Kebab vs. Kebab

What's the Difference?

Kebab and kebab are two different dishes that share a similar name but have distinct characteristics. Kebab, also known as shish kebab, is a popular Middle Eastern dish made with skewered and grilled meat, typically lamb or chicken, along with vegetables. It is known for its flavorful marinade and tender meat. On the other hand, kebab refers to a broader category of dishes found in various cuisines, including Turkish, Indian, and Persian. It generally consists of minced or ground meat, such as beef or lamb, mixed with spices and herbs, shaped into patties or sausages, and then grilled or roasted. Both kebab and kebab offer delicious options for meat lovers, but they differ in terms of ingredients, cooking methods, and regional variations.


MeatTypically lamb or chickenTypically lamb or beef
PreparationMarinated and grilled on a skewerMarinated and grilled on a skewer
Serving StyleWrapped in flatbread with vegetables and sauceServed on a plate with rice, salad, and bread
Popular VariationsDoner kebab, shish kebab, adana kebabShawarma, kofta kebab, seekh kebab
Spices/SeasoningsCommonly includes garlic, paprika, cuminCommonly includes garlic, coriander, cumin
AccompanimentsTzatziki sauce, hummus, picklesTahini sauce, garlic sauce, pickles

Further Detail


Kebab is a popular dish that originated in the Middle East and has gained immense popularity worldwide. It is known for its delicious combination of grilled meat, vegetables, and flavorful spices. However, there are different variations of kebab found in various regions, each with its own unique attributes. In this article, we will compare two popular types of kebab - the Turkish kebab and the Indian kebab - and explore their distinct characteristics.

Origin and History

The Turkish kebab, also known as "kebap" in Turkey, has a long history dating back to the Ottoman Empire. It is believed to have originated in the medieval kitchens of Persia and spread throughout the empire. Turkish kebabs are typically made with marinated lamb or beef, skewered and grilled over an open flame. The meat is often accompanied by vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers. On the other hand, Indian kebabs have their roots in the Mughal era and were influenced by Persian and Afghan cuisines. Indian kebabs are known for their rich flavors and are often made with minced meat, such as chicken or lamb, mixed with various spices and herbs.

Ingredients and Seasonings

Turkish kebabs are traditionally made with high-quality cuts of lamb or beef. The meat is marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a blend of spices such as cumin, paprika, and oregano. The marinade helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with a delicious flavor. On the other hand, Indian kebabs often use minced meat, such as chicken or lamb, which is mixed with a variety of spices and herbs. Common spices used in Indian kebabs include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Additionally, Indian kebabs may also include ingredients like yogurt, ginger, and garlic, which add a unique taste to the dish.

Cooking Techniques

Turkish kebabs are traditionally cooked on a skewer over an open flame, giving them a smoky and charred flavor. The meat is often rotated to ensure even cooking and prevent it from drying out. Turkish kebabs are typically served with flatbread, rice, or salad. Indian kebabs, on the other hand, are often cooked in a tandoor, a traditional clay oven. The intense heat of the tandoor helps to seal in the flavors and gives the kebabs a slightly crispy exterior. Indian kebabs are often served with mint chutney, yogurt sauce, or naan bread.

Varieties and Presentation

Turkish kebabs come in various forms, including shish kebab, doner kebab, and adana kebab. Shish kebab consists of marinated chunks of meat and vegetables skewered and grilled. Doner kebab, on the other hand, is made by stacking layers of marinated meat on a vertical rotisserie, which is then slowly cooked and thinly sliced. Adana kebab is a spicy variation made with minced meat and a blend of spices. Turkish kebabs are often presented on a plate with a side of rice, salad, and bread. Indian kebabs also have a wide range of varieties, such as seekh kebab, tandoori chicken, and reshmi kebab. Seekh kebabs are made with minced meat mixed with spices and shaped onto skewers before grilling. Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices, giving it a vibrant red color. Reshmi kebabs are made with minced meat mixed with cream and spices, resulting in a smooth and creamy texture. Indian kebabs are often served on a sizzling platter with a side of mint chutney and sliced onions.

Flavors and Taste

Turkish kebabs are known for their robust and earthy flavors. The combination of grilled meat, aromatic spices, and charred vegetables creates a smoky and savory taste. The meat in Turkish kebabs is often tender and juicy, thanks to the marination process. Indian kebabs, on the other hand, offer a wide range of flavors. The spices and herbs used in Indian kebabs create a complex and aromatic taste profile. From the smoky flavors of tandoori chicken to the rich and creamy texture of reshmi kebabs, Indian kebabs are a delight for the taste buds.


While both Turkish and Indian kebabs share the common thread of being delicious grilled meat dishes, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. Turkish kebabs are known for their robust flavors, grilled over an open flame, and often accompanied by vegetables. Indian kebabs, on the other hand, offer a wide range of flavors and are often cooked in a tandoor, resulting in a unique taste and texture. Whether you prefer the smoky and savory Turkish kebabs or the aromatic and flavorful Indian kebabs, both types are sure to satisfy your cravings for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.