In the food context, a kebab refers to a dish that consists of various pieces of meat, vegetables, and sometimes fruits or other ingredients skewered and cooked over an open flame or grill. Kebabs are popular in many cuisines around the world and are known for their flavorful and grilled taste.
The word "kebab" itself originates from the Middle East and has spread to different parts of the globe, each region putting its own twist on this versatile dish.
Here are some examples of kebabs from different culinary traditions:
1. Middle Eastern Kebabs:
- Shish Kebab: This is a classic Middle Eastern kebab made with marinated cubes of meat, typically lamb or beef, skewered with vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
- Shish Tawook: A popular Lebanese kebab made with marinated chicken chunks that are grilled and often served with garlic sauce and flatbread.
- Kofta Kebab: Ground meat, such as lamb or beef, is mixed with spices, onions, and herbs, then formed into long sausage-like shapes before grilling. It can be served on a skewer or as a patty.
2. Indian Kebabs:
- Chicken Tikka: Boneless chicken pieces are marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked on skewers. It is a popular dish in Indian cuisine and often served with mint chutney.
- Seekh Kebab: Made with minced meat, typically lamb or beef, mixed with spices, onions, and herbs. The mixture is then shaped into long cylindrical kebabs and grilled or cooked in a tandoor.
- Paneer Tikka: A vegetarian kebab made with chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) marinated in spices and yogurt, then grilled until golden brown.
3. Turkish Kebabs:
- Adana Kebab: A spicy kebab made with minced lamb or beef mixed with spices, peppers, and onions. It is named after the city of Adana in Turkey.
- Doner Kebab: Layers of marinated meat, usually lamb or chicken, are stacked on a vertical rotisserie and slow-cooked. Thin slices of meat are shaved off and served in a wrap or with rice and salad.
- Iskender Kebab: Thinly sliced lamb or beef is placed over pieces of pita bread and topped with tomato sauce and melted butter. It is commonly served with yogurt.
4. Greek Kebabs:
- Souvlaki: Marinated pork, chicken, or lamb pieces are skewered and grilled. They are often served in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce.
- Gyro: Similar to doner kebab, gyro consists of seasoned meat, usually a combination of beef and lamb, cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It is typically served in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, onions, and tomatoes.
5. Indonesian Satay:
- Satay: Skewers of seasoned and marinated meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork, are grilled over charcoal. Satay is typically served with peanut sauce and rice or as a side dish with a variety of condiments.
Apart from kebabs, there are other dishes similar to kebabs that are popular worldwide:
1. Yakitori (Japan): Skewered pieces of chicken, often marinated and grilled, served with soy-based dipping sauces.
3. Korean Bulgogi: Thinly sliced marinated
5. Lebanese Shawarma: Thinly sliced marinated meat, typically chicken or lamb, is slow-roasted on a vertical rotisserie and then thinly sliced. It is commonly served in a wrap or pita bread with garlic sauce, tahini, or other condiments.
These examples highlight the diverse range of kebabs and similar dishes found in various cuisines around the world. While the specific ingredients and cooking methods may vary, the common thread among them is the use of skewered and grilled meat or vegetables, resulting in a delicious and flavorful dish enjoyed by many cultures.