For Middle Eastern culinary lovers, Shawarma is no stranger to you. In its country of origin, namely Turkey, shawarma is used as fast food and quite famous street food. However, quite a few people find it difficult to differentiate shawarma from kebab. So, what is the difference between the two?  Usually, kebab skin is a tortilla, while shawarma skin is flat bread.

Of course, those who are not familiar will think it is the same. Moreover, the fillings in these two types of dishes are not much different. But to find out more about the differences between kebab and shawarma, it's a good idea to read the information below. Come on, get right in!

The definition of Shawarma is

At the beginning we mentioned a little about shawarma, which is a typical culinary dish from the Middle East, or to be precise from Turkey. Even though many people think of it as the same as kebab, it turns out that the two are different.

In terms of language, the definition of shawarma means twisting. This typical Middle Eastern food, which is easy to find in Indonesia, usually consists of thin slices of meat. It can be grilled lamb, beef, turkey or chicken. Slices of meat are combined with sauce and wrapped in flatbread.

In Indonesia itself, this food is sold in many places so you can enjoy its delicious taste. But because it is sold in Indonesia, usually the composition in it is also adapted to local tastes so that it is more acceptable and liked by many people.

One way is to replace the meat filling, which is usually lamb or turkey, with chicken. You know that our tongues are not familiar with lamb, let alone turkey? That way anyone will like the taste.

Difference Between Kebab and Shawarma

As already mentioned, many people think that shawarma is the same as kebab. Do you think so too? If you look at the filling, it does look similar, because it consists of slices of meat grilled with a combination of vegetables and sauce.

Apart from that, both also include fast food culinary delights such as hot dogs, burgers and other street food dishes. So that you don't get the wrong message, you can see some of the differences below. 

In terms of language

One of the differences between kebab and shawarma is in terms of language. Shawarma comes from the word cevirme (Turkish) which in Arabic means twisting. This term refers to a way of cooking meat that is grilled and then turned. 

This is different from kebab, which comes from the word kabab. In Arabic, kabab means fried meat. So it could be said that originally the meaning of kabab was fried meat and not grilled meat as is often found today.

However, since the time of the Ottoman Empire, the term kebab began to experience a shift in meaning so that it was better known as shish kebab or grilled meat. 

Meat Cooking Process

Another difference between kebab and shawarma is the process of cooking the meat in these dishes. In shawarma, the cooked meat can be beef, lamb, goat, turkey or other stuffed into a long iron rod.

Or if in a restaurant it is a vertical spit. The meat used as a shawarma filling will be grilled until cooked by rotating it over hot coals. 

If in shawarma the meat is grilled and twisted then sliced ​​into thin slices, then in kebab the method is different.

For kebabs, the meat is ground meat. It can be a combination of chicken or beef fried or grilled in a tandoor, but the ones most often used are lamb and goat meat. So just the process of cooking the meat is different.

Use of Sauces

Use of Sauces

Apart from the two differences above, there is another difference that will make the taste of these two dishes different, namely the use of sauce. In kebabs, especially in the Indonesian version, the sauces used are usually tomato sauce, chili sauce and mayonnaise.

Meanwhile, the sauce used in the shawarma dish is hummus and tahini. Hummus itself is a sauce made from ground chickpeas. Meanwhile, tahini sauce made from ground sesame seeds functions as a food thickener and flavoring.

Serving and Filling

Serving and Filling

In terms of presentation, Arabic shawarma can be served in two ways. Namely served separately and served with fried potatoes, falafel and tabbouleh salad. Meanwhile, the second way is to roll it using a flatbread called pita.

Apart from that, shawarma can also be eaten with taboon bread. And the toppings can include sour radish, amba, hummus and tahini. Meanwhile, kebabs consist of several types with different fillings and presentations. some of them are as follows:

Shish Kebab

Shish kebab uses meat that is cut into cubes and then grilled. The meat has been seasoned and then grilled until cooked over hot coals. Another type of meat that is often used is lamb ribs.

Adana Kebab

Different from shish kebab, adana kebab actually uses minced meat or ground meat that has been seasoned with spices. Only then is the meat grilled.

The meat itself can be beef, lamb or chicken which is then skewered with metal. This type of kebab is served on a plate and served with bread or pilaf rice.

Doner Kebab

One of the most popular types of kebab is doner kebab. This dish is also popular in Indonesia and is one of the fast food dishes that is popular with various groups.

The filling consists of slices of meat that have been grilled and then added with vegetables and sauce. The filling is then wrapped in a kind of bread. Grilling the meat is done vertically with the cooking process rotating.

Apart from doner kebab, a similar dish can also be found in Greece and is better known as gyors. Gyors itself in Greek means rotated. Meanwhile, it is served by wrapping it in bread and rolling it up and adding sauce.

If we refer to the doner kebab type, it can be said that the filling and presentation are almost the same as shawarma. The similarity between doner kebab and shawarma is the filling, which consists of slices of grilled meat and vegetables.

Apart from that, the process of cooking the meat is not much different. Because in shawarma the meat is also grilled vertically and rotated so that it cooks evenly. So it could be said that this shawarma is included in the doner kebab presentation.

Even so, the presentation of shawarma seems to be more developed in the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula. Because this dish developed in the Middle East, pita is used to wrap the bread, which is thin bread. SOURCE

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