Monday, 17 April 2017

Turkish Chicken Kebabs with Tomato Chilli Sauce.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I love bank holidays.
Probably because they always feel like an extra Sunday and I love a good Sunday.
Saturday is always the busy one whereas Sunday is where everything slows down.
It's the day when we like to spend a little more time over our food and when it comes to a Spring meal, these Turkish chicken kebabs are one of my new favourites. I say Spring, but when I opened the window this morning, a bitingly cold wind blew in. Where has the warm April sunshine got to? 
The Turkish kebabs are really easy to make and are flavoured with lots of lemon, garlic, chilli flakes and sumac. I love eating them with a tomato chilli sauce which is so easy to make. You just throw everything into the food processor and whizz!

You can eat the kebabs anyway you like but I love them wrapped up in soft flatbreads with the chilli sauce, dollops of Greek yoghurt, pickled onions and peppers and grilled cherry tomatoes. The perfect meal when you're trying to ignore the grey skies and rain outside.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Turkish Chicken Kebabs:
1. Garlic
2. Lemon Zest or Sumac
3. Lemon Juice
4. Dried Red Chilli Flakes
5. Tomato Puree
6. Salt and Black Pepper
7. Greek Yoghurt
8. Chicken Breast Pieces

For the Tomato Chilli Sauce:
1. Cherry Tomatoes
2. Garlic
3. Green Chilli
4. Red Onion
5. Dried Red Chilli Flakes
6. Sumac
7. Tomato Puree
8. Olive Oil
9. Pomegranate Molasses
10. Salt and Black Pepper

To Serve:
1. Wholemeal Pitta Flatbreads
2. Grilled Cherry Tomatoes
3. Pickled Turkish Peppers
4. Greek Yoghurt
5. Lime or Lemon Wedges
6. Pink Chilli Onions or Sliced Red Onion
7. Fresh Coriander or Fresh Parsley
8. Diced Cucumber

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start by marinading the chicken. Take 5 Garlic Cloves.

Give them a peel and a crush.

And, place into a small bowl.

Add in 2 teaspoons Sumac or the Zest of 1 Lemon. 

I went with the zest because I didn't have enough sumac.

Then, squeeze in the Juice of 1 Lemon.

To spice things up, I used dried red chilli flakes but red chilli powder would do too.

Throw in 2 teaspoons Dried Red Chilli Flakes.

And, 1 teaspoon Tomato Puree.

Season with Salt and Black Pepper, to taste. I went with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Stir the paste together.

Then, dollop in 5 tablespoons Greek Yoghurt.

Stir in well.

Let's talk chicken! I used 2 large Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks - about 1 and 1/2 pounds. You could also use chicken thigh pieces.

Add in all the marinade.

Stir the marinade well before leaving the chicken to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. If you're in a really big rush, you can cook straight away.

Meanwhile, let's whizz up the easiest tomato chilli sauce ever! I used a food processor but you could also chop everything really finely to make more of a salsa.

Into the food processor, throw in 11 Cherry Tomatoes or 2 Tomatoes.

1 Garlic Clove, peeled and sliced

1 Green or Red Chilli - more, if you want things spicy

1 small Red Onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon Dried Red Chilli Flakes

Next, sumac! I used this one. It's a tangy, lemony spice and can be substituted with lemon zest.

Add in 1 teaspoon Sumac.

1 teaspoon Tomato Puree

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Finally, pomegranate molasses which is a really tangy, sweet and sour thick syrup made from pomegranate juice. I used this one!

In goes 1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses.

Season with plenty of Salt and Black Pepper.

Now, all we do is blend. So easy!

Blend until smooth and well combined.

And, the sauce is done!

Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed. Set aside.

Let's cook the chicken! We're going to skewer the chicken before browning them in a grill pan and finishing in a hot oven. You can cook them however you like.

Skewer the chicken onto metal skewers leaving behind any of the extra marinade. If you're using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them beforehand.

