Chicken kebaps are mostly served with a rice pilav in Turkey. I find that a bit boring, and since I share the Ottoman taste for combining meat with dried fruits, I’ve added prunes. Sour plums are popular as summer fruits in Turkey, while the dried version (prunes) are handy in winter. We prefer damsin plums, which are named for their supposed point of origin—Damascus. They were brought to Byzantion by the Romans.
Instead of rice I’ve used a kind of pasta called orzo (the Italian word for barley) or risoni (which translates as ‘big rice’). It’s called kritharáki (little barley) by the Greeks and arpa şehriye (barley grains) by the Turks, but I most like the Arab name lisân al-uşfür, which translates as ‘songbird tongues’.