Kebab of Pilgrim Osman

Hacı Osman Kebabı

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

A related dish comes from the first Ottoman cookbook to be published in English. The recipes in Turabi Efendi’s A Turkish Cookery Book (1864) were mostly from Mehmet Kamil’s Melceü’t Tabbahin, A Chef’s Refuge, published twenty years earlier.

Perhaps Osman, who had completed his pilgrimage to Mecca, deserved a treat? The Janissaries, on the other hand, ate meat every day. Palace records show that the imperial kitchens cooked 35,000 sheep (and over 50,000 hens) in the year 1574: more sheep than, say, aubergines (27,190).


  • lamb 1 kg/2 lb
  • onions 2, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ground cinnamon 1 tsp


  • Cut the lamb into pieces ‘the size of a walnut’, or about 2 inches square, and rinse them in water.
  • Put them into an earthenware pot, along with the onion, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, well mixed.
  • Seal the lid with flour paste and bake in a moderate oven at 170°C for three hours.