Heat a grill pan over a high heat and brush it with Vegetable Oil.

Pop on the skewers.

Brown the chicken on both sides until golden brown. You can cook the chicken completely here but I like to finish them off in the oven.

Place the skewers onto a lined tray and bake for 10 minutes at 200C or until fully cooked through.

Once cooked, we can serve! You can serve these kebabs with just the tomato chilli sauce but here's what we ate with them.

I made the dough for these wholemeal pitta flatbreads and divided it into six balls.

They were rolled and cooked.

And, were kept warm in a tea towel until needed.

I also grilled a few more cherry tomatoes on the hot grill pan.

We also had Greek yoghurt on the side and Turkish pickled peppers.

I love these peppers because they're spicy and pickled at the same time.

Also on the side:
Lemon or Lime Wedges
Pink Chilli Onions or Sliced Red Onion
Diced Cucumber

And of course, the tomato chilli sauce.

And, the chicken kebabs!

Once everything is ready, we can eat!

Wrap everything up in the soft flatbreads and enjoy!

Turkish Chicken Kebabs with Tomato Chilli Sauce.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes + extra time to marinade.
Cook Time: About 15 minutes.
Serves: About 4 people.


For the Turkish Chicken Kebabs
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
Zest of 1 Lemon or 2 teaspoons Sumac
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 teaspoons Dried Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Tomato Puree
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
5 tablespoons Greek Yoghurt
2 large Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)

For the Tomato Chilli Sauce
11 Cherry Tomatoes or 2 Tomatoes
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
1 Green or Red Chilli - more if you want it extra spicy
1 small Red Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dried Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Sumac
1 teaspoon Tomato Puree
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses 
Plenty of Salt and Black Pepper

To Serve
Soft Flatbreads - I made my wholemeal pitta flatbreads!
Grilled Cherry Tomatoes
Pickled Turkish Peppers
Greek Yoghurt
Fresh Lime or Lemon Wedges
Pink Chilli Onions or Sliced Red Onion
Fresh Coriander or Fresh Parsley
Diced Cucumber

Marinade the chicken:
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon zest or sumac, lemon juice, dried red chilli flakes, tomato puree, salt, black pepper and Greek yoghurt. Pour marinade over the chicken pieces and stir well. Set aside to marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Make the tomato chilli sauce:
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until everything is really combined and nearly smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Set aside until needed.

Cook the chicken:
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Thread the chicken pieces without the extra marinade onto skewers. If using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them first. Heat a large grill pan over a high heat and brush it with vegetable oil. Brown the chicken skewers in the pan until they are golden brown. Place the skewers onto a lined oven tray and bake until fully cooked through - around 10 minutes or so.

Prepare the accompaniments:
Prepare anything that you want to serve the kebabs with.

Slide the kebabs off the skewers, slice up a little and wrap in warm flatbreads with the tomato chilli sauce, grilled tomatoes and anything else you want. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is also wonderful with chicken thigh pieces.
  • You can cook the chicken anyway you like - in a pan, under the grill or baked in the oven.
{adapted from bbc good food}

This Time One Year Ago:

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This Time Three Years Ago:

This Time Four Years Ago:
Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your Turkish chicken kebabs!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast


  1. These look wonderful, and I love the photography!

  2. Assalamualaikum dear! We made this for our late lunch and loved it! 😍

  3. Is there anything else I can use instead of pomegranate molasses for the tomato chilli sauce? Or can I leave it out?

    1. Yesterday, I didn't have any in the house and subbed it with balsamic glaze. Balsamic vinegar or any other vinegar would work well too.

  4. Assalamu alaykum!
    We made this today and it was delicious!
    We tripled the recipe (big family) :D
    We grilled a batch right away and kept another batch marinated until the evening and everyone loved it!
    Jazaki Allahu khairan for the recipe. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Wa alaikumus salaam, so glad you enjoyed the Turkish chicken kebabs. :)


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