İskender kebab is one of the most famous meat foods of northwestern Turkey and takes its name from its inventor, İskender Efendi, who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. It can be assumed to be derived from a verticalized version Cağ Kebabı, from Erzurum.
It is a kind of döner kebab prepared from thinly cut grilled lamb basted with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread and generously slathered with melted sheep butter and yogurt. Additionally, one cylindrical köfte can be placed on top. It is commonly consumed with şıra as a drink to aid digestion. Tomato sauce and boiling butter are sometimes poured over the dish, at the table.
"Kebapçı İskender" is trademarked by Yavuz İskenderoğlu, whose family still runs the restaurant in Bursa. This dish is available in many restaurants throughout the country mostly under the name "İskender kebap", "Bursa kebabı", or at times with an alternative one made up by the serving restaurant such as "Uludağ kebabı".
Differences from döner kebab
A serving of İskender kebap contains thin and wide strips of meat, on the other hand döner kebap has smaller pieces of meat. A real İskender kebap is prepared by stacking large pieces of meat vertically, which is why the meat strips are large. In lower quality restaurants, ground meat is used, which is not suitable for İskender kebap. The fat content of Iskender meat is lower than that of döner meat. İskender kebap is also served with yogurt. It is also cited in the sources as the first ever vertical kebab, making it also the first ever proper döner kebab. The prepared doner is placed 10 15 cm away from the fire which has been lit before. Doner is roasted with this fire slowly. After being cooked it is cut from top to bottom with a special knife.