|Alternative names||Tortum kebabı, Oltu kebabı|
|Place of origin||Turkey|
|Region or state||Erzurum|
|Creator||Disputed, with various lawsuits. Goes back to 18th century.|
|Main ingredients||Marinated slices of lamb, tail fat, onion, sweet basil, black pepper and salt.|
|Cookbook: Cağ kebabı Media: Cağ kebabı|
Cağ kebabı (pronounced [ˈdʒaː cebabɯ]) is a horizontally stacked marinated rotating lamb kebab variety, originating in Turkey's Erzurum Province. The cities of Tortum and Oltu in the said province and Yusufeli in the neighboring Artvin province are in a heated debate concerning the origin of the dish. As such, in Turkish metropolises, this dish can be called "Oltu kebabı" or "Tortum kebabı" depending on the origins of the chef.
This uniquely prepared kebab has become, as years passed, a trademark of Erzurum where all the famous Usta, like Şakir Aktaş and Kemâl Koç, run restaurants. each claiming to be descending from the exclusive inventors.
Ottoman travelbooks 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 the ancestor of döner as we know it.
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.
Note that the meat used for Cağ kebabı is exclusively lamb.
- Stacking the lamb slices on the cağ
- Cağ kebabı being cut
- Newly impaled meat cooking on the cağ
- 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.
- Yaman, Renan (1993). Döner Kebabın Hikâyesi (Story of the Döner Kebab) (in Turkish). Ankara: THKATV Yayınları. pp. 92–102.
- http://www.gelgorcagkebabi.com/ - the restaurant of Şakir Aktaş in Oltu, Erzurum, claiming the invention
- http://www.cagkebap.com - the restaurant of Kemâl Koç from Tortum, Erzurum, claiming the invention