I’ve noticed that some of my guests (especially the ones coming from Rio, Brazil) who get to Abu Dhabi excited at the prospect of savoring a nice kebab are often frustrated once they look at their plates. Finally, I think I solved the mystery… What they call a kebab has a different name around here: shawarma.
The truth is, despite the name variations, the doner kebab (from Turkey), the gyros (from Greece), the tarna (from Armenia) and the shawarma (from several Middle Eastern countries) are pretty much the same: lamb, goat, chicken, turkey or beef roasted on a vertical rotating spit, shaved and usually served as a sandwich.
The problem is there are several types of kebab, not just the doner kebab mentioned above. Have you heard of kathi kebab, kakari kebab, chapli kebab, burrati kebab? Well, these are just a few of the available kebabs out there!
But, in most places, a kebab will be associated with the famous shish kebab – which basically consists of grilled meat on a skewer. And I guess this is what my guests are usually served around here when they actually crave tender slices of meat wrapped around pita bread (shawarma).
So, if you ever feel the urge to have a kebab, I suggest you first do a research and make sure you use the correct word to give qualification to your kebab; or find out if there are any name variations depending on the country you are in. Otherwise you just might end up with something entirely different from what you envisioned...