Grilled Kibbeh with Thyme Goat Labneh and Walnut

Kibbeh Qrass

Kibbeh is considered as one of the national traditional Lebanese dishes. There are more than a dozen adaptations of this recipe including options for vegetarians. The one constant and main ingredient is cracked wheat (burghul / bulgur or fine ground durum wheat).

Kibbeh is almost everyone’s favorite Lebanese dish. The variety ranges from starters to main course, depending on the size and the filling or sometimes no-filling at all.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a specialty of the villages in North Lebanon, in particular Zgharta, because this recipe for many Lebanese is known as Kibbeh Zghirtaweeyeeh

Preparing this recipe for the first time might be a long and delicate process, but it is also a true art revealing the devotion put into cooking since always.

I still enjoy mixing it manually and pounding the filling with a mortar and pestle, but the ghee traditionally incorporated isn’t something my heart desires, therefore I changed the filling to a healthy version inspired from my dad’s recipe. Hope you will like it.

Ingredients

Kibbeh Bowls (Kibbeh Qrass)

  • 1kg lamb or beef ground meat
  • 3 cups fine light or dark cracked wheat (burghul), rinsed and dry
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground sweet pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Option 1- Traditional Filling

  • 2/3 cup sheep ghee
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Option 2- Maya’s Ingredients Filling

  • 150g goat labneh, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp / handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Chunks of walnut
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

      •  Vegetable oil, to brush

Extra tools

  • Plastic film
  • Small glass bowls x 6

Preparation

1.Combine kibbeh bowls ingredients to get a dough-like consistency. This can be done in a large bowl and wooden spoon or using a food processor.

2.Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

3a.Meantime prepare the filling. For option 1, combine onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. The ghee should stay solid and set aside.

3b.To make the filling option 2, pound the sesame seeds, thyme and sumac in a pestle and mortar. Spoon over crumbled labneh. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chunks of walnut if desired.

4.To form the bowls shape kibbeh, wet a plastic sheet (cling film) and place it inside a small bowl. Press the meat dough flat, 1/3 inch / 7mm thick inside to take the shape of the bowl. Repeat, wetting your hands with cold water as you work.

5.Each 2 molds will make one piece of kibbeh. Stuff one half with your preferred mixture and place it on the palm of your hand (after pulling away the plastic film), place the second half over it and seal the rims together. Brush with vegetable oil.

6a.If using the traditional filling, just spoon the onion mixture inside followed by the pieces of ghee.

6b.If using my filling, spoon the labneh mixture, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, before joining the 2 molds together.

7.Carry carefully the kibbeh bowls and bake over charcoal on both sides until cooked thoroughly. Serve with green salad.

 

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Kibbet La’teen or Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

KibbehMayaOryanDubai is calling me again and I have to travel next weekend. My trips are getting closer with time and I’m kind of used to it now, it’s in the system!

It’s actually in the entire family’s system (laughing). My mom offers her baby-sitting services before she accepts any invitation from her friends. My husband waits until I come back to travel so we don’t both leave the kids at the same time. My sisters cook always a little bit more to send it to us and my daughters have always a wish list of gifts ready for me to get them when I travel. I’m so blessed!

Thank you all for your support and for understanding how much I love what I do.

Well, everybody knows that when I’m not styling food, I’m still very busy doing everything else. I’m much more productive than every woman I know who has no job. I don’t know if it’s my energy that keeps me on the go, or simply the guilt feeling that I’ve been away from my family to work and I have to make it up for them. I exercise every day. I cook two meals (stirring in one hand and whatsApp-ing with the other). I tend to be the perfect wife, the fit mom, the present friend and the career woman.

My friend says it’s my adrenaline, I simply think I’m well organized.

It requires nothing but good planning (and love life). I don’t want one day to look back and realize that I wasted my life only dreaming.

Those beautiful pumpkin kibbeh balls are a dream coming true. Well I’d be cheating on you if I say I made them, because my mother-in-law did. And as long as she is sending it to us regularly I doubt that I will try it any soon;-)

Pumpkin kibbeh balls are more popular during Lent and among vegetarians. For those of you who’d like to adventure in the kitchen, making this recipe, it’s somehow long but worth every effort.

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • 2 tbsp frying oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, chopped
  • ½ cup chick peas
  • 200g chopped walnuts
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin (optional)

Meatballs (kibbeh)

  • ½ kg fresh pumpkin, boiled, pureed and drained in a sieve for 10 hours.
  • 1 onion, minced in a processor
  • 280g bulgur wheat
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp dried basil

Preparation

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sauté the onion until brown and soft. Add Swiss chard, chickpeas, walnut and pine nuts and fry. Turn off the heat, add seasoning, lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Process onion, pumpkin purée and bulgur wheat. Add seasoning and flour, mix and let it cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If mixture is too hard add few drops of water.
  3. Moisten your hands and form kibbeh mixture into egg-size balls. With your index finger, make a hole on one end of the oval ball and spoon one tablespoon of filling inside and pinch the end to seal.
  4. Fry the kibbeh in cooking oil in batches or if desired, roast it in oven for about 25mn.
  5. Place the kibbeh on a serving dish and serve with cucumber yogurt salad.