If you're enjoying Beef-Kebabs with Saffron-Barberry Rice, & Maast-o Khiar this week, you may appreciate a little FYI on the background of this meal. Essentially, "kebab" refers to a dish where either protein or vegetables are roasted on a spit or skewer. There are multiple variations of this cooking method and ingredients depending on the country of origin.


The kebab dish's origins trace back to ancient Greece where meat and vegetables were grilled on skewers. "Kebab" was first mentioned as a food, however, in Turkish writings from 1377. Typically, lamb is used as the kebab meat, but chicken, pork, fish, beef, goat and other meats may also be used. Assorted seasonings flavor kebab dishes with sumac often used in the Persian recipe.

Dozens of cultures have created their own version of a "kebab." In the Middle East, the meat can be cut or ground and is roasted over flames. In America, a "kebab" typically refers to "shish kebab" (skewered, grilled meat/vegetables) while European "doner kebabs" (meat cooked vertically on a rotisserie) are especially popular in Germany. Indian, Chinese, Norwegian and a multitude of other cultures also have their own kebab derivative. Do souvlaki, shawarma, or satay sound familiar? These are also kebab varieties in their own right.

Give this Beef Kebabs with Sautéed Red Cabbage and Thyme Infused Rice recipe a shot, or let us know how you cook your own!