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An Intro to Middle Eastern Kebabs – kofta, shish taouk

What is Kebab?

Princess Pita is a popular Arizona Mediterranean restaurant serving up delicious and authentic Middle Eastern dishes, including a wide variety of kebabs. Kebab, also known as kabob or kebob, is a traditional dish originating from the Middle East and is loved by food enthusiasts worldwide. This delectable dish typically consists of skewered and grilled meat, often marinated in flavorful spices and herbs. Kebabs come in various types, but some of the most popular ones include kofta and shish taouk. Kofta kebab is made with a mixture of ground meat, typically beef or lamb, mixed with seasonings such as garlic, black pepper, and parsley. Shish taouk, on the other hand, is a chicken kebab marinated in a flavorful blend of garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt. These succulent kebabs are often served with a side of rice or pita bread and accompanied by delicious sauces like tahini or yogurt sauce. Whether you’re in Phoenix, Mesa, or Tempe, Princess Pita is the go-to place for a taste of authentic Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, offering a wide range of kebabs and other mouthwatering dishes that will transport you to the vibrant flavors of the Middle East.

Types of Middle Eastern Kebabs

Middle Eastern cuisine is rich in flavor and variety, and one of the most beloved dishes is kebabs. Kebabs are grilled meat skewers that are enjoyed across the region. Let’s explore some of the common types of Middle Eastern kebabs:

1. Kofta Kebab: Kofta kebabs are made from a mixture of ground meat, typically beef or lamb, mixed with aromatic spices such as black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. This seasoned meat mixture is then formed into long sausage-like shapes and skewered before grilling. Kofta kebabs are known for their juicy and tender texture, paired perfectly with pita bread and tahini sauce.

2. Shish Taouk: Shish taouk is a popular chicken kebab dish. Tender chicken breast pieces are marinated in a mixture of yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and eastern spices like cumin and paprika. The marinated chicken is then skewered and grilled to perfection. Shish taouk kebabs are bursting with flavor, tender, and slightly tangy, making them a favorite choice for kebab enthusiasts.

Each type of kebab has its own unique flavor profile, and the meat choices vary from beef to lamb and chicken. While kofta kebabs tempt your taste buds with warm spices, shish taouk embraces the freshness of marinated chicken. Whether you prefer the heartiness of beef or the tenderness of chicken, Middle Eastern kebabs are a delicious and satisfying culinary experience.

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Basic Kebab Ingredients

When it comes to Middle Eastern kebabs, the basic ingredients are crucial in creating the mouthwatering flavors that make them so popular. These kebabs typically feature a variety of meats, including beef, lamb, and chicken. The choice of meat can greatly impact the taste and texture of the kebab.

Alongside the meat, a blend of aromatic spices and seasonings is what gives Middle Eastern kebabs their distinct flavor profiles. From black pepper and cloves to cinnamon and paprika, these warm spices add depth and richness to the kebabs. The balance of these spices is key to achieving the perfect taste.

In addition to the meat and spices, other ingredients may be used to enhance the kebabs. For example, garlic cloves and yellow onions are often used to add a savory and slightly pungent flavor. Yogurt is another common ingredient, adding tenderness and a subtle tanginess to the kebabs.

No matter the specific type of kebab, whether it’s kofta or shish taouk, the combination of these basic ingredients creates a truly delicious Middle Eastern culinary experience. Whether you’re enjoying kebabs at a restaurant like Princess Pita in Phoenix, Mesa, or Tempe, Arizona, or trying your hand at making them at home, these kebab ingredients are the building blocks of a fantastic meal.


Preparation is a key step in creating delicious Middle Eastern kebabs. Whether you’re making kofta, shish taouk, or any other variation, proper preparation ensures that the flavors are well-balanced and the meat is tender. To begin, gather your ingredients, including fresh and high-quality meat such as chicken or beef. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat with the desired spices, such as black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and paprika, to create a flavorful meat mixture. For added depth, consider including minced garlic cloves and finely chopped yellow onions. To further enhance the tenderness and taste, incorporate plain yogurt into the mixture. Give all the ingredients a thorough mix, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Once the mixture is ready, cover it and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This step is crucial, as it allows the spices to infuse into the meat and ensures a more flavorful kebab. Whether you plan to cook the kebabs on an outdoor grill, indoor grill, or in the oven, proper preparation sets the stage for an authentic Middle Eastern culinary experience. If you’re looking for a taste of the Mediterranean in Arizona, Princess Pita is a renowned restaurant in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, offering delectable Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine.

