United Arab Emirates – Kibbeh

by Adelina Aida

This is a dish in which meat is mixed with wheat and having some spices, vegetables, some filling can be added and then shaped into any shape to deep fry them. This is like a unique concept of Croquettes of Middle East Cuisine. There are also different methods used to cook them like steam, stir, roast, grill, layering, etc.

It is considered as national dish of SYRIA and LEBANON.

Sometimes this is made by adding rice, wheat flour, semolina, etc. This dish has all the healthy ingredients having all the nutrients and vitamins like meat especially beef, wheat, oats, rice, vegetables and herbs, spices, etc.

This dish is very popular in Middle east like :

  1. Jordan
  2. Israel
  3. Lebanon
  4. Syria
  5. Cyprus

Many other countries having variant of the some dish like :

  1. Egypt
  2. Iraq
  3. Iran
  4. Turkey
  5. Armenia
  6. Persia
  7. Latin America.


This word is derived from Classic Arabic Word KUBBAH, which means ball or dome. This word KIBBEH is from Levantine Arabic also known as KIBBE OR KABBI.

Different names of the same dish :

  1. Kubbah
  2. Kibbeh
  3. Kibbe
  4. Kibe
  5. Kabbhi


This dish has four main components, that add up together and form a nice dish. This is shaped round or dome. It is also the fifth component sometimes added into the croquettes as a filling and stuffing.


This dish has the main and foremost element is meat. Meat nowadays can be of any kind is used as chicken and seafood but the traditional and most used meat is beef. In the Middle East, camel meat and beef are very commonly used. So for the first time, this dish is made up of beef. But now because of the evolution and variations, this is cooked in the chicken mince and loved by people. Chicken is used in Kibbeh and it resembled more like chicken nuggets but different from authentic chicken nuggets flavors.

Kibbeh can be made up of following meat:

  1. Beef mince
  2. Chicken
  3. Mutton
  4. Fish
  5. Seafood
  6. Camel


The second most important component of the dish is some sort of grains but obviously in the grounded form. Grain like wheat, rice, oats is used to get the texture of the dish, to enhance the flavors, and binding of mince together to form a proper shape.

Grains can be added in powdered form like :

  1. Wheat flour
  2. Rice flour
  3. Oats flour
  4. Corn flour
  5. Semolina
  6. Farina wheat flour
  7. Bulgur wheat


Bulgur wheat is very commonly used grain flour in Kibbeh. Bulgur is a cereal food made up of PARBOILED GROATS. It is a specie of DURUM WHEAT. It is recognized as Whole grain, full of nutrients and having nutty flavor.


Vegetable are very important element of any croquettes to add crunchiness and kick of flavors. To add nice color and aroma. Many vegetable are used uncooked and some can be cooked and used.

Uncooked vegetables added to croquettes are :

  1. Onions
  2. Scallions
  3. Carrots
  4. Capsicum
  5. Bell peppers

Cooked vegetables are :

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Potato
  3. spinach
  4. peas
  5. Shiitake


There are many different types of stuffing used in kibbeh to enhance the flavor.

  1. Tofu
  2. Cheese
  3. Spyabean curd
  4. Vegetable fillings
  5. Potato filling
  6. Grains filling
  7. Nuts filling



Kibbeh summaqiya is prepared by adding SUMAC to kibbeh.


Kibbeh labanniye is a dish in which hung curd or soyabean curd is added inside the meat.


Kibbeh Hamda has the main special element that is LEMON.


The use of QUINCE in this dish as the main factor. Quince is the member of CYDONIA.


Kibbeh are mostly round balls or some have dome shape.


  1. Beef fine mince = 250 grams
  2. Bulgur wheat flour = 500 grams
  3. Corn flour = 6 tablespoons
  4. Vegetable oil = for frying

Kibbeh 9 spice mix

  1. Cumin seeds = 2 tablespoons
  2. Dried basil leaves = 2 tablespoons
  3. Dried rose petals = 2 tablespoons
  4. Dried mint = 4 tablespoons
  5. salt = 1 tablespoon
  6. Cayenne powder = 2 tablespoons
  7. Dried marjoram = 2 tablespoons
  8. Cinnamon = 1 teaspoon
  9. Paprika = 1 tablespoons


  1. Onion chopped = 2
  2. Peas cooked = 1/2 cup
  3. Corn = 1/2 cup
  4. Mushrooms = 1/2 cup


  1. Tofu =1 cup
  2. Soybean curd = 1 cup


  1. Take beef mince and add bulgur wheat, all the spices, and mix well.
  2. Add this meat mixture into a blender. This makes the beef mixture to mix properly and make it unanimous.
  3. Now chop up the vegetables and add to the beef mixture.
  4. Mix the beef with vegetables until they get proper smoothness and texture.
  5. Now make a small ball of mince and make a groove into it. like shown in the picture
  1. Add a piece of tofu into half of the balls and add a spoon of curd into half of the balls.
  2. Now add oil and heat up for frying.
  3. Add balls into oil and cook on low heat to maintain the softness intact and crispy outside.
  4. Serve and enjoy.
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