Shish kebab

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Shish kebab with "şehriyeli pilav" (orzo pilaf), onions with sumac, a grilled pepper, a slice of tomato (also grilled) and rucula leaves.

Shish kebab (Turkish: şiş kebap; Persian/Mazandarani: شیش کباب, shish kebab) or Seekh kebab (Urdu: سیخ کباب‎) is a popular meal of skewered and grilled cubes of meat.[1] The word kebab denotes a wide variety of different grilled meat dishes. Shish kebab is popular in the whole of Asia.[citation needed] It is similar to a dish called shashlik, which is found in the Caucasus region.[2]

It is generally made of lamb (kuzu şiş)[3] but there are also versions with beef or veal (dana şiş), swordfish (kılıç şiş)[4] and chicken meat (tavuk şiş or şiş tavuk). In Turkey, shish kebab and the vegetables served with it are grilled separately, normally not on the same skewer.[5]


Shish kebab is an English rendering of Turkishşiş a skewer. kebab comes from Persian which may in turn have been derived from old Akkadian language, and "kbabā/כבבא" in Aramaic.[6] كَبَاب (kabāb), which partially spread around the world through Arabic and Turkish. According to Sevan Nişanyan, an etymologist of the Turkish language, the word kebab is derived from the Persian word "kabab" meaning "fry". The word was first mentioned in a Turkish script of Kyssa-i Yusuf in 1377, which is the oldest known Turkish source where kebab is mentioned as a food. However, he emphasizes that the word has the equivalent meaning of "frying/burning" with "kabābu" in the old Akkadian language, and "kbabā/כבבא" in Aramaic.[6] The American Heritage Dictionary also gives a probable East Semitic root origin with the meaning of "burn", "char", or "roast", from the Aramaic and Akkadian.[7] These words point to an origin in the prehistoric Proto-Afroasiatic language: *kab-, to burn or roast.[8]

Seekh kebab[edit]

Seekh kebab

A South Asian (India-Pakistan) variation prepared with minced meat with spices and grilled on skewers. 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 döner kebab.

Variations of shish kebab[edit]

Şiş tavuk
Kuzu şiş (Lamb shish kebab)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Ayto (18 October 2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. OUP Oxford. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9. 
  2. ^ Davidson, Allen, "The Oxford Companion to Food", p.442.
  3. ^ Ozcan Ozan (13 December 2013). The Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-1-4629-0639-0. 
  4. ^ Mimi Sheraton (13 January 2015). 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List. Workman Publishing Company. pp. 1090–. ISBN 978-0-7611-8306-8. 
  5. ^ Steven Raichlen (28 May 2008). The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition. Workman Publishing Company. pp. 214–. ISBN 978-0-7611-5957-5. 
  6. ^ a b Nişanyan Sevan, Sözlerin Soyağacı, Çağdaş Türkçenin Etimolojik Sözlüğü, Online, Book
  7. ^ The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. "Appendix II - Semitic Roots". American Heritage Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ Vladimir Orel; Olga V. Stolbova (1995). Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary: Materials for a Reconstruction. E. J. Brill. p. 307. ISBN 9004100512. 

External links[edit]