Doner kebab

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Döner served at a restaurant in Ankara, Turkey.
A "dürüm döner" wrapped in lavaş flat bread.

The doner kebab (or from Turkish Döner kebab, but seldom döner) is a Turkish dish. A Doner can be made from lamb, chicken or beef. It is cooked on a vertical rotisserie then thinly sliced. When bought from kebab shops it usually comes with salad or french fries.

Traditionally Turkish restaurants offer hot chili sauce and garlic yoghurt-style sauce. Barbecue sauce, burger sauce, lemon juice, or a mint sauce similar to raita are also popular.

Doners are often eaten as take-away food on the way home after a night out. There are several common ways in which doner kebabs are served.

  • Wrapped in pita bread (the most common)
  • On pita bread
  • Served as a dish of "doner meat (and maybe chips), typically including salad
  • Often preferred to be garnished with a range of sauces such as tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, chili sauce, mint or garlic sauce.

An equivalent dish to a doner kebab is called Iskender Kebab. Iskender is served steaming hot and the doner meat is covered in a tomato purée like sauce. Iskender is more of a delicacy which is served only in Turkish restaurants.

In the UK[change | change source]

Döner is not considered a "kebap" in Turkey. The various döner dishes, including iskender are listed on a separate page in the menu of a Turkish restaurant in Ankara. The "kebap" dishes have a separate page.

Kebabs are very much part of the Friday and Saturday night culture in the UK rather than breakfast or lunchtime food. UK doner kebab often uses a different mixture of spices, because immigrants from Northern Cyprus run many of the shops. They may offer doner, shish (lamb and chicken) and kofte kebabs, with a 'special' including some of each with bread and chips.