Kibbé with a pomegranate and garlic sauce

September 13, 2009  •  Category:


This is one of many variations of kibbes, this one hailing from Syria. This one is perfect for a buffet, can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature and is characterized by the taste of pomegranate molasses and garlic.

This recipe was taken from الطبخ ا لعربي خطوه خطوه    لينه بسام شبارو

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 35 kibbe balls.

  • 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef (if you can, ask the butcher to grind a piece of meat four times)
  • 1 cup of bulghur #1 (fine) or 6 ounces
  • 2 medium onion ( 3 ounces each or one large, to be divided)
  • Spices: a pinch of fresh marjoram, minced , allspice, cinnamon, black or white pepper, paprika, 7 spice mix, salt to taste
  • 1/2 pound of ground lamb, not lean
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of oil or butter or ghee
  • 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup  of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of water


Make the stuffing: This can be done the day before or longer and even frozen and thawed.

  1. Brown the lamb, breaking the larger pieces with two spoons to get them smaller and suitable for stuffing.
  2. Once the lamb is thoroughly cooked, remove from the skillet and place in a bowl. Chop the onion ( if using a large one, throw half in the skillet and keep the other half for the kibbe.
  3. Fry the onion in the lamb fat, adding more oil if needed, until the onion is limp and golden. Add the spices to the onion, mixing them in with a spoon.
  4. Remove from the skillet and place in the same bowl with the lamb.
  5. Brown the pine nuts in the skillet in the remaining oil for 3 to 5 minutes until the nuts are fragrant and golden.
  6. Place the pine nuts in the bowl with the meat and onion and mix all very well. Set aside. At this point, you can either wait till the next day or freeze the stuffing to pursue this operation at a later time.

Make the kibbe: This can be done a day before.

  1. Place the burghul in a bowl and cover it in water for five minutes.
  2. Process the onion until it is chopped very fine, using pulses in the processor.
  3. Place the meat in the food processor and process for a few minutes until it is a smooth paste.
  4. Drain the burghul and press the extra water out with a spatula or your hands. Add the burghul to the meat along with the spices and process until the kibbe is smooth and evenly mixed, a few minutes.
  5. Gather the kibbe into a mass and place in a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours or longer.

Forming the kibbe balls: This can be done a day before or frozen for a couple of weeks ahead.

The idea here is to make kibbes that are about 2 inches long.

  1. Get a bowl of ice-water ready nearby. Drop a few ice cubes in it to keep it cold for a while.
  2. Grab a cookie scooper or a similar implement, which helps getting the balls evenly sized. Dip the scooper in the ice water and keep it there in between forming the balls.
  3. Dip the scooper in the mixture of meat and unmold it into the palm of your hand. Use the index finger of the opposite hand, dip it in the ice water and start twirling it inside the ball of meat to form a cavity with very thin walls, which will hold the stuffing.
  4. Take a spoon and fill it with stuffing. Stuff the kibbe ball as much as possible with the meat stuffing and close the opened end by pinching it together gently. Dip your fingers in the water and pinch the ends of the balls to make them pointed.
  5. Place the kibbe ball on a foil-lined half sheet, until all are done.
  6. Place in the refrigerator, covered in plastic, or fry them immediately. To freeze, place in the freezer until they are rock hard, about 2 hours, then drop them into a freezer bag or two.

To prepare the sauce:

  1. Mash the garlic in a mortar with a pinch of salt.
  2. In a bowl, pour the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, water, garlic.
  3. Whisk it all and taste to adjust seasoning.

To fry the kibbe balls:

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan to 375F, until a piece of bread sizzles when dropped in the oil.
  2. Fry the kibbe balls a few at a time until they brown all over, about 5 minutes per batch.
  3. Drain the balls on paper towels.
  4. Whisk the dressing and toss the kibbes in it until they are glistening with it and fragrant.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature on a large serving platter.



2 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Christie @ Fig&Cherry says:

    Loving your new website design! I’ve never seen a step by step guide on how to make these (my Tatah never shared her recipe!) so I’m very excited. I’ve bookmarked this to try when I get home. Thanks so much 🙂

Add a Comment