Lebanese Kibbeh

Kibbeh is one of my favorite Lebanese recipes. It's not the quickest dish to make but trust me it is most definitely worth it.

These are typically served as appetizers and if you are having a party you can make the kibbehs into smaller balls and serve them as finger food. When paired with baba ghanouj, a garlic-yogurt sauce, or even plain old hommus they taste fantastic!

The reason why this recipe is a bit labor intensive is that you will have to make both a crust and then a stuffing (it's not that bad once you get the hang of it). To make it easier for you, I've divided the ingredient lists respectively.

Ingredients (Crust):
1 cup ground beef
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups burghul
1 cube vegetable bullion (optional)

Ingredients (Stuffing):
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp olive oil
1 cup ground beef
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cube vegetable bullion
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Vegetable oil, to fry the kibbeh.

To make the crust:

Making the crust is very straightforward. The first thing you have to do is to put the burghul in a bowl and pour some boiling water over it (use just enough to cover the burghul). Place some tin foil over the bowl and set aside for about half an hour or until the burghul is fluffy and cooked.

When the burghul is done add it along with the rest of the crust ingredients into a food processor and process on high for a couple of minutes. You want the mixture to be of a uniform consistency -- this is very important because if it is not done well when you fry the kibbehs they will crack open and the stuffing will spill out.

Your crust is done! Now onto the stuffing...

To make the stuffing:

Turn on your stove to a medium heat and in a medium-sized saucepan heat the olive oil. Add the onion to the heated olive oil and keep stirring until they become a translucent color. Next add the garlic. Keep stirring so that the ingredients do not burn. When they are brown (and NOT burnt -- please keep an eye on them) add the beef and the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the pine nuts and raisins. Keep stirring and cook for 7-10 minutes until the meat is done. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Once the stuffing has cooled, transfer it to a bowl and mix in the pine nuts and raisins (optional)

To make the kibbehs:

Take about 2 tablespoons of the crust and make it into a small ball in your palm. Flatten it out slightly and add half a tablespoon of the stuffing into the middle of the crust. Roll the crust around the stuffing so that it covers it completely and make the kibbeh into a ball, with the edges slightly pointed. There isn't really a formula for doing this -- you can use more or less crust if you prefer -- you have to use enough for it to be firm and to hold the stuffing securely, but other than that it's all about your personal preferences. I estimated the teaspoon amounts because usually its easier to pick up the meat with your hand and you can get a better feel for it that way. You can make the kibbehs into any size you like, just make sure that the crust is smoothed out so that your kibbehs don't crack when you cook them.

Keep doing this for each kibbeh (SORRY! I know this is quite a labor-intensive recipe -- it's SO WORTH IT!)

Next, in a large frying pan, add enough vegetable oil so that when you put the kibbehs in they will be mostly covered in oil (again, this amount depends on the size you made the kibbehs). Turn your stove on to a medium heat.

When the oil is hot, slowly and CAREFULLY place the kibbehs into the oil and fry for about 7 minutes, or until it is cooked through. The kibbehs should be a brown color, but not too dark because that means it is getting burnt.

When they are done, lie them on some kitchen paper to absorb the oil.

Serve them hot.

Enjoy! :)

Makes around 12 medium-sized kibbehs.

If you liked this recipe, you should also try:

Lebanese Fetteh: A Chickpea, Bread and Yogurt Dish
Baba Ghanouj Dip
The ORIGINAL Hommus Recipe
Lebanese Tebbouleh

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  1. Those look delicious - never had them before, I will definitely try to make them.

  2. These look utterly delicious!!! yum yum,MMMMmmmm...

  3. I've never had these but I tend to like Lebanese food so I'm excited to try!

  4. I love kibbeh so much. Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe.

  5. Oh I can't wait to make these. Is burghul the same as what they put in Tabbouleh? Also, do you think these can be baked in the oven instead of fried? (I guess not, but thought I would ask.) Shrukran, ya Nirvana. ;)

  6. Nirvana, looking at the recipe I know I would love it. I can smell the cumin and coriander. I've never heard of Kibbeh before, so I'm looking forward to trying.

  7. Those would make perfect appetizers!

  8. Kibbeh has been on my list of things to try for a long time. Yours look fantastic! Maybe I'll give it a go soon. :)

  9. they look so yumm yumm yummy!!!

  10. Can you use a blender for the crust if you don't have a food processor?

  11. I made these tonight, I changed a couple of things, I doubled the recipe so I could freeze half. When i went to combine the Burgul there was so much of it I only used about half. I ended up with too much filling which I froze. Next time I will use all the Burgul. I also added about a teaspoon of allspice to the stuffing. I made the balls but didnt fry them - I baked in a moderate oven for 25 mins,

    they were really good thank you :)


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