Tools and Equipment Needed

When it comes to preparing Middle Eastern kebabs, having the right tools and equipment is essential to ensure a successful and delicious outcome. Here are the key items you’ll need to have on hand:

1. Mixing Bowl: A sturdy mixing bowl is a must-have for combining all the ingredients and forming the meat mixture. Make sure to choose a size that allows for easy mixing without any spills.

2. Skewers: Skewers are an essential tool for assembling and cooking kebabs. You can use either wooden or metal skewers, depending on your preference. Wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for about 30 minutes before use to prevent them from burning during cooking.

3. Grill or Oven: To cook the kebabs, you’ll need either an outdoor grill or an indoor oven. Outdoor grills are perfect for that authentic smoky flavor, but if you don’t have one, an indoor grill or oven will work just fine.

4. Knife and Cutting Board: A sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board are necessary for chopping and preparing the ingredients. From dicing onions to cutting meat into cubes, having the right cutting tools will make your job easier.

5. Food Processor (optional): While not a necessity, a food processor can come in handy for blending spices, garlic cloves, or other flavorings to create a smooth paste or marinade.

By having these essential tools and equipment in your kitchen, you’ll be well-prepared to create mouthwatering Middle Eastern kebabs like kofta, shish taouk, and more. So fire up that grill or preheat the oven, gather your tools, and get ready to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean right in your own home. Visit Princess Pita, the best Mediterranean restaurant in Arizona, with locations in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, to experience authentic Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Preparing the Meat Mixture

At Princess Pita, an authentic Mediterranean and Greek restaurant in Arizona, one of the highlights of our menu is our flavorful Middle Eastern kebabs. If you’re looking to recreate these delicious and aromatic kebabs at home, one of the first steps is preparing the meat mixture.

Start by combining high-quality ground beef with grated onion, freshly chopped parsley, and a blend of warm spices. The spices typically include a pinch of black pepper, a touch of cinnamon, and a hint of paprika. To help bind the mixture and add moisture, soak a few slices of bread in water or milk, then squeeze out the excess liquid and crumble it into the mixture.

Next, get your hands in there and knead the ingredients together until fully combined. This will help distribute the flavors evenly throughout the meat. Don’t be afraid to really get in and give it a good mix!

Once the meat mixture is well combined, cover it and refrigerate it for 30 minutes to one hour. This step allows the flavors to meld together and the meat to firm up slightly, making it easier to shape and thread onto skewers.

Now that you’ve prepared the meat mixture, you’re one step closer to enjoying mouthwatering Middle Eastern kebabs right at home. Whether you’re in Phoenix, Mesa, or Tempe, be sure to visit Princess Pita for an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the vibrant flavors of Mediterranean and Greek cuisine.

Assembling the Kebabs

Assembling the Kebabs:

After allowing the meat mixture to marinate, it’s time to start assembling the kebabs. You can choose to use skewers or shape the mixture into different forms such as meatballs, flat patties, or torpedo-like cylinders.

If using skewers, soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill. To thread the ingredients onto the skewers, alternate between pieces of meat and vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, or tomatoes. This not only adds flavor but also helps keep the kebabs juicy and tender.

If you prefer shaping the kebabs, wet your hands with water to prevent sticking. Take a small portion of the meat mixture and shape it into a meatball, a flat patty, or a torpedo-like cylinder. Ensure that all sides are evenly shaped and there are no loose pieces.

Whether using skewers or shaping the kebabs, it is crucial to evenly distribute the ingredients and leave space between each piece. This allows for even cooking and ensures that the flavors blend harmoniously.

Now that you have mastered the art of assembling kebabs, it’s time to cook them! Whether on outdoor grills, indoor grills, or in the oven, these Middle Eastern delicacies are sure to be a hit. Don’t forget to serve them with your favorite dips, like tahini sauce or yogurt sauce, along with some warm pita bread. Enjoy a taste of Mediterranean and Greek cuisine at Princess Pita, a renowned restaurant located in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona.

