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Origin of Kebabs - Know How it Developed from Lack of Vegetation Option to World Tastiest delicacy



There are few dishes in the world that have the versatility and popularity, like Kebab or Kabab. The small chunks of meat, grilled or fried or burned have satisfied the taste buds around the globe.


Origin Story of Kebab:

Kebab originating in the Middle East, in Arabia or Turkey. It is thought to be developed from the lack of vegetation in the locality, which forced the natives to choose meat as a primary source of calories. Etymologically, the word kebab means "to roast".


The term is derived from the Persian word "Kebap". The latter is somewhat parallel to burning and frying. The pieces of the meat needed to be cut into small pieces to be cooked with less fuel, due to the scarcity of trees in the Middle East.


Kebabs or some form of it can be said to exist as long as humans invented cooking. Homer's Iliad as well as Mahabharata, the great Indian epic have mentions of meat being roasted or cooked on a fire. Recent excavations in Crete, in Greek Islands, suggest that Minoans grilled pieces of meat in skewers as early 17th century B.C.


The great Moroccan traveler Ibn-e-Battuta asserts in his travelogue that the Royals of Indian Sultanate, as well as the commoners, relished Kebabs made from lamb or beef. The Kebab spread its wings along with the strides of Islamic culture.


The kebabs were the obligatory cuisine in the royal kitchens of the Sultans from the 1200 A.D. and it gradually spread among the masses.


Also Read: History of Mouthwatering Pani Puri: Tale of Magadhan Kingdom and Mahabharata to an absolute delicacy


Legendarily, it is believed that Turkish soldiers are the inventors of Shish Kebabs. 'Shish' in Turkish means 'swords' or 'skewers'. The Turkish mercenary troops used to catch whatever animal they could and used to cook them on fire using their swords as skewers.


The dish adapted itself in Greece post the second World War when Turkish immigrants started cooking Kebabs on a rotating spit, which gradually became the iconic Gyros and Souvlaki, an integral part of Greek cuisine.


The dish has evolved in many other countries with different names. In Iran, it's Jujhan, which literally means "grilled chicken". It is Chuan in China and Shish and Doner in Turkey.


In India, Kebabs were popular before the Mughal empire, but it flourished into a cuisine of its own during this period. This period the kebab incorporated the sophistication of taste through Indian spices.


Varieties of Kebab:

Even regarding marinating and cooking methods multiple new techniques were employed which created a plethora of flavors. Tandoori Murgh, Galouti Kebab, Hariwali kebab are some of the more popular kebabs of the Mughalai cuisine.


The western culture Kebabs usually refer to Shish Kebabs or Doner Kebabs which both are hugely popular in Europe as well as in North America. Doner Kebab is the same as Greek Gyros i. e, meat cooked on rotating spits and served with pita bread.


Some other variants of Kebabs, like Chicken Tikka Masala, are hugely popular around the world. Tikka Masala is often considered as the national dish of Britain, due to its insurmountable popularity.


Up Next: History of Butter Chicken: Know How The Spicy and Savoury Most Wanted Cuisine of India Invented!


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