this oh-so-tasty dish; ali nazik kebab.
If you like ‘cooking light’ then look away now. A Gaziantep ali nazik kebab is spicy, rich and buttery.
At the same time, the aubergine and yoghurt bed that the meat is laid on is smooth, smoky and creamy.
From The City Of Gastronomy
At the time of writing, we have still never been to Gaziantep. Various obstacles have presented themselves.
But, when we do get there, we know we’ll return home to Fethiye a good few pounds heavier.
It’s no accident that Gaziantep is recognised by UNESCO as a City of Gastronomy. Famous for sweet dishes such as baklava and katmer, its savoury foods are also equally revered.
Meat kebabs galore – including ali nazik kebab – with the meats marinaded and tenderised in various spice and fruit mixes.
Speciality soups, a whole host of bulgur pilaf and rice pilaf dishes.
Salad dishes like Gavurdağı Salatası, Antep Ezmesi and semizotu salatası.
Molasses and spicy pepper and tomato pastes that are used to flavour breads, salads, soups and main dishes.
And let’s not forget the gift of pistachios. The Turkish word for pistachio is Antep fıstığı (Antep nut).
Ali Nazik Kebab
So, that’s just a very brief peek into the gastronomic window of the place where ali nazik kebab comes from.
A cuisine that spans centuries and that has been influenced by so many regions throughout this time. And yet, ali nazik holds its own and is so loved that it is known all over Turkey.
And far beyond.
Making Our Yoghurt Aubergine Base
Those of us who love aubergines, especially love the flavour of roasted aubergine. We roast our aubergine for ali nazik kebab. But you can also char it over a naked flame if you prefer.
The oven is more convenient for us because we roast peppers at the same time and use the heat afterwards for our plates and yoghurt base.
Our yoghurt base is actually very similar to our baba ganoush recipe. Roasted aubergine and yoghurt combined is just divine.
Once the aubergine is cooked and cooled, we peel away the skin and chop up the flesh.
This is then added to our yoghurt mix and placed into the oven along with two plates. We do this because we want the base to be slightly warm when we’re ready to serve.
Making The Lamb Topping
A traditional ali nazik recipe will use cubed lamb (kuşbaşı) for the topping. These days, however, minced meat is commonly used.
We prefer the minced version. But you can, of course, use cubed if you like.
We love a spicy topping! And you can get a away with a good dose of heat because the yoghurt base cools the spice.
When you’re frying your meat topping, don’t worry about those juices. You’re going to be using them to drizzle over the top when you serve.
Serving Our Ali Nazik Kebab
The reason our yoghurt aubergine base and plates go in the oven is because we don’t want the yoghurt base to be served cold.
Divide your yoghurt aubergine mix between the two plates and spread it towards the edges. Then you can serve your meat over the top.
Any juices left in the pan can be drizzled over the top of the meat and allowed to flow over your yoghurt.
If you really want to go for it with the extra juices, just like with Iskender Kebab, you can heat some butter in a pan. Then drizzle it over the top of your ali nazik kebab.
We also like to sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley over the top of ali nazik before serving.
You might also have noticed the roasted red pepper, too.
If you like roasted pepper or onion, you can add these to the oven with your aubergines at the beginning. Then just serve them on the side, later.
Our Ali Nazik Recipe
Okay, let’s make ali nazik kebab…
Ali Nazik Kebab Recipe
For The Meat Topping
- 200 g lamb minced
- 1 small onion peeled & finely chopped
- 1 small red pepper deseeded & finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper deseeded & finely chopped
- 1 chilli finely chopped
- 1 heaped tsp tomato paste or red pepper paste
- 1 dessert spoonful butter
- 1 dessert spoonful olive oil
- 1 tsp baharat mixed spices
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes or powder
- salt & pepper to season
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped, to garnish
For The Yoghurt Base
- 3 medium aubergines
- 4 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
- 2 cloves garlic peeled & grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lemon juiced
For The Yoghurt Base
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Prick your aubergines a few times all around, place them on a baking tray and then place them on the middle shelf of the oven.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the skin is charring and the the flesh inside is soft.
- Meanwhile, add your yoghurt, olive oil and garlic to a bowl and mix until smooth. Leave to stand at room temperature.
- When your aubergines are baked, remove from the oven and place on a plate to cool.
- Turn your oven off but keep the door closed so the oven stays warm inside.
- When your aubergines are cool enough to touch after about ten minutes, pull the skin away and then roughly chop the flesh.
- Add the lemon juice to the pulp and mix.
- Now stir the aubergine into your yoghurt.
- Place the yoghurt and aubergine mix into your slightly warm oven along with two plates and turn your attention to your meat topping.
For The Lamb Topping
- Heat your butter and oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and add your onion.
- Sauté for 5 minutes until it starts to go translucent and then add your peppers, including the chilli.
- Saute for a couple of minutes before adding your lamb mince and your spices.
- Stir your mix around and when your meat is starting to brown and release its juices, mix in your salça (tomato paste).
- Add salt and pepper to season and cook on a medium heat, breaking up any bigger clumps of mince.
- Once your meat is cooked (about 10 minutes), remove from the heat.
Serve Your Ali Nazik Kebab
- Remove the plates and the yoghurt aubergine mix from the oven.
- Divide the mix between the two plates and spread evenly over the surface.
- Now divide your lamb mix between the two plates, placing it on top of the yoghurt bed, in the centre.
- Drizzle remaining juices over the top of the meat and yoghurt.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
- As with all of our recipes, total calories are approximate in our ali nazik recipe.
- We place plates and our yoghurt mix into a warm oven because ali nazik kebab shouldn’t be served with a cold yoghurt aubergine baze. It should have a slight warmth to it.
- If you want to be extra indulgent, you can fry some extra butter and chilli flakes together to drizzle over the top of your ali nazik kebab. We just add the juices from the pan.
- As you can see in our serving under this recipe, we like to serve our ali nazik kebab with roasted pepper. If you want to do this, place your pepper in the oven at the same time as your aubergine.
And that’s how we make ali nazik kebab – pure indulgence on a plate.
Ali Nazik Recipe – Afternotes
- Ali nazik kebab is also simply known as alinazik.
- You can use cubed lamb or minced lamb. If you don’t like lamb, you can substitute it for beef.
- Turkey has lots of famous recipes that use aubergine. Favourites with meat include Ottoman Hünkar Beğendi and the stuffed aubergine dish, karnıyarık. Imam bayıldı is a stuffed aubergine dish that is loved by many and will be appreciated by vegetarians and vegans.
- Ali nazik kebab, along with many other dishes, is included in our list of Turkish recipes for home cooking.
Saturday 3rd of October 2020
Enjoyed Ali Nazik kebab today from your recipe (apologies to Ozlem whose recipe differed slightly).As not able to spend our 34th year in Turkey (Kayakoy in May/June;Bitez Sept /Oct we are doing our best to compensate.Haven't resorted to the Raki yet,which sits behind me and we are lucky to be able to buy many necessary ingredients from Turkish online supermarkets in London.Will be devastated if we can't get there in May 2021 for special anniversary. Nb-recipe was çok iyi.
Turkey's For Life
Thursday 8th of October 2020
hi Tony, thanks a lot for your comment and really glad you enjoyed the Ali Nazik. It's a favourite for us, too. :) Hope you get to come over to Turkey in 2021. So much disruption and disappointment this year. Enjoy that rakı! :)