Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kibbeh bel Leben (Lebanon)

What I have found interesting is the similarity between many of the Arabic foods and Latin American foods I have come across through my travels and from friends. One food I would compare to Kibbeh would be the well-known and popular "Alcapurrias" from Puerto Rico. They are almost exactly the same as Kibbeh (stuffed meat balls). To top it off, when I was in the Dominican Republic, I tried the "Kipes" which not only sounds like "Kibbeh" but it also was the same exact thing as Kibbeh.

2 cups cracked wheat

1 cup minced lamb

2 onions, grated

1 teaspoon each cumin, pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice (baharat)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Oil for frying


2 teaspoons olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

1 cup minced lamb

1 teaspoon each cumin, pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice (baharat)

1/2 teaspoon each salt and sumac

1/3 cup pine nuts

Place cracked wheat in a bowl, cover with cold water and let stand 15 minutes. Drain, squeeze to remove excess moisture. Combine with lamb, onion, spices. Mix well.

Filling: Fry pine nuts in olive oil til slightly brown, remove. Add onion to oil and fry until soft. Add lamb and spices, cook until browned. Mix with pine nuts.

Shape 1/4 cup of meat mixture into balls, then hollow out the centers using your thumb. Place rounded teaspoons of filling into the centers and close meat around it into an oval shape. Shallow fry in hot oil until browned on all sides.

I prefer these with a Yogurt sauce called "Leben" but I'm not quite sure how to make it. I've made my own version of it, but it's not quite what it should be, so I will wait until I have a better recipe for it, and then I will post it. Sorry about that.


Amy said...

If you make your own yogurt at home you can put it in a thin dishcloth and drain it to make leben, or you can buy middle eastern yogurt and do the same thing to it.

Your blog is wonderful. We share a lot of favorite foods and even the particularities of some of your recipes also reflect my preferences. I bet that I would like everything you have on here that I haven't tried yet.

Summer said...

Hello, i would like to let you know that i am going to borrow this Kibbeh photo and put it on my kibbeh video, still in the making. keep an eye on it on my blog please, i hope to post it in the next couple of weeks. thanks and have a great day

Anonymous said...

It's also very common in Brazil by the name "kibe". And I love it!

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Anonymous said...

The only similarity that it has to the alcapurria is the color and shape. Hoever, the alcapurria is made out of green bananas (guineos) and are usually stuffed with pork filling which might have garbanzo beans...

Both are awesome though!

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