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Spice in shakers at Kebab restaurants?

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Does anyone know the name of the spice that you shake on your Kebab dish? Someone told me it is made of ground raisins among other ingredients. I would like to add it to my kitchen and hope I can find it in an Asian market (if I know the name!)... many thanks...

ps- if you'd like to add your favorite NoVa Kebab restaurant please do. Initially I really liked Food Corner in Tysons, but it has kind of worn off now.

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  1. Sumac.

    1. Hmm. You could be talking about sumac (ground-up, purple-ish, a little sour and lemony), which is usually in a shaker at Persian kabob places (I havent been to Food Corner). You can get that at a Persian store like Iransara, Yas Bakery, or that one near Tyco Rd. in Tysons who's name slips my mind. If you just want a tiny bottle you can get that at Penzeys spices in Falls Church.

      I havent had a GREAT kabob in awhile--Persian, Pakistani, Afghan or othwerwise. Places seem more inconsistent now. Rose Cafe, Amoos, Ravi, and Kabob Bazaar can be good. Other often-recommended places that I've not been to are Kabob Palace, Kabob n Karahi (thats in MD), and Kabul Kabob House.

      I still say the best kabobs in the area were the ones at Moby Dick in McLean for the first few years it was open, when the originial owner had his hands in on everything. Awesome joojeh kabob, rice, and bread. Now its all different and merely good, not great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CoconutMilk

        Indeed it is Sumac. I googled it and that's exactly it... ground up berries and it is a purplish kind of color. Thank you both.

        I've got a hankering to try grilling lamb kebabs Afghan style and want to have the right spices. And rice.. now I am looking for that long grain rice that they serve in Kebab places.

        1. re: CoconutMilk

          It's hard to do better than Food Corner. They are quite focused.