Kebabs: The Skewered and Grilled Meat Dish


Kebab, well-known as Kabob, kebap, kabob, kebob, kabab, or shish kebab is a popular skewered meat dish in different parts of the world including the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, Central, and South Asia.

What are Kebabs?

The term “kebab” is used to refer to any type of marinated meat that is skewered and grilled much like a Souvlaki and Satay. In the United States and Europe, kebab may refer to a “shish kebab” or “shashlik” which is a kebab type in which marinated cubes of meat are skewered with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and grilled whole. 

The Turkish variant of shish kebab is a bit different from the American one, as the cubed vegetables are separately skewered, and grilled. However, kebab is believed to have an Arabic origin, where the word “shish” means “skewered”, and “kebab” means “to grill”. Sometimes kebab is referred to as Turkish doner kebab, gyros, or shawarma, especially outside the North American region. 

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Kebabs can be grilled, barbequed, roasted, baked, or fried, and make a fun addition to barbeques and backyard parties. 

What Does Kebabs Taste Like?

Kebabs are rich, pleasantly greasy, and chewy in texture coupled with an array of flavors coming from aromatic spices, fresh and dried herbs, and sometimes cheese, and shredded vegetables. 

Ingredients of Kebab

Kebabs are prepared with either meat chunks or ground meat of lamb, beef, goat, chicken, or fish. Common spices that go into kebab marination are baharat, garam masala, Aleppo pepper, red chili pepper, paprika powder, crushed black pepper, powdered cinnamon, roasted powdered cumin, and coriander seeds. Sometimes, eggs and chickpea powder are added for binding the minced meat over skewers. 

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Popular herbs in a kebab range from onions, garlic, fresh parsley, coriander, and mint. To add a little tang to any kebab, lemon juice and greek yogurt remain the essential ingredients among others. You can try out this recipe for Middle Eastern-Style Grilled Chicken Kabobs for a classic kebab experience.

What to Serve With Kebab?

In Middle Eastern cuisine, kebabs are savored two ways. They are either served over the bed of saffron rice, steamed basmati rice, or rich lamb pilafs alongside fresh salad, yogurt, and a sprinkle of sumac spice all over the dish. Similarly, kebabs are paired with traditional Middle eastern flatbreads like lavash, and pita bread. Popular condiments for kebab are tzatziki, tahini sauce, hummus, muhammara, and baba ganoush.

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In South Asian cuisine, kebabs are savored with chapati, naan bread, and condiments like coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, yogurt-garlic dip, and thinly sliced onions, cabbage, and carrots. Kebabs are also rolled around a crisp paratha to make the South Asian street snack known as paratha roll. 

Feature Image: timhoggarth from Pixabay 

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