Homemade Doner Kebabs & Tzatziki

This recipe for homemade Doner Kebabs is really easy to make, and for the same price of maybe one doner from a kebab van or shop, you can make enough for the whole family!

There are lots of different recipes online for homemade doner kebab – I basically looked at several and tweaked to my family’s flavour preferences.

Homemade Doner Kebabs & Tzatziki. This recipe for homemade Doner Kebabs is really easy to make, and for the same price of maybe one doner from a kebab van or shop, you can make enough for the whole family!

Homemade Doner Kebabs

Doner kebab is a Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly on the rotisserie, next to a vertical cooking element. Related/similar dishes are sharwarma (Arabic) and gyros (Greek) – Wikipedia

In the UK they are a popular takeaway food – especially after a night on the town. The meat is stuffed inside a pita bread, with chilli sauce and salad. People often joke that they have no clue what doner meat actually is, but it is usually lamb or beef – or a mixture of the two. How do I know? I know a man who runs a kebab van!

I actually didn’t have my first doner kebab until I was in my late teens. I am part Greek-Cypriot so doner kebabs are not a thing in Cyprus – souvlakia (or shish kebab) however, is. This is cubes of meat, skewered and cooked over charcoal. Served in a similar fashion with some salad, maybe some tzatziki, tahini or houmus. The salad can be as basic as some fresh flat leaf parlsey and onions (my favourite!)

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Homemade Doner Kebab Meat

As I said at the top of this post, there are several recipes online and I tweaked to come up with my own herbs and spice mix as some included seasonings that we are not fans of.

I probably ended up erring on the Greek-Cypriot side of flavours since that is my heritage! Similarly, topping with some delicious tzatziki (a yogurt sauce) is definitely a Greek-Cypriot thing.

I used dried oregano, dried mint, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, garlic and salt as the seasonings for the meat – which was minced lamb.

Everything is mixed together, formed into a loaf shape, and wrapped in foil. It is then cooked for around half an hour and then popped under the grill to get a nice crust to the outside. (They are the best bits when you get a kebab!)

Once cooked, allow to sit for ten minutes, and then using a very sharp knife, cut into thin slices along the longest edge.

Then pile into warmed pita bread with salad, and a dollop of tzatziki (recipe below). I like a squeeze of lemon juice on my kebabs too.

Homemade Doner Kebab

kebab meat

Homemade Doner Kebabs & Tzatziki. This recipe for homemade Doner Kebabs is really easy to make, and for the same price of maybe one doner from a kebab van or shop, you can make enough for the whole family!

              

 

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Homemade Doner Kebabs & Tzatziki
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For The Doner Kebab
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
For The Tzatziki
  • 300g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsps dried mint
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt to taste
To Serve
  • pita bread
  • shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced onion
  • lemon juice (optional)
Instructions
For The Doner Kebab
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
  2. Place the lamb mince in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix together well - get your hands in there to really combine everything together.
  4. Shape into a loaf shape and wrap tightly in foil.
  5. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Remove from foil and place under a hot grill, turning to brown off the edges.
  7. Cover with foil again and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
For The Tzatziki
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl. Mix together – add more seasoning if you wish!
To Serve
  1. Slice the meat into thin slices along the longest edge.
  2. Pile into warmed pita bread with your choice of salad and topped with tzatziki.
  3. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.

 

Fancy having a try at making your own pita bread? Check out this post where I also show you how to make Cypriot Souvlaki too.

Cypriot Souvlaki, Tzatziki + Pitta Bread - all easier to prepare than you think and makes a simple, tasty dinner

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Homemade Doner Kebabs & Tzatziki. This recipe for homemade Doner Kebabs is really easy to make, and for the same price of maybe one doner from a kebab van or shop, you can make enough for the whole family!