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The word “kibbeh” comes from the Arabic word for ball, and these small filled parcels of ground meat can be found throughout the area known as The Levant, which includes countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. 

You can, as I have done here, make them to serve as an entrée, but they work equally well when made into a small canapé.

Simon Majumdar's Kibbeh Recipe

Kibbeh Recipe

(Serves 6-8  depending on what size you'd like to make them)



For the Kibbeh


  • 1 lb of Ground Beef or Lamb

  • 1 Cup Fine Bulgur Wheat

  • 1/4 Cup Dried Mint

  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/2 Tsp Salt (more to taste)

  • ½ Tsp Allspice

  • 1 Cups Boiling Water

  • Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying



For the Filling


  • 1 lb of Ground Beef or Lamb

  • 1 White Onion (finely chopped)

  • ¼ Cup Pine Nuts

  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 Tsp Salt (more to taste)

  • ½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • ½ Tsp Allspice

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil





  • Add the boiling water to the Bulgur wheat and allow to stand for 20 minutes.

  • Place the ground beef in a bowl and add the salt, allspice, cumin, mint and pepper.

  • After 20 minutes, add half the Bulgur to the meat along with a couple of tablespoons of water.

  • Use your hands to combine the meat and wheat thoroughly.

  • Add the rest of the wheat and combine well.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

  • While this is resting, add the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and bring to heat.

  • Add the chopped onion and cook until golden

  • Add the ground beef and the allspice, pepper, salt and cumin.

  • Combine well and cook on a gentle heat until the meat is cooked thoroughly.

  • To form the Kibbeh, set out your filling, your meat & Bulgur wheat, and a bowl of water.

  • Take a palm sized piece of the meat/Bulgur mix and form a ball.

  • Make an indentation in the ball and fill with a teaspoon of the filling.

  • Close the ball around the filling and roll in your hands until you get the classic kibbeh shape. This takes a bit of practice, but you will soon get the hang of it.

  • Place the kibbeh on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill for an hour.

  • When ready to cook, fill a pan with about 1 inch of vegetable oil and bring to frying temperature.

  • Fry the kibbeh for about 2 minutes a side until they are golden brown all over.

  • Place in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for a further 5 minutes until the kibbeh are cooked through

  • Serve with Tabbouleh, Hummus and Labneh.


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