Kebab (kebap in Turkish, kabab in Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, also spelled kebob, kabob; Urdu: کباب) means "grilled (or broiled) meat" in Persian and Turkish. Kebab is usually made of lamb and beef. Sometimes chicken and fish are used for some styles. Pork is never used by Muslims but is sometimes used by non-Muslim sellers. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork, for religious reasons.
There are many varieties of kebab and the term means different things in different countries. The generic term kebab usually refers to doner kebab or döner kebap in Europe and to Gyros in the United States, though its meaning can vary. In South Asia the term can refer to a whole range of items such as Chappali kabab, Shami kabab, Bihari kabab and so on.
There are evidence of hominin use of fire and cooking that was used in the Middle East around 790,000 years ago, and prehistoric hearths, earth ovens, and burnt animal bones were spread across Europe and the Middle East by at least 250,000 years ago. Excavations of the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri unearthed stone supports for skewers used before the 17th century BC. In Ancient Greek times, Homer in the Iliad (1.465) mentions pieces of meat roasted on spits (ὀβελός),
There are many types of kebab. Below are just a few.
Shish kebabs are derived from the Turkish şiş which means skewer. They are cooked or grilled on skewers, over hot coals or wood. These kababs originated in Iran and Afghanistan and then spread out to Turkey, Azerbaijan (which was once a part of Iran), Pakistan, India. They are also very popular now in Europe and the United States.
Döner kebap (which means "rotating kebab" in Turkish) is sliced lamb, beef, or chicken, that is slowly roasted on a vertical rotating spit.
Chappali kabab or chappal kabab or chapli kebab is a type of fried kebab. It started in the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of present Pakistan and in Afghanistan. The name comes from the Pashto (and also Urdu) word for 'slipper' or 'shoe'. The kebab is actually called a 'slipper/shoe kebab'. Its shape is like that of a slipper or shoe.
This kebab is basically made from ground or minced beef or mutton mixed with tomatoes, onions and chillies, and a variety of herbs and spices. It is given its unique shape. It is fried in a special big pan. It is eaten with big roti bread typical of the Pathan region. Often Qahwa or green tea, is drunk with it or after it, to help digestion.
Chappali kabab is very popular throughout Pakistan. It has spread to major cities of the country such as Lahore and Karachi. According to gourmets, the best ones are still found in Peshawar city and Mardan. Today, the popularity of these kebabs is also gradually spreading to other parts of the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States.
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- Thermou, Maria (4 February 2011). "Christos Doumas: To proïstorikó souvláki tis Santorínis" Χρίστος Ντούμας: Το προϊστορικό σουβλάκι της Σαντορίνης [Christos Doumas: The prehistoric souvlaki of Santorini]. Το Βημα (To Vima) (in Greek). Archived from the original on 10 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2020. (picture 2 of 7)
- Homer, "Iliad" 1.465, on Perseus Digital Library