Cooking Methods

There are various cooking methods employed to create delicious Middle Eastern kebabs such as kofta and shish taouk. Whether you’re grilling on an outdoor grill or using an indoor grill, these cooking methods can be easily adapted to suit your preference.

Grilling the kebabs on an outdoor grill imparts a smoky flavor, creating a truly authentic taste. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lay the kebabs directly on the grates. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked and the vegetables are charred and tender.

For those who prefer to cook indoors, an indoor grill such as a panini press or stovetop grill pan can be used. Preheat the grill pan over medium heat and lightly oil the surface. Place the kebabs on the grill pan and cook for around 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables have a nice char.

Another popular method is baking the kebabs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the kebabs on the baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway through.

No matter which cooking method you choose, be sure to keep an eye on the kebabs to prevent overcooking. Serve these flavorful, marinated kebabs with warm pita bread, tahini sauce, and a side of batata harra for a truly satisfying Middle Eastern meal. And if you’re in Arizona, be sure to visit Princess Pita, a Mediterranean and Greek restaurant with locations in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, where you can indulge in authentic Middle Eastern flavors and enjoy the art of kebab-making at its finest.

Outdoor Grilling Kebabs

If you’re looking to enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean or Greek cuisine, be sure to try the delicious kebabs at Princess Pita, a popular Mediterranean restaurant in Arizona. One of their specialties is their mouthwatering grilled chicken kebabs, also known as shish taouk or shish tawook.

Grilling chicken kebabs on an outdoor grill is a fantastic way to infuse rich smoky flavors into the meat. To begin, soak wooden skewers in water for about 15 minutes to prevent them from burning. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken by marinating it in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic cloves, and a blend of warm Middle Eastern spices such as black pepper, paprika, and cinnamon.

Once the chicken has marinated for at least 2 hours or overnight in an airtight container, thread the chicken cubes onto the wooden skewers, alternating with pieces of bell peppers and yellow onions for added flavor and color.

Preheat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Place the kebabs directly on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. To check for doneness, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Grilled chicken kebabs are best enjoyed with a side of fluffy pita bread and a tangy yogurt sauce. Princess Pita in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona offers this delectable kebab option along with many other authentic Mediterranean and Greek dishes. So fire up the grill and savor the flavors of outdoor grilling with these delightful kebabs!

Indoor Grilling Kebabs

If you prefer to stay indoors but still want to enjoy the delicious flavors of Middle Eastern kebabs, indoor grilling is a great option. Today, we’ll show you how to make mouthwatering Middle Eastern kofta kebabs using an indoor grill.

To prepare the kofta kebabs, start by combining ground meat, such as lean ground beef, in a mixing bowl with minced garlic cloves, chopped yellow onions, and a combination of warm spices like black pepper and cinnamon. Add in a tablespoon of tomato paste and a teaspoon of salt for extra flavor.

Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Then, take small portions of the meat mixture and shape them into elongated cylinder shapes. If desired, you can insert a wooden skewer into each kebab for easy handling.

Preheat your indoor grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Once heated, place the kofta kebabs onto the grill and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. The internal temperature should reach at least 160°F (71°C).

Indoor grilling kebabs offer the convenience of cooking inside, allowing you to enjoy Middle Eastern flavors year-round, regardless of the weather. So fire up your indoor grill and savor the mouthwatering taste of Middle Eastern kofta kebabs in the comfort of your home.

If you’re in Arizona, be sure to visit Princess Pita, an acclaimed Mediterranean and Greek restaurant with locations in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe. Enjoy their delectable selection of kebabs and other authentic dishes.

Serve & Enjoy!

At Princess Pita, an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant located in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona, we invite you to indulge in the aromatic and flavorful world of Middle Eastern kebabs. Our menu features a variety of mouthwatering kebabs, including the popular shish taouk, kofta, and more. Made with the freshest ingredients and a blend of traditional Mediterranean and Greek spices, our kebabs provide a satisfying and satisfying culinary experience that will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of the Middle East.

Whether you prefer juicy chicken skewers marinated in a tangy blend of garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt, or succulent kofta kebabs seasoned with warm spices like black pepper and cinnamon, we have something to please every palate. At Princess Pita, we take pride in using high-quality ingredients and ensuring that each kebab is cooked to perfection. Our passion for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine shines through in every dish, and we invite you to savor the flavors and aromas that make our kebabs truly special.

