The Perennial Taste of Kebabs
Food & Beverage Business Review|June - July 2021
Whether it is a night party or an evening of introspection and irrespective of whether there is a glass of whisky or beer accompanying the treat, kebab is the perfect partner at any such occasion. If you are a meat lover, a plateful of well-prepared kebabs do have the potential to take you to a different world; a world where only aroma and taste reigns and the worries melt in the warmth of the mouth… like the glitter of diamonds, the taste and aroma of kebabs too can delight many generations. They are for all seasons, and their gastronomic appeal does have the potential to perennially flow across ages.

Any connoisseur of Mughlai food must have savoured the succulent kebabs, which come in wide varieties, shapes and tastes. But in general, all kebabs are simply sumptuous. Though the word kebab may be of Persian in origin, but its taste has influenced the lovers of good food the world over. However, kebabs are not only an integral part of the Mughlai dishes from India. They have their presence in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Central Asian, and even African cuisines.

Even people in many European countries enjoy this wonderful meat dish, whose taste has withstood the test of time. Kebabs in general constitute grilled or broiled meats of goat, chicken, lamb, and bovine creatures, etc. In the Muslim and Jewish world, the intake of pork is prohibited by religion, but pork kebabs are not that uncommon in Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Even in Goa, pork kebabs are being enjoyed.

Misty History

The history of kebab, like many other world-class delicacies, is wrapped in the foils of mystery. According to the Arabic tradition, kebab is believed to be invented in medieval Iran, where soldiers used to grill meat on their swords, by holding them over field fires. However, this claim is disputed by many who state that kebab was originated in the East Mediterranean region, during ancient times, a region which includes the modern nation-states of Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Jordon, Cyprus, Israel, the territories of the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

In fact, the chronicles of Ibn Battuta, the famous globe trotter of the medieval age, has revealed that kebabs were partaken in the royal houses of India at least as far back as the Sultanate period, and was also enjoyed by the commoners during that period, who had it with naan for their breakfast. Thus we can say that kebab has a long history, which is supplemented by its tasty future.

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