- Lamb – 2 kg
- Onion – 1 kg
- Vinegar – 50g
- Thyme – 10 g
- Salt and Pepper – to taste
The word basturma has a Turkic origin and one of the meanings of the word basturmag means “to flavor”, i.e. the
process of flavoring or marinating (with vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, onion) and keeping the meat in a tightly lidded
saucepan. The second meaning of the word translates as “to press,” “to press down,” or “pressed.” To prepare this meal, first split the meat into pieces (4×4 cm). Finely chop the onion and mix with the meat. Salt and pepper to taste. When making the marinade, as specified above, add some diced sheep’s tail fat (from the rump) diced into cubes of 4×4 cm. Add the marinade to the meat, and put everything into an enamel bowl. Press down firmly to soften the meat and help it absorb the flavor of the onions. Afterwards, let sit in a cool place for 24hours. When stringing the meat on a skewer, make sure no onions remain. Place the skewers on a grill, and continuously rotate them so that the meat is cooked evenly. Be attentive as the meat is tender and cooks very quickly. As for the cubes of marinated sheep’s tail fat, prepare them on a separate skewer as the time of cooking is different. The fat should turn rosy when ready, similar to the color of fried potatoes. This aspect of the dish is also used in other varieties of kabab. Basturma kabab is usually served with sumac, fresh herbs, salad greens, tomatoes and chopped onions.