Ezme (Turkish-style tomato salsa) is one of the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine, and can be served as a mezze or salad. The most important trick in making this recipe is to chop all the ingredients finely with a sharp knife. Ezmeli kebab is one of the traditional tastes of Gaziantep – a city located south east of Anatolia.
Skill level Easy
1 kg leg of lamb, cut into 4 cm cubes
200 g lamb fat (bunting), for the skewers, cut into 4 cm flat pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
6 medium ripe tomatoes, deseeded, quartered
4 red Turkish sweet peppers or smaller bullhorn chillies, deseeded, cut into large pieces (see Note)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Isot pepper (burnt Turkish Urfa peppers) or medium-hot chilli flakes (see Note)
1 tbsp capsicum paste (see Note)
50 ml (2½ tbsp) pomegranate molasses (found at Middle Eastern, Greek and Turkish markets)
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp sea salt, or to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Marinating time Overnight
Place the lamb, fat, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Toss to combine. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight. Remove from fridge at least 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat a charcoal barbecue or chargrill on medium-high heat. To make the ezme, soak 2 skewers in water, then thread the tomatoes onto skewers. Place over barbecue or chargrill until cooked through and softened, set aside to cool.
On a chopping board, combine the cooked tomato, Turkish peppers or bullhorn chillies, parsley, red onion and garlic. Finely chop to form a salsa, then drain excess liquid and place in a mixing bowl. Add the Isot pepper, capsicum paste, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Toss well to combine.
Cook the lamb skewers over a charcoal barbecue or chargrill for 8-10 minutes or until cooked to you liking. When cooked, remove any bunting fat between the lamb cubes and serve with the ezme.
• Red Turkish peppers (when in season), Isot pepper and capsicum paste are available from Turkish food stores.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.