Guest Post by the Chef in Disguise: Kibbeh

by Shumaila

This post was supposed to go live a few days back, but since I was out of town and busy attending my friends’ weddings, the post got delayed.

As mentioned previously, I had asked a few blogger friends to help me out to keep this blog a little active while I am away on vacation. The first blogger friend to help me out was Ameena from Fancy That…Fancy This with her mouth watering Mango Tandoori Chicken Pizza. Few days back, Jane from the Heritage Cook shared a fantastic coconut layer cake recipe. Today, its Sawsan from the blog Chef in Disguise.

If you are part of the Daring Kitchen group, I am sure you have heard her name plenty times. My first Daring Bakers’ challenge was her first too and it was a prized challenge, where she got a truly deserved second place.

Sawsan makes lovely middle eastern food (well, actually everything that she makes looks and sounds great). And I love middle eastern cuisine. So when I asked her to guest post for my blog, I requested her to share something that is native to her.

Over to Sawsan and her fabulous dish.

I am excited to be a guest at Shumaila’s the novice housewife blog today :).

Shumaila is a fellow at the daring kitchen, she is a talented photographer and has a sense of humor that gets you hooked to her blog and her wonderful recipes.

Shumaila requested a middle eastern recipe so I thought I would share my recipe for Kibbeh or Kubbeh which is a very famous Levantine dish. There are many types of kibbeh, Aleppo in Syria is famous for having over 17 types of it! These include kibbeh prepared with sumac, yogurt, quince, lemon juice, pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the disk kibbeh, the plate kibbeh and the raw kibbeh .

Today I am sharing the most famous types of Kibbeh which are the fried Kibbeh (morsels of bulgur filled with minces meat). The recipe I am sharing today is my mum’s recipe which get rave reviews from everyone who tries it. Mum’s recipe has a major difference from most kibbeh recipes, she doesn’t use minced meat in the shells. Using meat in the shells helps them hold together but that results in a soft kibbeh as opposed to mum’s amazing crunchy kibbeh.

For the stuffing

  • 250g beef or lamp mince
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pine nuts or almonds (optional)
  • 1 table spoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 1 small, finely chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch cinnamon, cardamom, all spice
  • Salt

For the shells

  • 250 g bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • A litre of vegetable oil
  • zest of one orange (optional)

To serve

  • Handful of chopped mint leaves
  • A lemon

To make your stuffing:

  1. In a pan or pot saute the onion in olive oil until soft.
  2. Stir in the minced meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, then, as it browns, season with salt and spices.
  3. When the meat has browned all over, and most of its water has been cooked off turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the shells

  1. Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for an hour (but no longer)
  2. Drain the water off and place the bulgur into a sieve and leave it to drain for 15 minutes
  3. Using a meat grinder grind the bulgar wheat three times until it is almost a dough.
  4. If you don’t have a meat grinder then add the bulgur gradually to the food processor and pulse until smooth. (This will take time and you’ll have to scrape down the edges repeatedly)

To make your kibbeh:

  1. Get a bowl of water and wet your hands.
  2. Take a bit more than an egg-sized chunk of shell mix and roll into a firm ball.
  3. Make a hole in the centre with your finger and work it into an elongated cavity.
  4. Place your thumb in the cavity and using your fingers pinch the walls of the shell to make them as thin as possible.

  1. Fill this with the stuffing and, keeping your hands moist, pinch closed and shape into a rough lemon shape.

  1. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  2. Heat the oil and check it’s up to temperature by dropping a bit of mix in and checking it fizzles to the surface.
  3. Deep-fry in batches of four-six, depending on the size of your pan, for about five-eight minutes each or until deep golden brown.
  4. Sit the kibbeh on some kitchen roll, then serve with the dip and salad of your choice.
  5. Strain the oil through a sieve , once cooled, return to the bottle for reuse.


When you stuff your first kibbeh and before finishing the rest try frying that first one. If it cracks open that means your shell dough is too dry, sprinkle with some water and knead it then make another one and fry it, if it holds together finish the rest.

The oil you fry the kibbeh in needs to be hot and stay hot, to ensure that fry the kibbeh in a small pot, in deep oil (you need it to cover the kibbeh) and only fry a few at a time (adding too many will cool the oil down which will cause the kibbeh to crack)