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ŞEFTALI (or Cypriot kebab)

Oklava-3338From Selin Kiazim’s gorgeus book Oklava, comes this unique recipe for Cypriot kebab:
Şeftali was probably one of the first things I planned to put on the menu at Oklava, first because it’s a Cypriot kebab, and second because it’s my favourite! You must eat it with an onion salad, lavash or Turkish bread to absorb the juices, and lots of lemon. I have given specific measurements for the onion and parsley because for me it is very important to have the correct quantities, and every bunch of parsley or onion weighs a different amount.



900g (2lb) minced beef
450g (1lb) onion, finely chopped
300g (10½oz) flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (a little stalk is good)
15g (½oz) fine salt
40g (1½oz) Turkish chill
flakes (pul biber)
200g (7oz) lamb suet, frozen and finely grated
2–3kg (4lb 8oz–61b 8oz) lamb caul fat, soaked in cold water with the juice of 1 lemon for 1 hour


Mix together the beef, onion, parsley, salt, chilli flakes and lamb suet. Knead for 5–10 minutes, or until well combined. Divide the mixture into 85g (3oz) pieces and shape each one into a sausage about 7cm (2¾in) long.

To wrap the şeftali, stretch a large piece of caul fat over a chopping board. Place a sausage on one corner of the board and cut the caul fat around it, leaving a 1.5cm (¾in) margin on 3 sides and leaving it at least 10cm (4in) long on the fourth side, Roll the caul fat around the sausage 1.5 times, tucking in the margins as you go. Repeat with the rest of the sausages.

Thread the sausages onto 2 large skewers, weaving them in and out to prevent them unravelling. Alternatively, if you have metal grill for sandwiching fish on the barbecue, you can line them up in that. Cook over medium-hot coals, seasoning with a little fine salt during cooking, and turning them regularly.

Oklava copySelin’s Oklava is available here.