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Recipe: A Traditional Flavor: İçli Köfte – Kibbeh or Kubbah

Meatballs stuffed with Cracked Wheat,-Kibbeh- (original name in Turkish İçli Köfte) is a very preferable and tasty Arabic and Turkish traditional food. It is commonly consumed in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia and it is a speciality of these regions.

İçli Köfte – Kibbeh is mostly served as an entree in Kebab restaurants. Usually, after taking your order the waiter walks around the tables and shows the freshly cooked İçli Köfte and ask if you want to have some. It’s a very good starter and having a Kibbeh will start the tasty journey of the Middle-eastern cuisine.

The preparation of the meal seems a bit difficult for and takes some time, but when you taste it, you will see it will definitely worth every effort!

İçli Köfte - Kibbeh is a surprising food and has the authentic Middleeastern taste
İçli Köfte – Kibbeh is a surprising food and has the authentic Middle-eastern taste

First of all, we should point out that there is no particular way to cook it, -it can preferably be served both by frying and/or boiling. Kibbeh or Kubbah, which also commonly preferred in the Middle Eastern cuisine, is also known as “Oruk”. You can find best İçli Köfte in good kebab Restaurants in İstanbul but this dish commonly served and -insisted by the hosts- in cities such as Mardin, Adana, Adıyaman, Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Dyarbakır, Osmaniye, Hatay, Malatya, Elazığ, Tunceli, and its shape can change as round or oval depends on region. So let’s take a look at the preparation of this spicy and filled with minced beef Turkish cuisine.

Ingredients to Make İçki Köfte – Kibbeh Dough:

– 1.5 water glass of bulghur finely cracked wheat
– 1 tea glass of semolina
– 1 dessert spoon powder red pepper
– 1 dessert spoon pepper paste
– 4 spoons flour
– 1 tea glass of salt
– 1 water glass of warm water

Making the Kibbeh and Stuffing:

– 2 spoons of butter
– 300 gr minced beef
– 2 middle-sized onions
– ½ dessert spoon tomato paste
– ½ bunch parsley
– 1 small tea glass of small pieced walnut
– Salt (sense of proportion)
– Chilli
– Black pepper

For Frying:

– Sunflower oil or Olive oil

Recipe of İçli Köfte (Kibbeh) :

  1. Chopp the onions finely and put them into a frying pan, add the onions and butter and saute until it gets golden brown.
  2. Add the minced beef to fried onions. Start mixing and cooking them slowly over low heat until it drains.
  3. Later on, add tomato paste and cook a bit more.
  4. Add spices, salt, walnut, and finely chopped parsley and close the heat. Then let it become cold.
  5. Soak the cracked wheat bulghur with a glass of cold water
  6. Add semolina, tomato paste, salt, and spices when the bulghur gets dry and then combine well by adding water little by little during 15 minutes. At this point, you need to mix well otherwise you won’t be able to gain the desired consistency.
  7. After that, add the flour and mix it for ~5 more minutes. It has to be stay round when you take it to your hand and roll. It may stick to your hand, so clean your hand carefully before you take it.
  8. Take the walnut-measured pieces (a little bigger than a walnut) and form into a ball. With your thumb poke a hole in the ball for making a space for filling (to do this, wet your thumb with water once a while.) and shape it like a lemon. Apply the same processes for each one. If giving the round shape is difficult, you can shape it as walnut-seized balls.

    Stuffing the İçli Köfte -Kibbeh
    Stuffing the İçli Köfte -Kibbeh
  9. Finished kibbehs are fried in 1 glass of oil. If you wish to boil it, add 2-3 pieces of small citrates and one dessert spoon of salt into boiling water in the pot. Let kibbehs in it. Boiled kibbehs are going to go up.
  10. Don’t forget to serve the İçli Köfte – Kibbeh with some slices of lemon and parsley and you can also serve boiled kibbehs by pouring fried butter on balls.

Cooking kibbehs may seem a little difficult (and honestly, it is), and its completely safe to eat. The recipe and stuffing is not as difficult as you think, as we have pointed out at the beginning of this article, you will have only a word: Worth it!

Bon appetit!

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