Monday, April 9, 2012

Kebabs Around the World

Some sources claim that a shortage of cooking fuel led to the development and rapid spread of the quick-cooking kebab. Today, kebabs are found across the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, stretching as far as Central and South Asia.
 Meşhur Köfteci Ali Usta 
 Yali Caddesi, Tekirdağ; +90 282 261 1621 This popular kebab house has been serving up the regional specialty, bugu kebabı, along with the town’s celebrated Tekirdağ köftesi spicy meatballs, in its promenade-facing restaurant since 1966. The food is authentic and competitively priced.

 Hakkı Paşa Meydanı 1, Göreme;--
The Cappadocian town of Göreme is famous for its köfte and testı kebap, and Dibek serves both along with other enticing Cappadocian dishes in a cozy, atmospheric 16th-century building.
Kebapçi İskender
Ünlü Caddesi 7, Bursa; +90 224 221 4615
Founded in 1867, and something of an institution, this kebab house takes its name from the inventor of the İskender kebab, from whom the current owners claim descent. It serves the İskender along with Bursa’s other famous dish, the inegöl köftesi.
Akin to a kind of national dish, kebabs dominate most Iranian menus. They are served principally in the form of shish kebabs, on bread or with steamed rice, or as kubide (like köfte). Grilled tomatoes, sliced raw onion, and sumac spice are typical accompaniments.
 Ferdosi Sonnati 
Ferdosi St., Tehran; +98 21 6671 4503 With a firm local following, the Ferdosi prepares fresh, seasonal, and carefully cooked classic Persian dishes (including kebabs) at excellent price . Try the homemade dugh, a refreshing sour yogurt drink that’s the traditional kebab accompaniment.
 The Khayyam Traditional Restaurant
Khayyam St., Tehran; +98 21 5580 0760 After a trip around the Tehran bazaar, there’s no better escape than to the Khayyam, lying on the bazaar’s western periphery. Set in an early 18th-century building, this East-Asian-style oasis is atmospheric, cool, and relaxed and offers classic Iranian food and drink from a menu that’s more eclectic than most in Tehran.
Sofre Khane Sonnati Sangalag
Park-e Shahr, Tehran; +98 21 6673 1075
Conveniently situated close to Tehran’s Golestan Palace and city museums, the Sangalag makes a perfect pit stop while sightseeing. Set in the Park-e Shahr, it’s tranquil and verdant and serves good home-prepared traditional fare, including kebabs and salads, at decent prices.

India’s kakori kebabs are spicy minced lamb or goat rolls, grilled on skewers; the classic shish kebabs take their name from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

