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Are you ready to embark on a flavorful journey through Middle Eastern cuisine? Kibbeh, a cherished dish throughout the region, beckons you with its tantalizing blend of spices and textures. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of creating this exquisite dish, allowing you to savor the rich flavors of the Middle East from your own kitchen.
What is Kibbeh?
Kibbeh, also spelled as kibbe or kubbeh, is a traditional Middle Eastern dish made primarily from ground meat, cracked wheat (burghul), and a medley of aromatic spices. This versatile delight can be prepared in various forms, such as fried croquettes, stuffed dumplings, or even baked in a casserole. Regardless of the presentation, one thing remains constant—Kibbeh is a savory masterpiece.
For the Kibbeh Shell:
1 cup fine-ground bulgur wheat
1 pound ground lamb, beef, or a mixture of both
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Kibbeh Filling (Optional):
1/2 pound ground lamb or beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the Bulgur Wheat:
Rinse the bulgur wheat in cold water and drain well. Soak it in ice-cold water for about 10 minutes until it softens. Then, squeeze out any excess water.
2. Make the Kibbeh Shell:
In a food processor, combine the drained bulgur wheat, ground meat, finely chopped onion, ground cumin, ground allspice, salt, and pepper. Blend until you achieve a smooth, dough-like consistency. If the mixture seems too dry, add a tablespoon of ice-cold water at a time until it becomes pliable.
3. Prepare the Filling (Optional):
If you wish to add a filling, sauté the finely chopped onion in a pan until translucent. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Stir in ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. If desired, add pine nuts and cook until they are lightly toasted.
4. Shape the Kibbeh:
Wet your hands and take a small portion of the kibbeh dough, shaping it into a flat, oval shape. If using a filling, make an indentation in the center and place a teaspoon of the filling inside. Encase the filling with the kibbeh dough, shaping it into a torpedo-like or oval shape.
5. Fry or Bake:
You can choose to fry the kibbeh in hot oil until they turn golden brown and crispy or bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are cooked through and lightly browned.
6. Serve and Enjoy:
Arrange the kibbeh on a platter and serve them hot with tahini sauce, a squeeze of lemon, or your favorite Middle Eastern dipping sauce.
The Delights of Kibbeh:
Kibbeh is a testament to the artistry of Middle Eastern cuisine. Its delectable combination of ground meat, spices, and bulgur wheat creates a harmony of flavors and textures that's truly unforgettable. Whether you're savoring it as a snack, appetizer, or main course, Kibbeh promises a taste of the Middle East that's nothing short of sensational.