Kibbeh in yogurt (Labniyeh)

labnieh fg This is one of the best (if not the best) kibbeh dishes; we grew up with it, with my grandmother patiently coring the hollow kibbeh balls and stirring the yogurt till thickened. The final kick of flavor was when the cilantro and garlic fried in oil was added to the sauce. In Lebanon, the hollow kibbeh balls are available in supermarkets and delis and this dish is considered to be “easy”. Most households I know have a stash of frozen kibbeh balls to use at the last minute for a labniyeh. 

I am going to point out some shortcuts. 

Kibbeh balls: These can be replaced with:

  1.  Frozen meatballs (supermarket)
  2. Kibbeh paste made in minutes in a food processor and shaped into meatballs with a cookie dough scooper. The bulgur and meat balls are then brushed in oil and baked for ten minutes or can be boiled for a few minutes. They can be frozen or used that day. If frozen, dump them in the yogurt sauce straight from the freezer. 

dup kibbeh balls

To make the yogurt sauce, click here

Cilantro sauce: This one can be replaced with: 

  1. A heaping tablespoon of prepared pesto (with basil or other herb). Add some olive oil and more mashed garlic to taste, and swirl into the yogurt sauce a couple of minutes before serving. Use a pesto which does not contain cheese. I used parsley this time, using the same technique as cilantro sauce. (Refer to the link)

blog labniyeh

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Terrific! These look so good.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I cannot help it. Your food makes my mouth water. I have not tried any kibbeh recipes yet. What I like about your food is that everything looks so fresh. I can only imagine how refreshing kibbeh in yoghurt must taste like.

  3. Joumana
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    @maritachicita: Thanks so much!
    @Rosa: Thanks so much dear Rosa for your unflinching love of lebanese food! :)

  4. Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    It’s been a while I haven’t had this dish.
    The way mom does it, she stirs some dried mint into the yogurt instead of the cilantro sauce.
    I’ve had it a few times with the kibbeh balls are just meat and burghul shaped into balls without any stuffing. This is best to stretch the meat for a larger number.

    I shall try your recipe with the herb sauce.

  5. Posted March 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a beautiful memory of a great meal. Love those bowls!

  6. Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    I am in love with every ingredient in this recipe… except I can’t really picture the hollow kibbeh balls… so thanks for mentioning some substitutes!

  7. Ed Habib
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    This brings we back about 30 years when I hung around with my friends in the syrian/lebanese section of town. Many of the Sitto’s in the neighborhood (I had many Sitto’s) would call us over to their house for food they had made.Mrs. David (God blessed that womans hands- she could cook) would make this often for us and I can taste it now in my memory. I will be making this as soon as the Easter fast is over. Thanks for the memory

  8. Posted March 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    So not kosher but I don’t care because I love dishes like this, love yogurt sauce. And mmm cilantro and fried garlic. I do want to try something like this. You have inspired me.

  9. marlene sayegh
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Hello joumana ! Hope you’re doing good! Just love this recipe ; my grandmother used to make it.do y ou have a recipe for kaak el chaanine? My friend’s mother used to make but she’s out of town now .it would be son nice to make it at home… have a great day

  10. Joumana
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    @marlene: do you mean the kaak bel-haleeb? or the urbane? I am going to make kaak bel-haleeb next week and I already posted on the urbane. If it is neither, tell me more about it and I will research it and try to get you a recipe.:)
    http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2010/01/qurban-holy-bread/

  11. marlene sayegh
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    hello it’s me again. thanks for replying :)
    it’s not kurban. I remember that it contains milk , mastic , mahlab and groud anise . it’s round , almost flat ( 1centimeter or so ), soft but not chewy . and I believe it’s popular in beirut . thank you for your kindness.
    i asked you once about a mana2ich recipe مناقيش بطحين الحمص and you told me that you were going to check a book and ask some relatives. have you anything?
    thank you so much for your efforts.

  12. marlene sayegh
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    have you found anything *

  13. Joumana
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    @marlene: I did ask and found out this type of flour is made in the Bekaa and my neighborhood grocer promised he’d get me some from his home village; in the meantime, I will ask tomorrow a friend who owned a man’ooshe furn in Beirut for years. As for the book, it is called Man’ooshé by Barbara Massaad; I believe she has a facebook page and you could ask her directly, I am sure she would have an answer for you! :)

  14. marlene sayegh
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    i just ordered the book on amazon . i hope to find the original recipe of these mana2ich , i haven’t had them for decades . and i will send misses barbara a message tomorrow and i will let you know . so you’re going to get some flour , lucky you! if it happens that you get the recipe please post it here , i’ll be waiting . i appreciate your efforts , thank you ! have a good night sleep :)

  15. Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I think I need to make some kibbeh and freeze them so that I can make this dish on a whim. Looks FABULOUS!

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