 Despite the significant rate of vegetarianism in India, meat kebabs (mainly chicken, lamb, and sometimes goat) have long featured in Indian cuisine, particularly in tandoori cooking and the meat-dominated Mughlai cuisine of northern India. The famous Arab traveler Ibn Battuta recorded a description of kebabs when he visited India in the 14th century.
168/2 Jha House Basti, Nizamuddin West, Delhi
Karim’s may seem simple and unremarkable, but it’s been serving first-rate Mughlai cuisine for nearly a century and is much loved locally for its succulent and subtly spiced kebabs. It’s located down a side street opposite the south gate of the Jama Masjid (Great Mosque). Try the burrah (marinated lamb kebab) and finish with a creamy firni – a sweet rice pudding with cardamom, almonds, and pistachios.
Tunday Kababi 
Aminabad Rd., Lucknow; +91 522 552 4046 Although Lucknow is famous for its sophisticated Mughlai cuisine and its variety and quality of kebabs, the Tunday has established a near-iconic status both at home and abroad. Its mutton kebab, made of ground or minced lamb, is legendary. The kathi kebab, cooked on skewers in a tandoor oven, is also great.
145 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai;
Counted among Mumbai’s top tables, the Khyber specializes in the meat-dominated Punjabi cuisine, including expertly flavored and cooked kebabs and köfte. With its reputation for fine dining, impeccable service, and hip decor, the Khyber boasts a fervent following among local celebrities, diplomats, and the business community.
 In contrast to India, Pakistan’s cuisine is firmly rooted in the carnivore camp, and kebabs feature frequently on menus, including seekh or tikka kebabs (shish kebabs), shawarma (doner kebab), and a few Pakistani variations such as chapli kebabs – spicy, minced mutton or beef patties shaped like a slipper (chapli) served with yogurt, rice, salad, and naan bread.
Gowal Mandi 
Off Railway Road, Lahore
 The network of lanes just south of Railway Road in Lahore is known locally as “Food Street” for its rows of stands selling simple, fresh, and skillfully cooked Pakistani fare. At sunset, the roads close and all the locals congregate. It’s a great place to try Pakistani dishes at rock-bottom prices in a great atmosphere.
Village Garden Restaurant
Palace Cinema Bldg., Karachi; +92 21 521 2880
Karachi’s oldest surviving restaurant also boasts one of the capital’s best locations: an attractive and breezy garden filled with birdsong and shade where you can watch your seekh kebabs spit, sizzle, and emit tantalizing smells on the large outdoor grills.
Some claim that the kebab originated in Greece in ancient times, alleging that writers such as Homer, Aristophanes, and Aristotle made reference to it in their works. The Greek gyros is akin to the Turkish döner kebap, although pork is often used, and souvlaki is akin to shish kebabs. They are as universally popular as their Turkish counterparts.
To Etsi 
Nikoforos Fokas 2, near the White Tower, Thessaloniki; +30 2310 222 469
Simple, basic, and garishly decorated, the To Etsi in Thessaloniki has won a cult following locally for its succulent souvlaki stuffed into freshly baked pita bread, served with crunchy salad and generous dollops of homemade hot, spicy, or garlicky sauces.
Pireos 80, Gazi, Athens;
As famous for its startling views of the Acropolis as for the startling modern-Greek creations of the country’s only Michelin-star-rated chef, Lefteris Lazarou, the Varoulko is a must for the foodie. Seafood is the specialty, but the meat dishes don’t disappoint. Book a rooftop table.
 On the Menu in Turkey
There are dozens of varieties of kebab in Turkey. Many are local adaptations named after the place of origin or their founder.
Adana kebap : Minced lamb spiced with chili peppers, garlic, parsley, paprika, pepper, and sumac, molded into a sausage and grilled over coals on a special long, flat skewer. The meat is served on top of warm strips of pita bread with a salad of tomatoes, peppers, and sliced onions tossed in sumac.
Buğu kebap : Meat is steamed in a sealed terra-cotta pot along with pearl onions, garlic, thyme, sumac, and cumin.
Çiğ kebap : Raw, ground lamb pounded with bulgur wheat and onions, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, paprika, and pepper. Döner kebap Compressed meat (chicken or lamb) grilled on an upright and rotating skewer and sliced onto pita bread
Erciyes kebap : Lamb served on a bed of thinly sliced sautéed potatoes with garlic and yogurt.
Fıstıklı kebap : Suckling lamb minced and mixed with herbs and pistachios. İskender (Bursa) kebap Lamb döner layered on a bed of pita bread, topped with tomato sauce and tangy yogurt, then drizzled with lightly browned butter.
Patlıcan kebap : Minced or cubed lamb grilled on skewers with eggplant.
Şiş kebap : Cubed lamb or chicken marinated in oil, garlic, onion, and black pepper grilled on a skewer with onions and peppers.
Tavuk şiş kebap : Chicken cubes marinated in olive oil, thyme, or rosemary, crushed garlic, black pepper, grated onion, and yogurt, grilled on a skewer over coals.
Testı kebap : Lamb or chicken with vegetables (often onion and mushroom), slow-cooked in a sealed terra-cotta pot that is broken open at the dining table.
Tokat kebap : Cubed lamb grilled on a skewer along with potato, eggplant, tomato, and garlic.-- Urfa kebap : Minced lamb, mildly spiced with chili pepper, garlic, paprika, pepper, and sumac, shaped like a sausage and grilled over coals; served with onion salad.
Yoğurtlu şiş kebap : Grilled skewers of cubed lamb marinated in oil, garlic, and onion, along with grilled, skewered ground lamb köfte, served on a bed of butter-fried pita bread, sprinkled with sumac, salt, and thyme, and topped with fresh tomato sauce, yogurt, and fried strips of eggplant.

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