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How to Make Kibbeh Bi Shamiyeh

Kibbeh is a dish of minced meat and bulgar wheat and takes many forms. This recipe is for the stuffed meaty “torpedos” served as part of a meze.


For the outside

300 g (10 oz) minced meat, beef is OK but lamb is best
150 g (5 oz) bulgar wheat
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

For the filling

150 g (5 oz) minced meat (see above)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Oil for frying


Place the bulgar wheat in a bowl. Add plenty of hot water and allow to soak for 20 minutes. Drain the bulgar and squeeze the excess water out of it.

Load up a food processor with the 300 g (10 oz) of meat, the coarsely chopped onion, the salt, pepper and cumin. Process to a smooth paste – this could take around 2 minutes.

Place the paste in a bowl and add in the bulgar wheat. Mix well then chill the dough in the ‘fridge for 30 minutes.

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, then put to one side.
Sauté the finely chopped onions in the olive oil over a medium heat in a pan for about 5 minutes.

Add in the meat and spices. Cook to brown the meat. Once all the pinkness has gone from the meat, turn off the heat, add in the pine nuts and allow the mixture to cool.

Take some of the dough and make a ball about the size of a golf ball and proceed to make a “pocket” for the filling. If you ever made “thumbpots” at school you will understand! Make the walls of the pocket as thin as you dare.

Use a teaspoon to fill the pocket with the filling. Press the filling down.

Now work the dough up to cover the filling. Pinch the dough closed at the top. Work into a ball, then gently work the ball into a slightly elongated shape.

Either shallow-fry the kibbeh or deep-fry at 180°C for 5 minutes until a deep brown.

Titli’s Tips
The smaller the bulgar wheat the better your kibbe will be. Fine-ground bulgar is perfect.

To squeeze the bulgar dry either press it in a sieve as I did, or place it in some muslin or cheesecloth and wring it dry.

Serve as part of a meze with a yoghurt and cucumber dip.

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