Saturday, 18 July 2009

Meat Kibbeh Akras/ Kubbeh

Kibbeh or kubbeh is a meat and bulgur mixture stuffed with cooked meat and then deep fried in oil. This is one of the most famous Labanese dish that is normally served as a starter or an appetizer. I first came across this dish during one of many Iftar (breaking of fast during the month of Ramadan) feasts that was held in our University. I fell in love with it at the first bite itself. I still remember being shocked to see a meatball which has its outer cover and inner stuffing both made of minced meat. After that I had this a couple of times when we went to Lebanese Restaurants. Kibbeh used to be on top of my list. The university Iftar used to be really grand. We used to have a buffet with loads and loads of dishes, mostly Arabic.....The buffet had different kinds of Arabic salads such as tabbouleh, fatoush and many dips such as hummus, Muthabbal, Baba ghannouj; appetizers such as kibbeh, dolma (stuffed cabbage leaves, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, rice, herbs and spices), Warak al einab (thats stuffed grape leaves), different kind of rices like kabsa, makboos, and not to mention : the heavenly desserts and pastries that includes Baklava and many many others. I never thought of making kibbeh at home, mainly because it was a new kind of dish and I never dealt with such a cooking process before. But it came out really good, the real taste that I was expecting and had in my memories and we loved it. We had it for dinner along with Pitta bread, salad and hummus and it was great. All courtesy goes to That's where I adapted this recipe from. The next day we were going out for a short break to Isle of Wight, so I packed the rest for the Brunch to take away with us. But I halved the amount mentioned in the original recipe, since I was experimenting. Here I have made it in the shape of rugby ball/oval, but you can make it into small patties or balls as you wish.

3/4 cup,150g Bulgur wheat/cracked wheat, fine
250g minced meat
50g onion (1/2 of a medium onion)
12 mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Balck pepper powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
For the Stuffing:
2 tbs vegetable/olive oil
100g, 1 medium size onion,chopped
250g minced meat
1/2 of maggi stock cube, crumbled
1/4 tsp garam masala
10 mint leaves
1 1/2 tbs almonds (blanched, peeled, chopped and toasted until golden), can use toasted pine nuts as well
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
2 green chilli chopped (Optional)
Vegetable oil for deep frying


1. Wash bulgar and drain then cover and set it aside for 1 hour.
2. Combine in a mixing bowl the prepared bulgar, minced beef, onion, mint, salt and spices. Place this mixture in a processor and process by adding just enough water (I added 10 tablespoons of water) to allow the mixture to come together and form into a coarse dough that can be shaped into balls.Cover and set in the fridge.
3. Meanwhile prepare the stuffing. For that, heat oil in a pan, add onion and cook until tender. Add the minced lamb and stir until cooked and brown in color. Add the crumbled MAGGI® chicken Bouillon cube, garam masala, almonds, mint and spices and stir to combine well and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Divide the kibbeh dough into 12-13 balls.. With wet hands take a ball and form it into an oval shape, Just like the shape of an egg. Make a space (hole) in the center by pushing your finger through from one end.. Make a hole big enough so that a teaspoon can be inserted into it. this can be done by pushing the finger into the dough several times to make the space bigger.
5. Add a teaspoonful of stuffing (cooked mixture), close by pressing firmly.
6. Fry the kibbeh in hot deep oil until golden brown.
7. Serve hot with green salad and fresh yogurt.
Recipe Courtesy:
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