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Place of origin
Place of origin
Kibbeh or kibbe (also kubbeh, kebbah or kubbi) (Arabic: كبة) is an Levantine dish made of bulghur (cracked wheat), minced onions and finely ground lean beef, lamb, goat or camel meat. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth. Kibbeh is considered to be the national dish of Lebanon.
Kibbeh is a popular dish in Levantine cuisine. It is very popular in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Syria. It is also found in Israel, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt (where it is called kebbah or koubeiba), Cyprus (where it is called koupes), the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey (where it is called içli köfte), and several Latin American nations which received part of the Lebanese and Syrian diaspora during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico.
The Arabic word kubbah means "ball". Various transliterations of the name are used in different countries: in English, kibbe and kibbeh and in Latin America, quibe, kibe, or quipe (Argentina). Other names for the dish derive either from the Persian word کوفته kofteh (literally "ground [meat]"), such as the Turkish içli köfte.
"Kibbeh Raas" One variety of kibbeh is a 7-to-15-cm oblong bulghur shell shaped like an American football, stuffed with a filling of spiced, minced lamb and fried until brown. British soldiers in the Middle East during the Second World War used to call these kibbeh "Syrian torpedoes". It is similar in concept to the Sicilian arancini.
In Levantine cuisine, a variety of dishes made with bulghur (cracked wheat) and minced lamb are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab) is famous for having more than 17 different types. These include kibbeh prepared with sumac (kibbe sumāqiyye), yogurt (kibbe labaniyye), quince (kibbe safarjaliyye), lemon juice (kibbe ḥāmḍa), pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the "disk" kibbeh (kibbe arāṣ), the "plate" kibbeh (kibbe biṣfīḥa or kibbe bṣēniyye) and the raw kibbeh (kibbeh nayyeh).
Kubbat Halab is an Iraqi version of kibbeh made with a rice crust and named after Aleppo. Kubbat Mosul, also Iraqi, is flat and round like a disc. Kubbat Shorba is an Iraqi-Kurdish version made as a stew, usually with tomato sauce and spices. It is often accompanied by arak and various salads. Kibbeh is sometimes served with a tahini dip. Brazilians, though, tend to add shoyu (Japanese fermented soy sauce), aside sometimes raw garlic, worcester or red chilli pepper sauces, directly from their bottles.
Kibbeh can also be a mixture of chopped meat (lamb or beef), burghul (burghul wheat), onion, mint and spices pressed into a flat baking pan. Then it is scored with a knife into diamond shapes about one or two inches in length, topped with pine nuts (snobar) or almond slivers and butter, then baked in the oven until done. Alternatively this dish may consist of two layers of meat/wheat mixture baked with a ground meat/onion/pine nut mix (hushwi) in between, known as kibbe bsiniye.
In Israel, Kubbeh matfuniya and kubbeh hamusta are staples of Iraqi-Jewish cooking. Kubbeh soup, served in many oriental grill restaurants in Israel, is described as a rich broth with meat-stuffed dumplings and vegetables.
A Syrian soup known as kubbi kishk consists of kubbi "torpedoes" or "footballs" in a yogurt (kishk) and butter broth with stewed cabbage leaves.
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