Cevapi, also known as cevapcici, is a type of grilled kebab of southeastern European origin made with ground beef or with a combination of ground beef and pork, depending on the region where it is made. The kebabs are usually served with chopped onions, ajvar cottage cheese, sour cream, kajmak, minced red pepper and a little salt along with flatbread. The kebabs are made with minced meat and are considered a national dish of many European countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other European countries such as Slovenia, Croatian, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and certain Italian provinces that border Slovenia.





The origin of cavapi dates back to the Ottoman rule of southeastern Europe, especially in the Balkan region. In fact, records state that the recipe of this delicious kebab was developed during the Middle Ages.


The word “cevapi” is derived from the Persian word “kebab”. It is known by different names in various southeast European regions such as cevapcici or cevapi in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia, as cevap in Serbia, as kebapcheta in Bulgaria, as kjebapi in Macedonian and as cevabcici in Czech. Romanian version of the kebab is known as mici/mititei. In Australia, these kebabs are known as “skinless sausages”.



Ingredients Used and Method of Preparation


Cevapi is made with ground beef or a combination of ground pork and beef or lamb and beef. Some people prefer using ground veal. Spices such as cumin, black pepper and salt are added for taste. Chopped onions, chopped garlic and parsley along with diluted baking soda are added to the minced meat. The contents are mixed well and formed into patties, which are either fried or grilled.



Variations of Cevapi Recipe


There are many regional variations of cevapi, which include –

  • Travnicki Cevapi – This variation is from Travnik’s cattle herder area.
  • Sarajevski Cevap – As the name suggests, this is from Sarajevo, which though looks similar to the Bosnian cevapi, is different in taste because of the ingredients used, such as lamb combined with other meats.
  • Banjalucki Cavapi – This variation is grilled and served in tuples that are connected. This variation tastes different to the original.
  • Leskovacki cevap – This is a Serbian variation is similar to its counterpart, Pljeskavica, in its preparation. This is a large sized cevap.
  • The Austrian version of the kebab is usually served with mustard mixture, chopped onions and French fries.

Irrespective of the variation, Cevapi is served with kajmak (onions) and kefir (yogurt), along with a green salad.