Şeftali – Cypriot kebab

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These şeftali – Cypriot kebabs – take a little bit of time to assemble, but they're more than worth the effort – the flavour you get from the combination of beef mince, lamb suet, onion and parsley is incredible, particularly when cooked over a barbecue. You can use any combination of beef or lamb here, but make sure you soak your caul fat properly to remove all the impurities. This is definitely a recipe that's worth making in big batches – once you get into a groove, you can make a lot of kebabs in a short amount of time!

First published in 2019





Parsley salad

To serve

  • 3 lavash, or tortillas, cut into triangles
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges


  • Metal skewers
  • Barbecue


Light your barbecue – when the coals turn grey they are ready to use. Alternatively preheat your oven to 180ºC fan, or 200ºC conventional
Combine the beef mince, onion, parsley, salt, chilli and lamb suet. Knead for 5-10 minutes until well combined, then weigh out the mix into 85g balls and shape into sausages around 7cm long
To wrap the şeftali, stretch out a large piece of caul fat over your board. Place a sausage onto one corner and cut a piece of caul fat around the sausage big enough to leave a 1cm gap on either side and long enough to roll around one and a half times
Place each şeftali onto skewers. You will need to use two skewers for the şeftali, one at either end to make sure they don't unravel. Alternatively, if you have a set of bars that sandwich together (like a grilling basket) you can line them up in there and use that. Continue to skewer the kebabs – you can fit multiple şeftali on each pair of skewers – until they're all secured
Cook over medium-hot coals seasoning with a little extra fine salt as you go and turning regularly. The şeftali should take 10-15 minutes to cook. Alternatively if you're cooking in the oven, sear the outside of the şeftali in a hot pan then roast in a 180ºC oven for 8 minutes
Make the parsley salad – combine the red onion and parsley, and dress with a good pinch of sumac, a dash of good olive oil and a little pinch of salt
Serve two şeftali on top of two pieces of lavash (or tortilla), and dress the top with some of the parsley salad. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side
  • 3 lavash, or tortillas, cut into triangles
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges
First published in 2019

At Oklava, Selin Kiazim expertly navigates Turkey's diverse culinary landscape, drawing on her own Turkish Cypriot heritage to create delicious dishes that are bursting with flavour.

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