Kebbe labanieh

Moushira Abdel-Malek , Tuesday 19 Apr 2022

Kebbe labanieh
Kebbe labanieh

Serves 4-6



1/4 kg ground minced beef

1/4 kg bulgur 

1 medium-sized onion (chopped)

1/2 cup cooked minced meat

2 tbsp pine nuts; panfried golden, (optional)

750 ml natural whole milk yoghurt

220 ml fermented buttermilk (rayeb)

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp minced garlic (extra)

2 chicken bouillon

1 tbsp cornflour

Corn or sunflower oil for deep frying

20 gm butter + 1 tsp oil (extra)

1 tsp dried ground coriander

1 tsp dried mint leaves (crushed)

Salt + pepper + 7 spices + ground cinnamon



In a deep container, wash bulgur under running tap water; until water comes out clear.  Soak in clean water for minimum one to two hours.  Rinse, drain completely by taking handfuls in your hand; squeeze hard and place in a clean bowl.  Combine with minced meat, chopped onion and season with salt to taste, pepper, 7 spices and ground cinnamon.  Mix by hand to combine all ingredients.  Blend in a food processor; in batches, turning mixture into a thick blend.  Remove from food processor.  Place in a bowl.  Knead with an ice cube in the palm of your hand, until it totally melts within the blend.  Shape into small balls.  Indent by thumb; making a hole.  Fill the hole with less than half a teaspoonful of combined cooked minced meat and fried pine nuts.  Close hole by bringing ends of ball together; forming a rather egg-shaped ball.  Continue forming balls until whole quantity of both ingredients is finished.  In a cooking pan; combine yoghurt, buttermilk, corn flour, extra garlic, bouillon and a pinch of salt.  Leave aside to fry kebbe:  Add enough corn oil in a medium pan and deep fry kebbe balls to lightly brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon on kitchen paper towels.  Now place the yoghurt mixture pan on medium heat.  Stir constantly until you reach a boiling point.  Add fried balls to pan; uncovered.  Bring to the boil.  Remove away from heat.  Meanwhile, add the butter and extra oil to a small frying pan; together with the minced garlic.  Place pan over medium heat.  Stir until garlic starts changing colour, then stir in coriander and crushed mint.  Moments and contents will become fragrant.  Remove away from heat and stir into boiling yoghurt mixture.  Stir once and remove away from heat.  Cover and leave to absorb and thicken for a few minutes before serving.  Serve with fluffed rice around or aside.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 21 April, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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