21 September 2008


I have been longing for döner kebab for quite some time now.
You can get döner kebab almost everywhere here in Germany. It has become quite popular fast food and the smell is haunting me every time I pass a place where they sell it.

Usually it is served with pita bread but a döner kebab still isn’t gluten-free without the bread. A döner kebab consists of different layers of meat and can contain minced meat. The minced meat, have a guess, may contain bread crumbs. And if it doesn’t there are still the spices to consider. With all those sources of possible contaminations I just don’t dare to buy a döner kebab anymore. But if you know a place that sells gluten-free döner kebab somewhere, please let me know!!!

Well, I didn't want to give up. I told myself if I want to have a döner kebab, I’ll have to make one on my own. And so I did. I’ve been browsing the internet for spices used for döner keband found pul biber. As far as I understood it is some sort of spicy paprika. Although it took me some time to find it, I finally discovered some in the international food section in one of the supermarkets around here. So I bought some chicken breasts and started to cook.

I was certainly aware that the döner kebab I was making at home in a frying pan will taste different. But still I had high expectations on that döner kebab. You know how it is if you are longing for something really bad and you finally can have it?
Unfortunately, I seasoned the chicken with quite a lot of pul biber. When I tasted the meat the first time it was already too late. It was simply too hot.
Well, I was waiting for that döner kebab for quite some time so we had it anyway. Fortunately, I made enough yoghurt dip to put on the meat to neutralise the taste a little bit. But I can tell you, we were sweating while we were eating!

So I will work on that recipe. Please be careful with the amount of pul biber you use (unless you really like hot food)! I let you know when I found a better combination of spices. And I am more than happy if you have any suggestions!

Döner kebab

For the pita bread:
2/3 cup wholemeal rice flour
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup amaranth
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
1 packet dry yeast
a pinch of salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water

Combine the dry ingredients. Gently add the water and olive oil and mix everything well. Form small balls with your hands. If you wet your hands with some water the dough won't stick to your hands. Flat the balls to the size of your hands. Put them on a baking try and let them sit and rise for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake the pita bread for 20 minutes.

For the yoghurt dip:
1 cup yoghurt
1 tablespoon chives
salt, (cayenne) pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until the meat is done.

For the döner kebab:
2 chicken breasts, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
pul biber (don’t use too much)
1 tablespoon olive oil

While the pita bread is cooling down, gently heat the olive oil and garlic in a fry pan. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Add pul biber. Turn the meat from time to time. Fry the chicken for 10-15 minutes.

Carefully cut the pita bread in halves. Don't devide the bread completely so you get a pocket where you can put some chicken breast. Top the meat with some of the yoghurt dip. Serve with chips if you like. Makes 4 döner kebab. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Tanx a lot for your info !
I had doner 3-4 times a week last year !! I thought its just meet layers ...

do you know about Gluten free Mc Donalds ? I have had in sweden but not here in germany



Anonymous said...

I am also really missing kebabs! I found something somewhat similar. You have to find a store that sells asian and indian food (one of these little food stores that has international food in it). They sell packets of spice mixes to cook different dishes. There is one for a shami kebab. It is different than donner kebab meat, but similar and really good. The ingredients are listed sometimes in english and sometimes in other languages, so go home and google any ingredients that you do not know what they are.

Kristen Yorks said...

I have personally asked my 6 local kebab shops (yes SIX - my area of London loves kebabs) what goes into the doner meat and the ingredients list... all were gluten free.

I suggest you ask your kebab shop for the ingredients. They have to give you thw ingredients by law in the UK.

I can't eat gluten, or yeast, or fermented products like cheese so I was curious....

My Results:

0/6 donor meats contained wheat, barley, Rye, spelt, oats or any other gluten containing grain.

Apparently it's quite offensive to the kebab shop owners the idea bread crumbs would be included. The meat, I was told, by 4/6 are offcuts sent from the slaughter house (2/6 kebab shops were selling halal meat from a halal butcher instead).

The kebab factory takes any of the meat off the bones and grinds it into a patty like a burger, with the spices, then shoves it on a pole to set.

I asked whether they used wheat or similar to bulk up the meat...

I was shown packaging from their kebab meat suppliers.

It seems rather than bulking it up with gluten containing products (like we see in superstore bought burgers, or some poor quality superstore mince meat) they bulk the kebabs up with other meats.

3/6 Half of the kebabs were not officially "doner's" instead just kebabs made with a mix of lamb and chicken or lamb and beef.

3/6 were officially doner kebabs - containing lamb as the only meat.

So, they were ALL gluten free.

One kebab shop (not selling pure lamb doners but instead just kebabs) did joke to me they may have contained horse meat too - as after the scam had been uncovered in europe who knows where horse meat disguised as beef has been wholesaled in the UK.

No malting process was used on any spices.