K is for kibbeh

I am excited to be a guest at Shumaila’s  the novice housewife blog today :)Shumaila is a fellow at the daring kitchen, she is a talented photographer and has a sense of humor that gets you hocked to her blog and her wonderful recipes.

Shumaila requisted a middle eastern recipe so I thought I would share my recipe for fried Kibbeh. I have already shared the recipe for baked kibbeh with and today it is time to share my all time favorite type of kibbeh.

The recipe  is my mum’s, it gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it. Mum’s recipe has a major difference from most kibbeh recipes, she doesn’t use minced meat in the shells. Using meat in the shells helps them hold together but that results in a soft kibbeh as opposed to mum’s amazing crunchy kibbeh.

For the stuffing

  • 250g beef or lamp mince
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pine nuts or almonds (optional)
  • 1 table spoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 1 small, finely chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch cinnamon, cardamom, all spice
  • Salt

For the shells

  • 250 g bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • A litre of vegetable oil
  • zest of one orange (optional)

To serve

  • Handful of chopped mint leaves
  • A lemon

To make your stuffing:

  1. In a pan or pot saute the onion in olive oil until soft.
  2. Stir in the minced meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, then, as it browns, season with salt and spices.
  3. When the meat has browned all over, and most of its water has been cooked off turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the shells

  1. Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for an hour (but no longer)
  2. Drain the water off and place the bulgur into a sieve and leave it to drain for 15 minutes
  3. Using a meat grinder grind the bulgar wheat three times until it is almost a dough.
  4. If you don’t have a meat grinder then add the bulgur gradually to the food processor and pulse until smooth. (This will take time and you’ll have to scrape down the edges repeatedly)

To make your kibbeh:

  1. Get a bowl of water and wet your hands.
  2. Take a bit more than an egg-sized chunk of shell mix and roll into a firm ball.
  3. Make a hole in the centre with your finger and work it into an elongated cavity.
  4. Place your thumb in the cavity and using your fingers pinch the walls of the shell to make them as thin as possible.

  1. Fill this with the stuffing and, keeping your hands moist, pinch closed and shape into a rough lemon shape.

  1. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  2. Heat the oil and check it’s up to temperature by dropping a bit of mix in and checking it fizzles to the surface.
  3. Deep-fry in batches of four-six, depending on the size of your pan, for about five-eight minutes each or until deep golden brown.
  4. Sit the kibbeh on some kitchen roll, then serve with the dip and salad of your choice.
  5. Strain the oil through a sieve , once cooled, return to the bottle for reuse.

Important notes:

When you stuff your first kibbeh and before finishing the rest try frying that first one. If it cracks open that means your shell dough is too dry, sprinkle with some water and knead it then make another one and fry it, if it holds together finish the rest.

The oil you fry the kibbeh in needs to be hot and stay hot, to ensure that fry the kibbeh in a small pot, in deep oil (you need it to cover the kibbeh) and only fry a few at a time (adding too many will cool the oil down which will cause the kibbeh to crack)