Lamb kibbeh is an amazing dish from the Middle East, very common in Armenia, Syria, and Lebanon. Some compare it to meatballs, and some others think that they are more similar to croquettes. However, none of those comparisons do it justice, the kibbeh is so much better. Although there are many variations, in general, kibbeh contains bulgur, beef or lamb, vegetables, and spices. Regarding the cooking method, it can be fried or baked.
This is the type of dish that even children love, and preparing it is not as difficult as it sounds.
How is the Lamb Kibbeh prepared?
The kibbeh is mainly made up of bulgur and lamb. More specifically, to prepare this kibbeh recipe, you will need bulgur, lamb, onion, pine nuts, wheat flour, oil, and spices. The first thing you should do is cook the bulgur in boiling water, seasoned with parsley and salt. It is very important to ensure that the bulgur is very soft. After cooking, you have to drain the excess water and let it rest until it is warm or cold, and it is possible to manipulate it. While the bulgur is cooling, chop the lamb into tiny pieces. If you can get ground lamb from your butcher shop, it's so much better. Then the chives, onion, and garlic are sautéed with the seasonings. Immediately add half of the lamb, and cook as well. This will be the filling. The rest of the raw lamb is kneaded together with the bulgur to form the balls that will be the outer part of the kibbeh. Later, with the bulgur and lamb dough, make some medium balls. These balls should have a hole in the center. That hole will be filled with the stir-fried lamb, as well as pine nuts and other spices. Then, very carefully, you have to close that hole and give the kibbeh the characteristic oval shape. Once you have finished sealing, you will pass each unit through wheat flour so that they do not stick. You heat the pan with a little oil, and you start to fry each one, constantly turning. When everything is cooked, you place it wrapped in a kitchen cloth and put it on the table; the cloth will help retain heat.
Kibbeh types by countries
The kibbeh has become known in many western countries, where today it is prepared according to the tradition of each region. Kibbeh is served at social gatherings, and is also sold in food stores; sometimes they sell it raw to cook it at home. Each country has its way of calling it and its peculiarity when preparing it. For example, in Colombia, they call it quibbe, and some of its characteristics are that they prepare it fried and with ground meat inside.
As a counterpart, in the Dominican Republic, they call it quipe, and they generally fill it with chicken and raisins. In Argentina it is cooked in the oven, with meat, olives, and cheese; and it is called kippi. In Bolivia, they prepare it in a very similar way to Argentina, but they call it Kepy. In Mexico, they call it kepe, with the peculiarity that they fill it with cabbage salad.
Best Seasonings for Lamb Kibbeh
Any seasoning can be used to make the kibbeh, depending on the taste of your palate. But to make life easier, you can season with a little cumin and salt. However, if you want to prepare the lamb kibbeh in all its rigor, it is better to make the mixture of spices known as "fulful bhar". Fulful bhar contains white pepper, allspice, hot paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander.
Ways to eat Kibbeh
In many countries, kibbeh is consumed as a snack at social gatherings. But this dish has also been present in the homes of many of the families outside the Arab countries. That is why every day more consumers prefer this recipe. In some places, they serve it in the middle of the afternoon, and they accompany it with their respective drink. In other places, they serve it with rice, and they even put a little yogurt on it; But there is no essential rule for tasting kibbeh.
It is very common to accompany it with pita bread, and other mezzes.