Kibbeh or kibbe (also kubbeh) (Arabic كبة IPA|'kibbeh or 'kubbah) is a family of Levantine dishes made of burghul, chopped meat, and spices. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped burghul shell stuffed with chopped meat and fried. Other varieties are baked, poached, or even served raw. They may be shaped into balls, patties, or flat.

Kibbeh is one of the most characteristic foods of Levantine cuisine and is common in Syria, particularly in the north (Aleppo) where it is prepared in a myriad of different ways, and also in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Cyprus (koupes or koubes), the Arabian Peninsula, Armenia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.


The Arabic word "kubbatun" (urban Syrian: "kәbbe") means "a ball." [Maan Z. Madina, "Arabic-English Dictionary of the Modern Literary Language", 1973] Various spellings of the name are used in different countries: in English, "kibbe" and "kibbeh"; in Latin America, "quibe" or "kibe". In Turkey, it is called "içli köfte"; in Armenian, "kufteh".


Kibbeh is probably best known as a 7 to 15 cm-long torpedo-shaped bulgur shell stuffed with a filling based on spiced minced lamb and fried till brown. British soldiers in the Middle East during the Second World War used to call these kibbeh "Syrian torpedoes" [ [ Kibbe, Pesach ] ]

In Levantine cuisine there are a variety of dishes made with bulgur and minced lamb that are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab) is famous for preparing kibbeh in many different ways that involve mixing it with sumac, quince, yogurt, or cherry juice. "Kubbat Halab" is an Iraqi version of kibbeh made with a rice crust and named after Aleppo. "Kubbat Mosul" is another Iraqi version originally from Mosul where a bulgur crust is used, but the shape is flat and round, like a disc. "Kubbat Shorwa" is an Iraqi-Assyrian version made as a stew, usually with tomato sauce and spices. "Kibbe nayye", a meat and bulgur mix served raw like steak tartare is popular in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. It is often accompanied by arak. In Lebanon and Palestine, in Jordan its accompanied by various salads. Fresh kibbeh is often eaten raw, and the remainder cooked the next day, sometimes without a crust. Kibbeh is traditionally served with a sesame seed tahina dip. Fried, torpedo-shaped kibbehs have become popular in the Dominican Republic cite web|author=Staff writers|date=2007-08-22|title=Quipes - Cocina Dominicana|publisher=La Cocina de Tia Clara|accessdate=2007-08-22|url=] and South America after they were introduced by Lebanese and Palestinian immigrants.

Kibbe can also be a mixture of chopped meat (either lamb or beef), burghul, onion, mint and spice, pressed into a flat baking pan. Then it is scored with a knife into diamond shapes about one or two inches in length, topped with pine nuts or almond slivers and butter, then baked in the oven until done.

ee also

*Syrian cuisine

External sources

* story about Kibbe []


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