Kabab or Kebab ( Persian, Arabic): Kabab كباب, Turkish: kebap, is a wide variety of meat dishes originating in Persia and later on adopted by the Middle East and Asia Minor, and now found worldwide. In English, kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served on the skewer. In the Middle East, however, kebab includes grilled, roasted, and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes and taboos, it may now be beef, goat, chicken, pork; fish and seafood; or even vegetarian foods like falafel or tofu. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers, the kebab has become part of everyday cuisine in many countries around the globe.
KABAB (kebab, kabob, cabob), a popular dish which traditionally consists of meat cut in cubes, or ground and shaped into balls; these are threaded onto a skewer and broiled over a brazier of charcoal embers. After the kabab is cooked, it is placed on a platter or tray and pulled off the skewer with a piece of flat bread. Because of the smoke produced from the drops of fat that fall on the charcoal, kabab is usually made in the open air, normally in the courtyard of the house. As a general term, it applies to all kinds of food broiled directly over charcoal, wood, or recently gas, with or without the use of a skewer.
Persian cookbooks vary in their account of names, recipes, and varieties of kabab. The number differs from only four in a Safavid cookbook (Bavarshi Baghdadi, pp. 173-75) to twenty-two kinds of kabab in a recent manual of cookery by Najaf Darya-bandari (pp. 175, 195), including recipes from Cambodia, Japan, Syria, Lebanon, and the Caucasus. Musiu Rishar Khan cites twelve Persian and Western recipes (pp. 102-9), Badr-al-Moluk Bamdad (pp. 72, 84, 97, 103, 110, 118, 120) mentions ten in Persian, Turkish, and European cuisine; and Roza Montaل؛“ami (pp. 735-46), describes fifteen kinds of Persian, Turkish, and Greek kababs. Moreover, authors familiar with Western culture and modern Western techniques of cooking have included such appliances as the electric or gas oven, as well as the elaborately designed American barbecue appliances, in the list of possible accessories and culinary utensils.
With the recent trend in fat-free and health-conscious diets, different charcoal broiled or gas barbecued dishes, including vegetables, have joined the Persian dining tables.
Red meat kababs include kabab-e barra (lamb kabab); kabab-e barg (with thin slices of lean meat); kabab-e kubida (ground meat mixed with grated onion, and egg yolk); kofta kabab (ground meat broiled in heated pots rather than over braziers); kabab-e shenja or konja (thin slices of lean meat, alternating with donba, the fatty part of the Persian sheep’s tail); kabab-e hosayni (chunks of meat, marinated in a mixture of yogurt, saffron and grated onion put on skewers and simmered over low heat); kabab-e del (heart kabab); kabab-e jegar (liver kabab); kabab-e ruda or ruda pish (intestine kabab); kabab-e qolva (kidney kabab); and kabab-e ahu (venison kabab). Vegetables used include eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, onion and mushroom. The meat is marinated for two to forty-eight hours in a mixture of onion, saffron, lemon juice, yogurt, salt and pepper, with the possible addition of various kinds of seasoning, such as red pepper paste or teriyaki sauce. Chicken and wild fowl kababs include juja kabab-e ba ostokhan (chicken kabab with bone); juja kabab-e bi ostokhan (boneless chicken kabab); kabab-e kubida-ye juja or buqalamun (using ground chicken or turkey); and kababs of different fowls, including goose, partridge, pheasant, and quail. In preparation of these kababs, only salt and pepper and sometimes herbs such as tarragon and sweet basil are used. To soften the fowl, butter or oil is added in the process of cooking.