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Kebab (kebap in Turkish, kabab in Iran, India and Pakistan, also spelled kebob, kabob) means "grilled (or broiled) meat" in Persian and Turkish. Kebab is usually made of lamb and beef, although chicken and fish can be used for some styles. Pork is never used by Muslims because of religious belief but is sometimes used by non-Muslim sellers.

There are many varieties of kebab and the term means

different things in different countries. The generic term kebab usually refers to döner kebab in Europe and to shish kebab in the United States, though its meaning can vary.

Perhaps the earliest recipe is in the tenth-century Kitab al-Tabeekh (book of cookery) by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq of Baghdad. His recipe for Kebab Khalis uses thin slices of lean meat, salted and grilled in an ungreased frying pan.

Döner kebab

Döner kebab, literally "rotating meat", is a sliced lamb or chicken loaf slowly roasted on a vertical rotating spit. It is similar to gyros, shawarma and Taco al pastor. Döner kebab is popularly best known served in pita bread with salad but is also served on a dish with a salad and bread or French fries on the side or used on

Turkish pizzas called pide or "kebabpizza". Take-out döner kebab or shawarma restaurants are common in some parts of Europe. Döner Kebab is said to be the best-selling fast food in Germany and comes close in the popularity stake-outs in France, Denmark, Finland and Australia. Take-out gyros is quite popular in the United States where it is usually beef and lamb, shawarma is available in ethnic neighborhoods but döner kebab is unknown.  
Some kebab connoisseurs will also point out that it contains every food group for a healthy meal and lifestyle. It has bread (cereals group), cabbage and lettuce (vegetables group), tomatoes (fruit group), creamy herb sauce (dairy group), oil (fat group) not to mention the döner meat (meat group), although one might note some imbalance in the relative ratios (notably, the fat, meat and vegetable groups.)

Iskender kebap - Doner kebab served with yoghurt, tomato sauce and butter

Shish kebab
Shish kebab (sis kebap in Turkish) is a wooden or metal stick (a skewer) with small cubes of any kind of meat, fowl or fish with or without vegetables that is roasted on a grill. The name literally means 'skewer of grilled meat' in Persian. Vegetables typically used include eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. A similar Greek food is called Souvlaki or Kalamaki.

Kabab was the food of Persian kings and in ancient times ordinary Iranians consumed it only once a year on Nowrooz, the Persian New Year. Today, however, kabab is not only consumed in almost every Iranian house on a weekly basis, but it has also become Iran's number one selling fast food.

Some variants:

  • Samak Kebab - grilled fish on a stick
    Shish Tawook or Shish Taouk - yogurt marinated chicken grilled on a stick (sis tavuk in Turkish)
  • Kofte Kebab or Shish köfte - minced lamb meatballs with herbs, often including parsley and mint, on a stick, grilled.
  • Kabab Koobideh - (Persian) ground beef (usually filet mignon), often mixed with parsley and chopped onions
  • Kabab Barg - (Persian) grilled marinated flank steak (or filet mignon)
  • Kabab Soltani - (Persian) combination of kabab koobideh and kabab barg
  • Jujeh Kabab - (Persian) grilled chicken
  • Chenjeh Kabab - (Persian) grilled lamb prepared similar to shish kabab, without the vegetables
  • Shishleek - (Persian) grilled baby lamb chops (usually from the leg), typically marinated
  • Kabab Bareh - (Persian) grilled lamb, typically marinated in yogurt with parsley
  • Seekh kabab - Pakistani- marinated in spices and grilled on skewers
  • Shami Kabab - Pakistani - it is claimed they orginated in Syria
  • Chapli Kabab - Pakistani - delicacy of Peshawar
  • Boryani Kebab
  • Senjeh Kebab
  • Durum Kebab - kebab-meat in a pita roll.
  • Lahmacun - a pizza-like kebab
  • Adana Kebab - kebab meat with chili
  • Urfa Kebab - similar to Adana Kebab, but not spicy.
The dish called chelow kabab (rice with kabab) is one of the most common forms of serving kabab in Iran which combines a variety of Persian kababs with saffroned Basmati rice , lavash (a paper-thin bread), grilled tomato, raw onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and Somagh and often a side of salad shirazi, mast khiyar and doogh (nowadays carbonated). An old Iranian tradition is to break a raw egg yolk over the rice, along with plenty of butter, just before serving.

An Indian dish called Seekh Kebab is popular in many Indian restaurants. It is cooked in a tandoor, and is often served with chutneys or mint sauce. It is often included in Tandoori sampler platters, which contain a variety of Tandoor cooked dishes. A Seekh Kebab can also be served in a naan bread much like a Donor Kebeb traditionally is.

Kofte Kebab or Shish köfte is a kebab variant. It consists of minced lamb meatballs with herbs, often including parsley and mint, on a stick, grilled. The food is popular in Turkey , usually served with plain rice and a salad.

"Kofte" may be related to "kofta", the common English name for a Middle Eastern food, at its most basic consisting of balls of minced meat mixed with spices or onions, which is in turn derived from the Persian "koffteh".

A shami kebab is a small patty of minced beef or chicken and ground chickpeas and spices. Shami kebabs are an extremely popular snack in India and Pakistan .

Shami kebabs were immortalized in Grant Naylor's science fiction series Red Dwarf, where character David Lister was nearly killed by an alien masquerading as his favorite supper.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)  
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