Adana Kebabs with Tzatziki, Charred Tomatoes, Garlic Naan, Orzo Rice, Jerusalem Salad + a Smoked Old Fashioned

This dinner was inspired one in the Ripe Figs cookbook, by Yasmin Khan. I absolutely love Greek and Turkish food, and this set of recipes has all the savory, spicy, fresh and bright flavors I look forward to when eating food from these countries. The kebabs are made of highly spiced ground lamb, grilled or broiled at high heat for a nice char on the outside and a juicy inside. The richness of the meat is balanced by eating with Naan bread and tangy tzatziki and salad. You could skip one of the carbs and just have rice or just have naan, if you prefer. My husband got a little glass top cocktail smoker as a stocking stuffer this year, so I decided to try that out on a maple old fashioned for our dinner drink.


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1/2 of a small bunch of parsley chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloved chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp or salt
  • 1-2 large tomatoes

Combine the kebab ingredients other than tomatoes into a large bowl with 1 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and work the meat together for 5 minutes. Usually you don’t want to overwork ground meat, but in this case it is necessary to achieve the correct texture for the kebabs. Divide the meat onto 8-10 skewers and cover and place in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavor to develop.

When ready to cook remove from the fridge for 20 minutes. Cook under the broiler on a broiler pan that allows the grease to drip off. Cook for around 8-10 minutes depending on the oven and the distance from the broiler until cooked through and browned on the outside. Cover with foil and let rest while you cook the tomatoes and naan if you are using.

Charred Tomatoes:

Cut a couple of tomatoes up into quarters. Sprinkle with salt. Spray a cookie sheet with oil spray and place the tomatoes on and place under the broiler until cooked and slightly charred.

Jerusalem Salad:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 bunch parsley chopped
  • salt/pepper

Chop all the veggies into large pieces and combine with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Allow to rest in the fridge for a little while before serving.

Orzo Rice:

  • 1 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 3 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt

Rinse the rice a few times and then let it soak for 10 minutes. Drain it well. Add the butter and oil to a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid and saute the orzo until it browns, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add the water and salt and stir again, then cover and reduce heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes. Open the top and stir and taste the rice to make sure its cooked enough. If not, cook a minute or two longer. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes covered.

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 persian cucumber
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

Place the yogurt in a bowl and grate in the cucumber. Add the chopped garlic and other ingredients and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Allow the sauce to sit in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors. If it is too thick, add a little water to thin it out.

Garlic Naan:

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup room temp buttermilk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick melted salted butter combined with 4-5 cloves garlic chopped

About an hour before you will cook them, heat your oven to its highest temp and place a pizza steel or stone into the oven. If you don’t have one you can use the clean back of a cookie sheet to cook these on. Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry in a stand mixer with the hook attached. Knead the dough until it comes together into a smooth and stretchy ball, about 5-8 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces and form into balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

Lightly dust a counter and roll out one ball at a time into an 8-9 inch circle. Place it directly onto the hot sheet and let cook for about a minute until it has some dark spots. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until bubbled up and browned in some areas. Remove to a plate and brush with the garlic butter, being sure to get some of the chopped garlic on too. Yum! Complete the rest of the dough balls until you have a nice stack of garlic naan. These keep well in the freezer once cooled and you can pull out reheat one and time in a frying pan on the stove top.

Smoked Old Fashioned:

Per one drink:

  • 2 oz Boubon (I use 3 because we like drinks that pack a punch)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 3 dashes or orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice then strain into a glass. I used our little glass top smoker to add some smoke flavor, although it was very mild, so I think I need to smoke it longer next time.

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