Whether you choose to dine in at one of our cozy and inviting locations or opt for the convenience of takeout, our committed staff will ensure that your kebabs are prepared with care and served with a side of warm pita bread and your choice of tahini sauce or yogurt sauce. So, gather your loved ones, sit back, and delight in the joy of sharing delicious Middle Eastern kebabs at Princess Pita.

Accompanying Sauces and Sides

At Princess Pita, an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona, we believe that a truly satisfying kebab experience goes beyond the perfectly grilled meat. That’s why we offer a variety of flavorful sauces and sides to accompany our mouthwatering kebabs.

One popular option is Fasolakia, a Greek dish made with tender green beans, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs. The combination of fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors perfectly complements the kebabs, adding a touch of freshness and crunch to each bite.

For those looking to spice things up, our Torshi Liteh is a must-try. This tangy Persian pickled vegetable chutney is a burst of flavors that balances out the richness of the kebabs. With its blend of garlic, vinegar, and spices, it adds a unique and zesty kick to your meal.

And of course, no Middle Eastern feast is complete without a side of aromatic rice dishes. From fluffy basmati rice infused with fragrant saffron to flavorful pilaf studded with nuts and dried fruits, our rice dishes are the perfect canvas for soaking up the delicious juices from the kebabs.

Whether you choose Fasolakia, Torshi Liteh, or a delectable rice dish, our accompanying sauces and sides enhance the flavors of our Middle Eastern kebabs, creating a truly delightful and diverse dining experience. Visit Princess Pita in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona, and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Mediterranean and Greek cuisine.

Popular Recipes for Middle Eastern Kebabs

Experience the tantalizing flavors of the Middle East with our popular recipes for mouthwatering kebabs. At Princess Pita, a premier Mediterranean restaurant in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona, we pride ourselves on serving up authentic and delicious Middle Eastern cuisine. Our kebabs are crafted with care and skill, using a variety of traditional spices and seasonings to create a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Kofta Kebab:

A favorite amongst meat lovers, kofta kebabs are made with a savory meat mixture of ground beef or lamb combined with aromatic spices. Traditionally cooked on skewers over medium-high heat, these juicy kebabs are packed with warm flavors and are perfect for outdoor grills or indoor grills. Served with a side of tahini sauce and pita bread, kofta kebabs are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

Shish Taouk:

For those who prefer chicken, shish taouk is the go-to chicken kebab. Made with tender chicken breast marinated in a flavorful mixture of yogurt, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and eastern spices, these succulent chicken skewers are grilled to perfection. Served with a tangy yogurt sauce and a squeeze of lemon, shish taouk is a popular choice for a light and tasty meal.

Chicken Shawarma:

Indulge in the exotic flavors of chicken shawarma. Thinly sliced marinated chicken pieces are cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a delightful blend of herbs and spices. Served with garlic sauce, pickles, and warm pita bread, chicken shawarma is a palate-pleasing choice for those seeking a bold and flavorful Middle Eastern dish.

From kofta kebabs to shish taouk and chicken shawarma, our Middle Eastern kebabs are a culinary journey to the heart of the Mediterranean. At Princess Pita, we aim to delight your taste buds with our delectable and authentic dishes, providing a truly memorable dining experience. Join us in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona, and embark on a flavorful adventure through the rich and diverse world of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Shish Taouk Recipe

Indulge in the rich flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine with our authentic Shish Taouk recipe at Princess Pita. This mouthwatering chicken dish is a favorite amongst our patrons in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona.

To prepare the Shish Taouk, start by marinating the chicken in a delicious yogurt mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine plain yogurt, minced garlic cloves, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a blend of eastern spices such as black pepper and kosher salt. Once the marinade is well mixed, add the skinless chicken breast cubes and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the skewers by soaking wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Next, assemble the skewers by threading the marinated chicken pieces onto the wooden skewers, leaving some space between each piece to ensure even cooking. Discard any excess marinade.

Place the skewers on the preheated grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.

Serve the Shish Taouk with a side of tahini sauce, warm pita bread, and a fresh salad for a complete and satisfying Middle Eastern meal. Experience the vibrant flavors and warm hospitality of Princess Pita, your premier Mediterranean and Greek restaurant in Arizona.


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