Beyti Kebab is another famous kebab variety of Turkish cuisine that is basically made with grilled ground beef wrapped in phyllo dough sheets and topped with tomato sauce and served together with the yogurt.
This tasteful kebab variety is named by Beyti Güler, the owner of the popular steakhouse restaurant called Beyti in Istanbul. Beyti Restaurant is one of the oldest steakhouses in Istanbul. Beyti Restaurant was opened in 1945 by Crimean immigrant Abdülmuttalip Güler and his son Beyti Güler as a small meatball restaurant with 4 tables and 16 chairs on the shore of Küçükçekmece Lake. In a few years period, the restaurant has become one of the most famous grilled steakhouses in Istanbul.
Today, you can find this delicious kebab on almost every fine kebab restaurant’s menu in Turkey. If you love to eat yogurt, then you will definitely love this kebab variety. Especially, the Kebab restaurants that are located in the south and the southeast region of Turkey love to offer Beyti Kebab on their menu because they know how much Turkish people love to eat yogurt together with kebabs.
What are the main differences between Beyti Kebab and Adana Kebab and Urfa Kebab?
There are two main differences between Beyti Kebab and Adana Kebab, and Urfa Kebab. The first distinctive difference between Beyti Kebab with Adana and Urfa Kebab is the taste. At Beyti Kebab, garlic is one of the main ingredients of Beyti kebab kofte. However, garlic is not used in making either Adana Kebab or Urfa Kebab. On the other hand, the main ingredient of both Adana Kebab and Urfa Kebab is tail fat. However; tail fat is not used in Beyti Kebab. So basically garlic and tail fat is the 2 (two) main ingredients that differentiate Beyti Kebab from Adana Kebab and/or Urfa Kebab.
The second distinctive difference between Beyti Kebab with Adana Kebab and Urfa Kebab is how Beyti Kebab is served. Adana Kebab and Urfa Kebab are served on lavash bread with garnitures aside. However; Beyti Kebab is served wrapped with phyllo dough sheets (yufka) and has tomato sauce on it and garlic yogurt mix at the center of the serving plate.
When it comes to the look of Adana Kebab and Urfa Kebab, you cannot understand any difference until you taste them both. Because Adana Kebab is the spicy sibling of the Urfa Kebab. And both are served with lavash bread aside. But; you can understand Beyti Kebab at first sight because it is served wrapped and tomato sauce on top of the wraps.
Bear in mind that some small kebab restaurants in Turkey prefer to wrap Adana Kebab and/or Urfa Kebab in a thin lavash bread and then cut that wrap into small rolls and add tomato sauce and yogurt on top and then offer it as Beyti Kebab in their menu. You may not understand the difference at first look because phyllo dough sheets wrap and thin lavash wrap look similar but just ask the waiter if the Beyti Kebab, which they are offering on their menu, has garlic in it or not. If the waiter says no, don’t bother and just order either Adana Kebab or Urfa Kebab. Because the real Beyti Kebab has garlic in its kofte rolls.
Where to eat Beyti Kebab?
As I mention above, Beyti Restaurant is the born place of this magnificent taste. If you are going to visit Istanbul any time soon, I suggest you try this taste at its born place. If not, don’t worry. In the worst-case scenario, you have this original Beyti Kebab recipe in your hand.
How it is made?
Kebab restaurants always use charcoal grills to make any kind of Kebab in Turkey. So, like any other kebab variety, Beyti kofte rolls are also grilled on the charcoal grill at first. Once the grilled kofte rolls are removed from the grill, the chef wraps the frilled kofte rolls with phyllo dough sheets and then places them in the oven for baking for an additional short period of time.
While the Beyti kofte rolls are baking in the oven, the chef prepares the tomato sauce and once the baking period ends, the chef takes out the baked Beyti kofte rolls from the oven and cut the rolls into between 8 to 12 slices and places them on the serving plate with a circle form, and put the tomato sauce on top and yogurt at the center of the serving plate and make the dish ready to serve.
Luckily, Beyti Kebab can be done with an oven too. So, if you don’t want to use your grill, you can still make Beyti Kebab using your oven. It is the easiest and the fastest method for making Beyti Turkish Kebab.
As a side note; if you want to cook the Beyti kofte rolls on the grill, use a non-stick fish grill basket to place the Beyti kofte rolls in. This is the best method to flip the Beyti kofte rolls without damaging their shape and cook them evenly on the grill.
Overall, Beyti Kebab is not that hard to make but sourcing the phyllo dough sheets for wrapping can be the trickiest part for you. As far as I know, phyllo dough sheets (yufka) are not easily findable in every country.
So, if you cannot find phyllo dough sheets in your local market, just use thin flour tortillas or lavash for wrapping. This will give you the closest taste to the Beyti Kebab which is done with phyllo dough sheets.
- 800 gram Ground beef 80% lean and 20% fat
- 1/3 cup Breadcrumps
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1 Onion – medium size grated
- 3 Cloves of garlic garlic-pressed
- 2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
- 8 Thin flour tortillas 25-30cm in diameter each
For Tomato Sauce
- 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes – medium size grated
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
For Garlic Yogurt Mix
- 350 gram Whole milk or strained yogurt
- 2 Garlic cloves garlic pressed
- 1/2 Bunch flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
In a large bowl, place the ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated onion, beaten egg, finely pressed garlic, salt, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper and combine all very well. And then cover the bowl with stretch film and let the mixture rest and settle in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Have a small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the kofte mix stick to your hands while shaping the kofte rolls.
Preheat the fan oven to 180C/350F.
Place baking paper on a large baking pan and set aside. Dip your hand in the oily water and take about a small apple size of kofte mixture in your palm and then log roll it for about 12 cm length and gently pat to flatten.
Repeat this until the all kofte mixture end and place them side by side on the baking tray with about 3-4cm space between them. You will have a total of 10 Beyti kofte rolls.
Bake the kofte rolls in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
Once Beyti kofte rolls are baked, take out the baking tray from the oven and reduce the oven temperature down to 160C fan.
Place the Beyti kofte rolls one by one on a large plate and set aside.
Place and pat the thin flour tortillas over the Beyti kofte tray, for the tortillas, to soak up the kofte juice and then place them on a dry and clean surface.
Place 2 (two) Beyti kofte rolls end to end to each thin dough tortilla to make one long roll. Roll them tightly with a log roll shape. Then cut the log rolls into 4 or 5 equal pieces.
Place a clean baking paper on the baking tray and place this Beyti rolls seam-side down to the baking tray. Repeat this until all remaining kofte rolls finish.
Brush the top of the tortilla rolls with a little olive oil. And bake them for about 5 minutes. This will make tortilla rolls crispy.
While the Beyti kofte rolls are baking, you need to start to prepare the tomato sauce. Pour in olive oil over a frying pan and put chopped garlic. Sauté for about one minute on medium heat. And then add the grated tomatoes and tomato paste and ground red pepper and combine them all well. Simmer on medium to low heat for about 3 minutes.
After you finish the tomato sauce now it is time to make the garlic yogurt mix. Combine the chopped garlic with the yogurt and set aside at room temperature.
Now it is time to arrange the Beyti kebab plate.
Remove the baked rolls from the oven and place the Beyti rolls in a circle shape on a serving plate and place the garlic yogurt mix in the middle of the plate.
Drizzle tomato sauce over the Beyti rolls and over the garlic yogurt. Garnish with chopped parsley