In Traveling Feasts in a Gourmet’s Pocket, Hazal Muhtar shares unique and easy-to-make recipes from International cuisines.

This week, I would like to share with you the recipe for the Oruk kebabı which comes from the city of Kilis. Kilis is a city in South-Central Turkey near the border with Syria where my grandfather (who remains a culinary inspiration) spent his childhood exploring the cuisines of the region.

Although Oruk Kebabi is not necessarily among the most popular kebabs in Turkey, my parents used to prepare this dish quite often because of the nutritional content. This particular kebab, although meat-based, is made with Bulgur which is a good source of fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B-6. Eating whole-grain foods, including bulgur, may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

orukkebab Pic 1

Courtesy of Yemek Tarifleri

The addition of spices such as cumin and mint as well as onion and garlic makes the dish not only healthy but quiet delicious. It is relatively easier to make and can serve as a quick and yummy dinner.


  • 1 pound of ground meat
  • 1 cup of fine bulgur (Bulgur can be found in WesShop in the rice aisle)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Wooden (Kebab) sticks. These can be found in WesShop.
  • Two big tomatoes
  • One big green pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Soak the Bulgur in boiling water, leave it sealed and wait for it to swell.
  3. Chop the onions in small pieces and grind the garlic cloves. Mix both with the meat.
  4. Add the tomato paste to the mix.
  5. Add the cumin, mint, black pepper and salt to the mix and knead the mixture well.
  6. After making sure that the Bulgur is fully swollen, add it to the mix and knead it once more.
  7. Take small pieces from the kneaded meat mixture and wrap it around the wooden sticks to give them shape. (See photos for more detail).
  8. Dampen the cooking tray with olive or canola oil and place the kebabs on the tray.
  9. Cut the tomatoes and the pepper in strips and cook them in the corner of the tray.
  10. Cook the kebabs through.
  11. Once the kebabs are ready to be served, heat some tortillas and serve the kebabs wrapped in the tortilla with the cooked tomatoes and peppers.


Bon Appetite!