Difference Wiki

Kebab vs. Falafel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 11, 2023
"Kebab" is a dish of skewered and grilled meats, while "falafel" is a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas or fava beans.

Key Differences

"Kebab" typically references dishes primarily composed of skewered and grilled or roasted meats. These meats, often marinated, are cooked on skewers, sometimes with vegetables interspersed. The concept of the kebab is widespread, with variations existing in many cultures, from the Mediterranean to Asia.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
In contrast, "falafel" is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. These ground legumes are mixed with herbs, spices, and onions, then shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, falafel is often served in pita bread or with tahini sauce.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
The universality of "kebab" means its preparation and ingredients vary by region. For instance, in the US, one might encounter "shish kebab" with diced meat and vegetables, while in Turkey, "döner kebab" made of sliced meat served in bread is common.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
"Falafel," while having regional variations, generally maintains its core ingredient of ground legumes. It is regarded as a vegetarian or vegan dish, making it a staple in many vegetarian diets and eateries. The taste and texture of falafel make it a favorite even among non-vegetarians.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023
In essence, while "kebab" is centered around grilled meats on skewers, "falafel" is a vegetarian delicacy made of deep-fried ground legumes, each representing distinct culinary traditions.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Basic Ingredient

Meat (like lamb, beef, chicken)
Ground chickpeas or fava beans
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Cooking Method

Grilled or roasted on skewers
Deep-fried
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Typical Region

Widespread, from the Mediterranean to Asia
Primarily Middle Eastern
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Dietary Consideration

Non-vegetarian
Vegetarian or vegan
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Presentation

Often served with sauces, in bread, or with rice
Typically served in pita or with tahini sauce
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023
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Kebab and Falafel Definitions

Kebab

A popular street food in many cultures, often served in bread.
I bought a kebab wrap from the vendor.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Falafel

A deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans.
I love falafel in a pita pocket.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Kebab

A culinary tradition of cooking meats on skewers, with regional variations.
The Turkish döner kebab is different from the Persian kebab.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Falafel

Ground legumes mixed with herbs and spices, then deep-fried.
The falafel had a perfect blend of spices.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Kebab

Sliced or diced meats cooked on skewers.
The beef kebab melted in my mouth.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Falafel

A popular street food, especially in Middle Eastern countries.
Street vendors had the best falafel in town.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Kebab

A dish of skewered and grilled or roasted meats.
We had lamb kebab for dinner.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Falafel

A Middle Eastern dish of spiced legume balls or patties.
Falafel with tahini sauce is delicious.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 11, 2023

Kebab

Shish kebab.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

A vegetarian or vegan dish often used as a meat substitute.
I ordered falafel since I'm vegetarian.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Kebab

(British) A dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted on a skewer or spit, especially a doner kebab.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

A mixture of ground spiced chickpeas or fava beans that is shaped into balls and deep-fried.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

(AU) A hand-held dish consisting of pieces of meat roasted on an upright skewer mixed with fresh vegetables and sauces and rolled up in a round piece of unleavened bread.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

A fried ball made of such a mixture.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

(US) A shish kebab or any other food on a skewer.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

A sandwich filled with such balls.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

A restaurant that sells kebabs
Let's go to the kebab after the club.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

(uncountable) A Middle Eastern food in the form of balls made from chickpeas or broad beans and other ingredients. Often served in a pita.
There's a stall at the market that sells fantastic falafel.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

(chemistry) The outward growing portions of a shish kebab structure.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

(countable) A pita with falafel balls inside (like a sandwich or a wrap).
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

A Muslim, usually of southern European, Middle Eastern, or North African descent.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

(countable) A single falafel ball.
The stallholder puts salad into an open pita bread, followed by the four falafels, and then liberally covers them with hummus.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

The vulva.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Falafel

Small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with sesame seeds
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

(GUI) menu icon of three vertical dots
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

(transitive) To roast in the style of a kebab
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

To stab or skewer
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

See kabab and kabob.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 08, 2023

Kebab

Meat marinated and cooked on skewers, often with vegetables.
The chicken kebab was seasoned perfectly.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

FAQs

Is "falafel" considered healthy?

"Falafel" is nutrient-rich, but its healthiness depends on preparation, especially frying.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Are kebabs spicy?

Kebabs can be mild or spicy, depending on the marinade and region.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Can "kebab" be made with fish?

Yes, some regions have fish or seafood kebabs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Is "kebab" always made of meat?

While traditionally made of meat, there are vegetarian kebab variations.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can "kebab" be oven-cooked?

Yes, while traditionally grilled, kebabs can be oven-cooked or pan-fried.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

What's the main ingredient in "falafel"?

The primary ingredient is usually chickpeas or fava beans.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

How is "falafel" usually served?

It's often served in pita bread, with salads, or with tahini sauce.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Are there gluten-free "falafel" options?

Yes, many falafels are naturally gluten-free, but always
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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