Quarantine Provisions: Doner Kebab

I absolutely love Doner. There’s a place here in town where I can get it, which is great, but I’ve also discovered this great cook on Youtube, Refika, who films in her kitchen in Instanbul and came up with a great recipe for doner.

In this video, she provides the recipe (which I’ve copied below), and shows the two methods of preparation: Turkish, and German-Turkish.

Visit her channel for some other great recipes, including a chicken shwarma!

Here’s the recipe, both for the meat, the sauces, AND the bread!

For Doner

500 grams ground beef
2 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons milk
1 onion
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
Half tablespoon red pepper flakes
Half tablespoon salt
A pinch of black pepper
1-2 tablespoons butter

German-Turkish Way
Red Sauce
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black pepper
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger puree

White Sauce
4 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small cucumber
3-4 springs of dill
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Tomato and Cucumber salad
1 tomato
1 small cucumber
1 thin green pepper
6-8 springs of parsley
Half of a lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Other ingredients
1 red onion
Half iceberg lettuce
Half red cabbage
1 carrot

Turkish Way

Onion Sumac salad
1 onion
6-8 springs of parsley
A teaspoon sumac
2 tablespoons olive oil

Other ingredients
3 pickled cucumbers
2 tomatoes
Potato fries (depends on your preference)


To marinate the meat, put 1 onion into the food processor and make a puree.
Mix 500 gr of ground meat in a bowl and add the onion juice to the meat. You can use a sieve to take out the onion juice. Now we are going to add 2 tablespoons of milk, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 10-12 springs of fresh thyme, half tablespoon red pepper flakes, a pinch of black pepper and half tablespoon of salt to the meat. Give it a good mix and knead for 30 seconds until the mixture is homogeneous. Wrap the mixture with baking paper and squeeze from both ends. Rest the mixture in the fridge for a day and then put it in the freezer and wait at least for 2 days to make it hard enough to be able to slice thinly. You can keep it in the freezer for 6 months and use whenever you want.

When you want to cook, take out from the freezer and unwrap the doner. Slice as thin as possible and watch your hands! Because doner is frozen it is going to be slippery.
If you don’t want to use the all doner you can slice as much as you want then you can put the rest back to the freezer but you have to be quick. If doner melts you can’t freeze it again.

After slicing, put half tablespoon of butter to the pan and melt. Place the doner slices in the hot pan and cook both sides until they have thin brown crisp on the edges. Don’t try to flip before cooked enough, otherwise they can fall apart.

After cooking your doner you have 2 options for the sandwich; Turkish-German way or traditional Turkish way. I recommend you to prepare salads and vegetables before cooking the doner.

For Turkish-German way, first we are going to make two different sauces.

To make white sauce, dice a cucumber finely and chop 3-4 springs of dill. In a bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, diced cucumber and chopped dill. Add 4 cloves of mashed garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix them as well.

To make red sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of labneh or yogurt and a 1 tablespoon of hot pepper paste. Add a teaspoon of vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Last but not least, add a teaspoon of ginger puree. You won’t believe how pepper paste and ginger make an amazing mixture together.

For making salad, mix 1 diced tomato, 1 diced cucumber, 1 thinly sliced thin green pepper, 6-8 springs of chopped parsley, half lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste in a bowl.

For other stuffing, chop half of a lettuce and half of a red cabbage and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Squeeze the cabbage gently to make it softer and separate slices from one another. Slice one red onion as semi-circles. You can also put feta cheese as well.

To make the sandwich cut your bread in half and spread red sauce to bottom and white sauce to top half. Put doner, salads and other stuffing as much as you want. After that your doner is ready. Be prepared for the festival that is going to take place in your mouth!

For Turkish way, we usually eat our doner simpler yet delicious.

To make onion sumac salad; in a bowl add 1 thinly sliced onion. Slice onions as semi-circles. Add 6-8 springs of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of sumac, salt to taste and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix them. Slice 3 pickled cucumbers, 2 tomatoes and set them aside.

Nowadays it is really common to add fries into doner as well. It is up to you, you can also fry a potato for your sandwich or you can eat as a side dish.

Cut your bread in half and put the doner in bottom half. Put onion sumac salad, tomatoes and pickles. Press the top half to the pan that you cooked the doner. So it can soak up all the buttery flavors. Close it and take a bite. Afiyet olsun!

For Doner Bread
200 gram (1+ 2/3 cups) all purpose flour
120 ml (1/2 cup) water
50 gr (2 tablespoons) butter
A pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Toppings: Sesame seeds, nigella seeds

Heat your oven to 280 C (536 F) without fan. If you have a baking stone you can place it to the bottom of your oven. Mix 120 ml warm water, 1 teaspoon of instant yeast and a pinch of sugar in a bowl. Rest for a couple of minutes.

Add 200 grams of all-purpose flour, 50 grams of melted butter and a teaspoon of salt. Butter shouldn’t be hot. Just melted is enough. First mix and knead for about 6 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and let it rest 40-45 minutes.

After rising take the dough on your counter and make 4 equal balls. Shape each of them to be flat and round. 15 cm (6 in) will be great. Place them on a baking paper as pairs and cover again and let it proof for 15 minutes. Sprinkle sesame and nigella seeds on breads. You can spread some melted butter or egg wash to make stick seeds to dough.

After that place them to the bottom of your pan or onto baking stone and bake for 11-13 minutes until they are browned.

One Reply to “Quarantine Provisions: Doner Kebab”

  1. I guess there’s one good thing that came from lockdown, stopping long enough to watch or read something and realizing the creator/community is something I actually like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.