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Tantuni (Turkish Wrap)

TantuniTantuni is a famous Turkish street food comprised of thinly sliced lamb, ripe tomatoes, and bright Sumac Onions; serve the wrap on warm lavash for comfort food perfection.

Over the top view of the cut-section of a tantuni wrap.

WHAT IS TANTUNI?

Tantuni is a popular Turkish meal, but the city of Mersin is known for this savory dish consisting of lamb, beef, or chicken that’s boiled, then stir-fried. Top it with fresh tomatoes and Sumac Onions for signature flavor, and serve the mixture on thin lavash or use it to fill a sub roll and make a tantuni sandwich.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Lamb: Cut lamb into thin strips or smaller cubes. Lamb is often used to make this delicious tantuni kebab wrap, but popular restaurants in Turkey also serve it with beef (beef ribeye) or chicken (chicken thighs).
  • Avocado Oil: Traditional recipes called for cottonseed oil. It can be hard to find and expensive. Instead, I use avocado oil because it has a high smoking point.
  • Spices: Generously season the lamb with salt and paprika.
  • Lavash: If you can find thin lavash, they are the most common. However, you can fill a thicker lavash, pita, tortilla, or sub roll.
  • Tomatoes: Beef steak or Roma tomatoes are peeled and diced to add freshness and bright color.
  • Sumac Onions: Prepare sumac onions with red onions, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac.

HOW TO MAKE TURKISH TANTUNI 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Prepare the lamb by cutting it into thin strips.

Prepared lamb in a mixing bowl.

Warm up two tablespoons of avocado oil in a Dutch oven. Add the lamb to the pan, cover, and boil it over medium heat; stir every 3 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Lamb boiling in a pot.

Once the lamb changes color and you see water at the bottom of the pan, continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until the water reabsorbs. Set it aside.

Lamb boiling in a pot.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and prepare the sumac onions. Toss the onion, parsley, lemon, salt, and olive oil in a bowl and massage to combine for 2-3 minutes. Cover and set them aside.

A bowl of sumac onions.

Preheat the wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let the pan heat until it is smoking. Add a third of the lamb to the center of the pan and fry it; once the meat absorbs the oil, add some water. Season with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of paprika and stir to combine.

Lamb frying in a wok with paprika, salt, oil, and water.

Place the warm lavash over the meat to absorb the liquid and flavor, then add the lamb to the bread and top it with tomatoes and sumac onions. Roll the lavash and set it aside. Then, repeat this process twice with the remaining lamb (see wrapping instructions).

Lavash covering the lamb mixture.

Cut the lavash in half or bend in into a u-shape and serve with fresh lemon wedges, spiced yogurt, or pickled green chilis.

Over the top view of the cut-section of a tantuni wrap.

HOW TO ROLL TANTUNI

Fill the wrap with 1/3 of the lamb mixture and top it with fresh tomatoes and sumac onions.

A lavash with tomatoes, sumac onions, and lamb meat.

Take one end of the lavash and use it to cover the lamb and toppings; tuck it underneath and continue to roll it.

Cut the lavash in half or form it into a u-shape and serve with fresh lemon wedges or pickled green chilis.

A tantuni wrap folded in half.

COOKING TIPS

  • Trim the fat and remove the silver skin from the lamb for tender, even cooking.
  • There is no need to add water to the Dutch oven as the lamb cooks. Like Kedjenou, as the lamb cooks inside the pan, it will release water and tenderize the meat in its juice.
  • After boiling the lamb, it traditionally fries in a tantuni pan, but since I don’t have access to one (and probably you don’t either), use a hot wok, karahi, or heavy-bottomed pan.
  • I keep a glass of water next to the wok to use as the lamb fries. Add it, as necessary, once the lamb begins to absorb the oil.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of these lamb favorites!  

Two tantuni wraps with salad in the background.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • TO STORE – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep for 2-3 days.
  • TO FREEZE – Allow the dish to cool, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Tantuni freezes for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • TO REHEAT – Wrap the leftovers in foil and warm them in the oven; reheat individual servings in the microwave.
  • TO REPURPOSE – Use the lamb to make a stew, top a salad, fill a sandwich, or make a breakfast hash.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

How is tantuni served?

Lavash is the most common way to serve the wrap. However, some restaurants serve it in sub-style bread as a sandwich. You can easily use the lamb mixture to fill pitas or tortillas if that is what you have on hand.

How is tantuni cooked?

Tantuni traditionally cooks in a vessel called a tantuni tavasi. It has a hollow center for the meat to fry, and the outer ridge stores the boiled lamb waiting to cook. Since I don’t have access to a pan like this, I use a wok and cook the lamb in batches to get the same direct heat.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

⭐️ Rate the Recipe 

Your feedback is valuable – It helps us improve and update our recipes, so we can provide delicious meals you love. Consider leaving a comment or rating below the recipes card, and feel free to share your adaptations or ask any questions. We cannot wait to hear about what you’ve made. 

Two tantuni wraps with salad in the background.

Tantuni

Tressa Jamil
Tantuni is a famous Turkish street food comprised of thinly sliced lamb, ripe tomatoes, and bright sumac onions; serve the wrap on warm lavash for comfort food perfection.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 3 Wraps
Calories 761 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the Lamb:

  • 2 pounds lamb, trimmed and cut into thin slices
  • 6 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 teaspoon paprika, divided

For the Sumac Onions:

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Wrap:

  • 3 lavash
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the lamb by cutting it into thin strips.
  • Warm up two tablespoons of avocado oil in a Dutch oven. Add the lamb to the pan, cover, and boil it over medium heat; stir every 3 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  • Once the lamb changes color and you see water at the bottom of the pan, continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until the water reabsorbs. Set it aside.
  • Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and prepare the sumac onions. Toss the onion, parsley, lemon, salt, and olive oil in a bowl and massage to combine for 2-3 minutes. Cover and set them aside.
  • Preheat the wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let the pan heat until it is smoking. Add a third of the lamb to the center of the pan and fry it; once the meat absorbs the oil, add some water. Season with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of paprika and stir to combine.
  • Place the warm lavash over the meat to absorb the liquid and flavor, then add the lamb to the bread and top it with tomatoes and sumac onions. Roll the lavash and set it aside. Then, repeat this process twice with the remaining lamb (see wrapping instructions).
  • Cut the lavash in half or form it into a u-shape and serve with fresh lemon wedges or pickled green chilis.

Notes

Cooking Tips: 
  • Trim the fat and remove the silver skin from the lamb for tender, even cooking.
  •  There is no need to add water to the Dutch oven as the lamb cooks. Like Kedjenou, as the lamb cooks inside the pan, it will release water and tenderize the meat in its juice.
  •  After boiling the lamb, it traditionally fries in a tantuni pan, but since I don’t have access to one (and probably you don’t either), use a hot wok, karahi, or heavy-bottomed pan.
  •  I keep a glass of water next to the wok to use as the lamb fries. Add it, as necessary, once the lamb begins to absorb the oil.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 WrapCalories: 761kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 39gFiber: 5gSugar: 5g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Annie

Wednesday 28th of December 2022

These lamb wraps were an absolute hit at our dinner table. The flavor of the onions is so unique and complements the dish very well! I wish we had leftovers but our little boy ate most of the lamb meat. I definitely recommend these wraps from Tressa.

Tressa Jamil

Thursday 29th of December 2022

Isn't the best when your littles enjoy the meal?