Kibbeh is famous for being the typical dish of Lebanon. Although also in Syria and Iraq it is considered an important exponent of the gastronomy of these nations. Its name derives from the Arabic word "Kubbeh" which means "ball". Indeed, the words kibbeh, kibbe, kebbah, kubbeh, kubbah, or kubbi are used to refer to a croquette stuffed with minced meat, made with bulgur wheat, semolina, vegetables, and spices.

The meats most used to prepare kibbeh are lamb, as in our recipe. And secondly, veal. Although there are some more recent versions made with turkey or chicken. Lebanon's traditional kibbeh is made primarily from lamb meat.

Although it may seem like a simple recipe, it has its complexity and technique. If you want to learn how to kibbeh like an expert, read on.

The traditional filling is prepared with lamb meat, a mixture of aromatic herbs, nuts (raisins, prunes, apricots), and pine nuts or almonds.

How is the Kibbeh made?

Kibbeh, in culinary terms, is a stuffed croquette. To make the crust of the Kibbeh, the wheat is hydrated, and vigorously kneaded with well-ground lamb meat and spices. When the dough has a perfect consistency, a sphere is formed, and carefully a hole is made in the center. This is done by turning the dough in your hand and shaping the cavity at the same time. This hollow crust is stuffed with meat stew and fried by dipping it in oil.

The most important thing to obtaining the perfect texture of the Kibbeh is to grind the meat, a minimum of two times. If the meat is not fine enough, the kibbeh may break apart, expelling its filling as it fries.

Kibbeh Cooking Methods

Although we already mentioned that kibbeh is cooked mainly fried, there are other cooking methods for this dish. Naturally, the fried version is crispier and more puffed, but if you want a healthier cooking method, you can also opt for an air fryer, baking, and even grilling with a little oil.

Another less frequent option is to cook it in the sauce as in Kurdistan, where they cook the kibbeh in tamarind or tomato broth.

Spices for Kibbeh

Cumin is essential. In fact, cumin is added to both the crust and the filling. Other spice options are the so-called seven spices. And there are even some countries where you can find “Seasoning for Kibbeh”.


If you do not have the 7-Spice seasoning, since it is a mixture of spices from the Middle East and is not always available in the supermarket. You can make your own spice mix for homemade Kibbeh. You should only mix the following spices in a coffee grinder: black pepper, allspice, white pepper, dried fenugreek (if you can't find it, you can use coriander), cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you want, you can do a little more and store it in a dry glass jar for about three months.

So, let's make Kibbeh at home:


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published