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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kibbeh - a Lebanese delight


We tasted kibbeh for the first time way back, many years ago, while we were staying in UK. Kibbeh as we know is a Lebanese delight. But these days you get all sorts of food in any part of the world.UK has fair share of Lebanese restaurants along with Indian restaurants as well. In Malaysia, food lover’s heaven, I haven’t explored middle-eastern restaurant here much, but I can’t rule out that possibility as well.


We really liked kibbeh, as it reminded us of our very own ‘Keema- meat mince cutlets’’. The only variation I can distinguish between both is the covering of kibbeh made with wheat bulgur and usage of pine nuts in the stuffing.
There are various versions of recipes available in net. This recipe has worked well for us. Here is how we made it.

Kibbeh Recipe
(Measurements are approx.)

  • 1 and half cups of cooked bulgur wheat (tightly pressed cups)
  • 400-500 Gms of lamb mince
  • 2 tsp of freshly grounded cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  •  1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 and half tsp of freshly grounded black pepper
  •  1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • 1 large onion
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts (optional)
  • Cooking oil for frying kibbeh


Method
Soak bulgur wheat in water for about 30-40 mints, or till they are light and fluffy. It will fluff up and swell a lot.

Prepare the covering of kibbeh

  • Divide lamb mince into two portions- one for the covering part and one for the filing. I have used more for the covering roughly about 300 Gms. Finely chop onion.
  • Add in 1tsp of cumin powder, salt, ½ tsp of garam masala and black pepper powder and half of the onion in a big mixing bowl. Now blend all the spices and half of the onion well with bulgur wheat in a blender.Add in water if it sticks. Take out the mixture.
  • Mix in minced lamb with above prepared wheat bulgur with clean hands. This will turn out like soft dough. Keep it aside for about 1 hr. It’s better to refrigerate it. We need cold dough as it helps in shaping the kibbeh.


Prepare the stuffing of kibbeh

  • Now in a separate fry pan, add in 2 tsp of oil, add in half of the finely chopped onion. Add in 1 tsp of cumin powder, salt, and ½ tsp of garam masala and 1 tsp of freshly grounded black pepper. 
  • Add in pine nuts if using it, if you don’t get pine nuts then you can use chopped cashews/almonds/walnuts. But pine nuts are the original nuts used in kibbeh recipe.
  •  Add in rest of the minced meat at this time. Gently stir/fry the mixture for about 10-12 mints or till they turn pale.
  • Take out the kibbeh dough from fridge. Divide evenly in to small balls. This much makes about 6-7 kibbeh roughly. Put the small ball in your palm.
  •  Make a hole from one side, put the stuffing inside and then seal it with wet hands. Keep a bowl of water nearby it helps. Shape the kibbeh with gentle hands. This video will be helpful in knowing the technique of shaping the kibbeh.
  • Now put a deep bottom pan/fry pan on flame, add in cooking oil and let it heat up properly. Test by dropping some cumin seeds, if it sizzles and comes on the top, oil is ready for deep frying.
  • Now put kibbeh slowly into the hot oil, fry the kibbeh for about 7-8 mints at medium flame, turning them once in a while for an even fry. Take out when all the sides are evenly browned. Drain them on kitchen towels so that it soaks up extra oil.
  • Serve it with minty yogurt dip or have it with hummus.


Note

I happen to bake them even. Instead of frying kibbeh croquettes in oil. I brushed cooking oil over them well and baked at a preheated oven for about 15-20 mints.

Happy Cooking Friends

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