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3 Reasons To Enjoy A Meatless Kebab On World Kebab Day!

July 16, 2022

World Kebab Day is a relatively new celebration, but has already become a popular event worldwide. It takes place annually on the second Friday in July, and is a chance for kebab lovers to indulge in this dish, honour its origins and share their photos and recipes online.

Many people also enjoy going out to sample different kebabs from their local area or organising a BBQ at home, where you can make and share various kebab dishes.  

If you missed World Kebab Day this year but would love to celebrate next time, then you’ll surely enjoy reading more about this dish!

History of the kebab

Kebab originated in the Middle East many centuries ago and is traditionally made with chunks of meat, usually from sheep. Regional variations also regularly use meat from other animals, such as goats, cows, chickens and fish.

The good news is that nowadays, many people are exchanging the traditional meat kebabs for vegan ones. The vegan version is much healthier, ethical and better for the environment!

Kebabs are enjoyed in many different parts of the world, with certain variations on the recipe existing depending on the location.

What is a döner kebab?

If you’ve been trying to make sense of the many different types of kebab, you’ll surely have asked yourself, “what is a döner kebab?” and may have been further confused by the answer!

The döner kebab originates from Turkey and is one of the most popular kebab options in the UK — it’s also one of our signature dishes at What The Pitta. There are variations on what döner is, but it’s typically a spit-roasted, thinly sliced meat seasoned with herbs and spices and served in pitta bread. 

The meat used in this type of kebab is usually lamb, but it will be different from place to place and may sometimes be a combination of animals. How weird is that!? At What The Pitta you can freely taste döner kebab — you’ll always know what ingredients are inside and that they come from plant-based sources.

doner kebab

Shawarma vs döner 

The döner kebab is often confused with shawarma, and the terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Once you know more about both, you’ll understand why it’s easy to get mixed up!

The important thing to remember is that shawarma is a specific type of döner kebab and is traditionally cooked and served in a particular way. In contrast, there are many different ways to cook and enjoy döner. 

Shawarma is made from thinly-sliced marinated meat or a vegan variation of that, assembled in a cone shape and then roasted on a rotisserie. The typical meat for shawarma is mutton, lamb or chicken, although turkey and beef are becoming more popular options. 

As the meat rotates on the rotisserie, the outer layer cooks and thin pieces can be sliced off, ready to be eaten.

The cooked shawarma meat will usually be served in a sandwich, flatbread or wrap. 

What are vegan kebabs?

As with most dishes, it’s now possible to enjoy an entirely vegan kebab that tastes just as good — if not better — than the meat alternative.

A vegan döner kebab from What The Pitta is made with seasoned soy pieces and served in a fresh bread wrap with optional added extras, such as mixed salad, hummus, tzatziki and jalapeno peppers.

Now you know how to celebrate vegan kebab day next year: you can create your own vegan kebab at home or you can have our delicious kebabs at What The Pitta—which you can eat in our restaurant or order delivery.

There are so many great recipes online for vegan kebabs that it’ll be easy to find one you love or to customise an existing one to your taste. If you’re making kebabs at home, you’ll want to check out the five best sauces to go with them!

100% vegan kebab

How about vegetarian kebabs?

Vegetarian kebabs also don’t have meat, but they contain dairy cheese. Nowadays, there are plenty of delicious vegan cheese options available, so we would recommend that you try with one of those, even if you’re not vegan!

With the obvious exception of the cheese, there’s not much difference between most vegetarian and vegan kebab recipes. This means it’s easy to veganise any meat-free recipe that you come across. 

Tips for celebrating World Kebab Day as a vegan

If you want to get in on all the fun next year, you’ll be pleased to know it’s easy for everyone, vegans included.

A plant-based BBQ is a fantastic idea if you want to host your own event in honour of the day. Invite your friends and family to share in your vegan kebab creations and encourage them to have a go at making their own meat-free dishes as well. 

If you’re vegan, but many of your friends and family aren’t, this can be an excellent way to show them just how easy and delicious a compassionate diet can be. 

This is a fun opportunity for social media enthusiasts to show off their cooking skills online. You can share photos of your homemade kebabs on your social media accounts and photos of any dishes you sample at restaurants. Remember to use a World Kebab Day hashtag so other kebab lovers can find your content!

If you don’t have the time or desire to organise an event, then you can simply visit your nearest What The Pitta branch and enjoy a selection of dishes from our totally plant-based menu. Check out the menu now to get your taste buds excited. 

Next year, World Kebab Day will fall on Friday, July 14th, so there’s plenty of time to plan and prepare the perfect celebration!

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