Kibbeh (Fried Meat Croquettes)


Kibbeh is a levantine dish made of bulghur, minced onions and ground red meat. The recipe below shows you how to make the best-known variety:  a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. There are however many different varieties of kibbeh dishes, each region or city often has its own famous kibbeh recipe.

The northern Syrian city of Aleppo is famous for having more than 17 different types. These include kibbeh cooked in yoghurt (Kibbeh Labaniyyeh) and other varieties of the dish, such as the ‘disk’ kibbeh (Kibbeh Qras), the ‘tray’ kibbeh (Kibbeh Bil Saniyyeh) and the raw kibbeh (Kibbeh Nayyeh).

Fried Kibbeh is both served on festive occasions and as part of everyday meals. It can be served as an appetizer or as part of a mazza with tabouleh. As part of the main meal Fried Kibbeh can be served with fried potato and salad, or together with lentil soup to make a starter, or as a side dish next  to for example Kibbeh Labaniyyeh.

Kibbeh (Fried Meat Croquettes)Prep time: 40 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 50 minsKibbeh (Fried Meat Croquettes)


  • 1 lb Habra
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1/2 lb bulghur cracked wheat, medium
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1.5 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Oil for frying

  1. Preparation of outer layer dough
    In a medium bowl, soak wheat for 30 minutes in cold water. Remove and drain. Remove excess water by squeezing through thick paper towel or cheesecloth.
  2. Place bulghur into medium bowl and combine with 1 lb. Habra, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix well using your hands.
  3. Prepare Kibbeh Stuffing
    In a medium frying pan, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add pine nuts if desired. Add ground lamb or beef and chop well with wooden spoon or spatula to ensure the meat is chopped.
  4. Add allspice, salt, pepper, and cumin.
  5. Once beef is light brown, remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Assemble Kibbeh and Fry
    Take an egg sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, making a space for filling.
  7. Add filling and pinch the top to seal the ball. You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, or leave as a ball.
  8. Fry in 350 degree oil on stove top or in deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serving size: 25 medium sized

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