FoodLens: Home Made Turkish Döner Recipe

Home versions of ready-to-eat foods often suffer a slight loss of flavor. But Döner is not one of them.

Posted on 11/18/20
(Photo courtesy, Turkish Style Cooking)
Doner is normally a street-restaurant food mostly because of its nature. You can guess  why. It’s impossible to make a doner stand at home. But it’s not impossible to cook it at home with a different method.   Don’t look at what I call Turkish food in the country, it’s a joke. Maybe not, but güllaç leaves turnip juice, a lot of things like sausages and turns I’d do if I were living in Turkey.

It is one of the most controversial foods in terms of meat used. In particular, the doner kebab, which is found in cheap doner restaurants, is suspicious of the meat used, as well as the danger of food poisoning, especially out of Turkey. As far as I can see the doner you can find out of Turkey, with some exceptions has lots of ingredients but I’m suspicious about meat. Sorry, not sorry, but most of them are not doner but some kind od sausage.  The real doner is prepared just with meat.

Home versions of ready-to-eat foods often suffer a slight loss of flavor. But doner is not one of them. The doner I make at home is one of the best one I have ever eaten. Especially when I use soft meat like tenderloin, while eating I can’t believe I made it myself.

Can Homemade Doner Be Prepared in Advance?

This type of frozen recipes are generally met with the reaction of “super, I can prepare it in advance and freeze it, then take out and chop when necessary”. But there is a small obstacle. The freezing process takes place from outside to inside and the thawing process from outside to inside. For the meat to be chopped easily and thin, it must be hard outside and not inside. For this, it must be freezing, not thawing. In short, you can’t do it today and chop it three months later.

Enjoy the recipe…

Home Made Döner Recipe


  • 1 kg beef in large pieces,
  • 1 small onion,
  • 1 teaspoon plain yogurt,
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste,
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (of any kind),
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme,
  • Salt,
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil,
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of butter.


  1. Grate the onion,
  2. Add yoghurt, tomato paste, vinegar, thyme, salt and olive oil and mix,
  3. Add the beef into it and mix until all pieces are covered in sauce,
  4. Take the pieces over a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap it into a thick strip,
  5. Set aside in the freezer for 5-6 hours,
  6. Remove the meat from the freezer and chop it very very thin with a large, sharp knife,
  7. Melt the butter in a large pan and take the meat slices into the pan and stir fry in high heat until partly brownish.


This recipe was first published in Turkish Style Cooking. Click here to go to the original.

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