Çebiti: Discover the Flavorful Turkish Culinary Dish

There is something deeply satisfying about a dish where melt-in-your-mouth meat meets fragrant, flavorful rice. Çebiti, a classic Turkish dish, delivers that experience and more. It is a testament to the power of simple ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques.

If you are looking for a delicious and impressive meal that is surprisingly easy to make, çebiti is an excellent choice. In this guide, we will delve into this unique Turkish culinary experience.

What is Çebiti?

Overview of Çebiti
Overview of Çebiti

Çebiti is a traditional Turkish dish featuring slow-cooked lamb and seasoned rice. Its roots lie in the rich culinary history of Turkey, known for its comforting and flavorful food. It offers a symphony of textures, tender lamb that falls apart effortlessly, fluffy rice infused with aromatic spices, and the freshness of herbs, primarily mint.

The Essence of Çebiti

Let’s explore the core elements that make çebiti so delicious:

  • The Lamb: Shoulder or lamb shanks are typically used. Their higher fat content makes them ideal for slow cooking, resulting in incredibly succulent meat.
  • The Rice: Long-grain rice is the preferred choice. It is cooked in a flavorful broth infused with black pepper and often allspice, adding depth and warmth.
  • The Herbs: Mint is a must-have, lending a refreshing brightness to the dish. Other herbs like parsley or dill can sometimes be added for additional layers of flavor.

Gather Your Ingredients

The ingredients and process of making this dish is same as that of Kapustapusto with a little bit difference. Here is what you will need to make çebiti:


  • 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder or shanks, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp allspice (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Oven-safe baking dish
  • Aluminum foil

Where to Source

You can find most ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets. Turkish or Middle Eastern stores may carry spices like allspice. If lamb is difficult to source, beef stew meat can be a decent substitute.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Çebiti

Now we will get into the easy steps of making your own delicious çebiti:

  1. Prep the Lamb: Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, and sear the lamb (optional, but adds flavor). Remove and set aside.
  2. Cook the Rice: Add onions to the pot and cook until softened. Add the rice and cook for a minute, stirring to toast slightly. Pour in the broth, allspice (if using), salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
  3. Layer and Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the cooked rice in your baking dish. Nestle the lamb pieces into the rice. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until the lamb is fork-tender.
  4. Resting Time: Remove from the oven and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Serving Your Çebiti Masterpiece

Your çebiti is cooked and smells amazing. Here is how to serve it for the best experience.

  • Traditional Accompaniments: Çebiti is often served with plain yogurt for a creamy contrast and a simple salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Presentation: Sprinkle with chopped mint then uncover and transfer the dish directly to the table for a rustic presentation.
  • Portioning: Serve generous portions of rice and lamb to your guests.

Variations and Tips

Want to make çebiti your own? Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Spice Adjustments: Customize the spice level to your liking. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat or other warm spices like cinnamon.
  • Vegetarian Çebiti: Replace lamb with hearty vegetables like eggplant, mushrooms, or chickpeas for a satisfying vegetarian version.
  • Make-Ahead: The rice and lamb can be prepared partially in advance and assembled before baking.


Çebiti is a wonderful example of how Turkish cuisine balances bold flavors with comforting simplicity.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your perfect version of this dish. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or try a variation, the process is incredibly rewarding.


What are other Turkish dishes I can try?

There are many delicious dishes in Turkish cuisine. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Dolma: Stuffed grape leaves or vegetables with rice, herbs, and sometimes meat.
  • Manti: Dumplings filled with ground lamb or vegetables, bathed in yogurt sauce.
  • Iskender Kebab: Thin slices of döner kebab served over flatbread with tomato sauce, yogurt, and melted butter.

Can I use leftover çebiti?

Yes! Leftover çebiti can be reheated gently in the oven or microwave. It is also delicious served cold with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs.

What if I don’t have lamb?

While lamb is traditional, you can substitute beef stew meat for a similar result. Vegetarian options include using hearty vegetables like eggplant, chickpeas, or lentils.

Is çebiti a healthy dish?

Çebiti can be part of a healthy diet. It is a good source of protein from the lamb or chosen substitute and complex carbohydrates from the rice. However, it does contain some fat. You can manage this by adjusting the amount of oil used and opting for leaner cuts of meat.

What other spices can I add to çebiti?

Feel free to explore different spices. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a touch of heat. Other options include cinnamon for warmth or a sprinkle of dried thyme for an herbal note.

Abaidullah Shahid

Content Writer & Blogger · Abaidullah Shahid is a content writer and SEO Copywriter from Lahore, Pakistan. He got Google certifications in SEO, Digital Marketing and E-commerce, and has 3 years of experience in blogging. Abaidullah is a professional writer especially related to the fashion and lifestyle industry. He writes for various agencies, clients and his own website, invisiblelocs.net with passion. His content mainly focuses on fashion and beauty. In addition to professional life, he is studying BS International Relations at GCU Lahore.

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