Kibbeh with tahini sauce (Kibbeh arnabiyeh)

December 19, 2013  •  Category:

This is the time of year for this classic kibbeh dish; kibbeh balls are smothered in a tahini sauce comprised of no less than 3 different citrus juices (lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit or tangerine) Kibbeh arnabiyeh is made slightly differently depending on the community; in ours, we made it with hollow kibbeh balls; in other homes, it is made with stuffed kibbeh balls. It is considered one of the most traditional Beirut-based dishes of kibbeh. The sauce is rich (from the tahini), with strong overtones of citrus offsetting it.

This dish is best prepared on a weekend. In Lebanon, most markets sell kibbeh balls frozen so all one needs to worry about is squeezing fresh citrus and making the sauce. As a time-saver, one could use a bag of frozen meatballs instead. I’d recommend a really good meat stock to mix with the sauce as well. 

For a detailed recipe, click here.

dup arnabiyeh


8 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Thta looks good! I am such a big fan of tahini…



  2. mac says:

    I will definitely make this recipe !
    But my curiosity has been peaked, as to why the balls are hollow. Is it for taste, texture or cultural reasons?

  3. Gabi says:

    What a coincidence. Seville oranges are extremely difficult to get here. Today I found some and hurried to buy. I’ll prepare the sauce in the way you describe in the referred recipe. The peels I’ll conserve in sugar syrup.

    Merry Christmas

    • Joumana says:

      @Gabi: or do what people do here: Freeze the juice to last all year; also candy the’re on the right track! 🙂 Happy holidays!

      @Mac: I have no idea; I just know that here in Lebanon, dishes are made differently depending on the community or area; making kibbeh balls hollow, whether for this dish or the kibbeh in yogurt sauce is standard with some communities; it does make sense, because the kibbeh balls get punctured and filled with the sauce.

  4. Oui, Chef says:

    Oh my….I would put this sauce on EVERYTHING!

  5. hfriday says:


    Clicked on the link to get the recipe and got a page that said error and recipe not found. Can you please look into this? Would love to make this recipe! Thank you.

  6. Joumana says:

    @hfriday: I had to remove the recipes when I released my cookbook as the publisher did not want to have the recipes be made available online when they are included in the book. My book has all these kibbeh recipes if you’d like to order. It is available online or in some bookstores in Lebanon. Otherwise, I still offer about 1000 free recipes on the site.

  7. John Swenson says:

    Hi, John here is 1/2 Lebanese (mama Bashara) WE LOVE this tahini sauce on our traditional Kibbi – made as a loaf with pinenuts… cut into dioamonds, served with greens and sauce and/or cucumber-tomatoe salad in pita wraps…

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