Cağ kebabı

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Cağ kebabı
Cağ kebabı, from Erzurum.
Place of originOttoman Empire
Region or stateErzurum
Created byDisputed, with various lawsuits. Goes back to 18th century.[1]
Main ingredientsMarinated slices of lamb, tail fat, onion, sweet basil, black pepper and salt.

Cağ kebabı (pronounced [ˈdʒaː cebabɯ]) is a horizontally stacked marinated rotating lamb kebab variety, originating in Erzurum Province, Turkey.

This uniquely prepared kebab has become, as years passed, a trademark of Erzurum where all the famous Usta,[nb 1] like Şakir Aktaş and Kemâl Koç, run restaurants. each claiming to be descending from the exclusive inventors.

Note that while it is increasingly available in most Turkish cities, the Cağ kebabı is especially popular in Erzurum, whereas enjoying an ever-growing success in Istanbul and Ankara.


Ottoman travel books of the eighteenth century cite a kebab cooked on wood fire consisting of a horizontal stack of meat, known as "Cağ Kebabı" in the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum, which is probably[citation needed] the ancestor of döner as we know it.[2][3][failed verification]


The Turkish word "cağ" is IPA: [ˈdʒaː] borrowed from Armeno-Georgian.[4] It means "spit" or skewer.[5] Hence the name of the kebab that consists of meat impaled on a huge spit.


Slices of lamb and large quantities of tail fat are left to marinate in a mixture of basil, black pepper, salt and sliced onions for the length of a day. They are then impaled on the spit (Cağ), and stacked thickly. The spit is then locked and transferred to the fire where there is a fairly complicated device that controls the cooking of the spit. This typically includes a mechanism for turning the meat, another one for raising and lowering it, and also dents on the side to move the stack towards the fire as it gets thinner after servings are repeatedly cut away.

The meat used for Cağ kebabı is exclusively lamb.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Usta" is a Turkish word, similar in its sense to the French word "chef" although its scope of use is wider, and it is a title, usually added after the first name, to denote a master of any craft or trade.


  1. ^ Yerasimos, Marianna (2005). 500 Yıllık Osmanlı Mutfağı (500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine) (in Turkish). Istanbul: Boyut Kitapları Yayın Grubu. p. 307. ISBN 975-23-0111-8.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Yaman, Renan (1993). Döner Kebabın Hikâyesi (Story of the Döner Kebab) (in Turkish). Ankara: THKATV Yayınları. pp. 92–102.
  7. ^

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