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Monday, 23 November 2009 04:45

Before taking its modern aspect, as mentioned in Ottoman travel books of the 18th century, the döner used to be a horizontal stack of meat commonly known as the Ca? Kebab of the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum.
In his own family Biography, ?skender Efendi from the 19th century Bursa, claims that he and his grandfather had the idea of roasting the lamb vertically rather than horizontally, and invented for that purpose a vertical mangal .With time, the meat took a different marinade, got leaner, and eventually took its modern shape we process today.      


        ?skender kebap
The meat used for döner in Turkey is mostly, lamb but nowadays, chicken is also used.There are two basic ways of preparing the meat for döner kebabs:
• The more common and authentic method is to stack marinated slices of lean lamb meat onto a vertical skewer forming a cylindrical shape. The stack is cooked by charcoal, wood fire, heat from electric elements or gas fired burners. At times, tomatoes and onions are placed at the top of the stack to also drip juices over the meat, keeping it moist. We here in Australia, try to keep to the original method of preparing doner, by using lamb and chicken rather than variable meat compounds. This way we ensure the best quality meat and a great taste.
• In Western Europe, meat for döner kebab is often industrially processed from compressed ground meat containing a mixture of different meat kinds from various animals, making the specific contents less traceable. For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60%.



Serving and accompaniments
In modern Turkey, the döner is served in diverse ways as main courses or street snacks:
Main courses
• Porsiyon (The Portion- döner on a slightly heated plate, sometimes with a few grilled peppers or broiled tomatoes on the side)

• Pilavüstü (Ricetop- döner served on a base of rice)

• ?skender (Specialty of Bursa, served in an oblong plate, atop a base of thin pita, complete with a dash of pepper or tomato sauce)
• Dürüm (wrapped in a thin lava? that is sometimes also grilled after being rolled, to make it crispier)

• Soslu dürüm (speciality of Ankara, contains ?skender sauce)

• Ka?arl? dürüm döner (speciality of Istanbul, grated Turkish ka?ar cheese is put in the wrap which is then toasted to melt the cheese and crisp up the Lavash)

• Tombik or gobit (literally "the Fatty", döner in a bun-shaped pita, with crispy crust and soft inside, and generally less meat than a dürüm)

• Ekmekaras? ("in a bread", generally the most filling version, consisting of a whole (or half) regular Turkish bread filled with döner)
Outside of Turkey, generally a döner sandwich is served with a salad made from shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Usually there is a choice between a hot sauce, a whiter yoghurt sauce containing garlic and a dairy sauce containing herbs. Most döner vendors in Europe also have Hot Chips which is served with the meat and salad. Sometimes more varied ingredients are available, such as hummous (chick pea paste), tahini (sesame paste), or Turkish white cheese.


Döner kebab around the world
Döner kebab is now widely available across Europe and Canada, in these countries, mostly in the variant developed in Germany. The meat may be lamb, mutton, beef, goat, or chicken. Döner kebab is the origin of other similar Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes such as shawarma and gyros.
Döner kebab sandwich served in a thick pita ( Turkish Pide )

 In Australia, kebabs are very popular owing to immigration from Greece, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, and Lebanon and are perceived as a healthier alternative to McDonald's or KFC. Kebabs are usually served in flatbread, rather than in a sandwich.

 In Australian shops or stalls run by Greeks, kebabs are usually called souvlaki or yeeros (gyros). Kebabs often include a fried egg in Western Australia. Meat (beef or lamb) and chicken kebabs can often be found in Sydney where most suburbs have take-away shops that offer them. They are commonly served with cheese and a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, onion, and tabouli on pita bread also known locally as 'Lebanese bread'.
The most commonly used sauces are barbecue, tomato, hummus, garlic and chili or sweet chili sauce. Döner kebabs in Sydney can be served with all the ingredients placed onto or next to the pita bread on a plate, or more commonly, with the ingredients rolled into the pita bread in the form of a wrap. There are two primary ways to serve the wrapped version, it can be toasted in a sandwich press once it has been wrapped, which has the effect of melting the cheese (if any) and baking the bread so that it hardens and becomes crisp, the alternative is just serving it without toasting.
An additional form is predominant in Canberra, where the bread with filling is passed underneath a grill for a minute. The sandwich is then wrapped in paper to stop the filling from falling out and usually placed in a foil/paper sleeve. This variety is also available in Auckland in nearby New Zealand. In Brisbane, kebabs are influenced most strongly by the Turkish variation. They are invariably served in a pita wrap and toasted in a sandwich press for about a minute before being inserted into a foil or paper sleeve. Kebab meat is also found as a pizza topping in the western suburbs (such as Penrith) of Sydney, along with the usual pizza toppings.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 November 2009 04:49