Saturday, March 20, 2010

Assyrian Kbeybatt or the Kubebeh

You will be amazed from the information you get tracing a word you read some where and then the word, takes it to another world where you discover million things hidden through time and what interest you, is from a small search you end up in a big encyclopaedia of information you never thought that it will be available for you online.

I wanted to do a research about the Assyrian food and in specific the Kbeybatt which is a popular Assyrian Dish. One of the Assyrian old books mentioned that the Kubebeh as it was pronounced by the Assyrian was part of their diet. It was prepared by mixing cracked whole wheat with some kind of flour, to gluttonize the dough and make it playable to stuff, and the stuffing was kind of chopped meat and onions and green herbs, and was cooked in hot boiling water.

This Kubebeh was served on the table of the Assyrian Kings around the 500s BC.
The Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II added Lebanon and Syria as part of his Empire after Several campaigns 883-859 B.C. Ashurnasirpal II did not annex the Phoenician cities but instead only aimed to establish them as a source of raw materials for the Assyrian war machine. Iron was needed for weapons, Lebanese cedar for construction, gold and silver for the payment of troops; in the end however, Ashurnasirpal campaigns were only a short term success, the kingdom started to fall down after his death.
Kibbeh is another dish brought to us by the Assyrian Cuisine. the famous baklawa is also an Assyrian Dessert, and I did a posting about the origin of Baklawa with an original recipe of the Baklawa .
Kibbeh in our modern days is a mix of burghul (fine cracked wheat) and meat grind together using a mortar and a pestle and stuffed with cooked ground meat, chopped onion and pinenuts. The recipe has changed with time to more refined texture and ingredients…
I am going to share with you an old and still a popular recipe from the Assyrian Cuisine I hope you will enjoy it as we do, and becomes a favourite to you as well..

Ingredients for Kbeybatt:
2 cups of equal amount of Semolina and Fine Brown Burghul . Wash the burghul and don’t strain it add the semolina, salt and pepper cinnamon, and all spice, using your hand mix well to combine, dipping your hands in warm water to get a smooth combined dough and playable to use. Leave it aside, within minutes the grain will soak all the water, and you might need more water to reach a soft dough, able to work with it and stuff it.

500 Gms Ground beef or lamb or a mix of both
Large onion chopped
¼ cup or so chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
couple spoons of Olive oil and butter

Start cooking your onions and when they welted add the meat and the spice and cook till the meat looses the red color (Most Assyrians stuff the Kbeybatt with uncooked stuffing its tastier as the meat cook inside the kibbee and flavour it but they add the boiling time with at least 7 extra minutes)
After you shape and stuff the Kbeybatt keep them on a towel till ready to boil.  Don't be shy with your stuffing.  If there is a leftover dough you can turn it into small balls , leaving a deep thumbprint for the dressing. 

In a big pot add cold water, salt and some bay leaves, boil the water, and when ready add the Kbeybatt, boil for 20 minutes or extra 7 minutes if you left the meat raw.
transfer them to a strainer and let them drain before serving them with homemade Greek Yogurt and fresh lemons juice.  As for the small kibbee balls, they can be boiled in the same water for 15 minutes, drain and serve them with lemon garlic and olive oil dressing (mash some fresh garlic and salt then squeeze fresh lemon juice and mix in the olive oil) they can be served as an appetizer or a vegetarian dish.

….. Yummy. Enjoy

1-Wash and soak the burghul
2-Add coarse semolina and spices
3-Turn to a playable dough
4-By dipping the finger in water helps to open and shape
5-open it with the shape of a triangle and as thin as you can
6-stuff it then close the two ends together to seal
Leave it on a towel till ready to boil , leftover can be covered and kept in the fridge


Azure Islands Designs said...

I enjoy the history aspect of your posts Arlette...very interesting!!!

Great dish...looks yummy!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those kubebeh look so pretty and delicious! An interesting dish...



Mamatkamal said...

Salam Arlette,
I learn something new each time I read your posts. Really awesome! I love your blog. These Kebeybatt sounds good.
Have a great day and thanks for step by step instructions.

tasteofbeirut said...

Fascinating post Arlette! I am planning to reread it later today; this is a new type of kibbeh and it looks so interesting!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Found ur fantastic blog full o deliciousness thru the lovely carrot recipe u shared on Mary's blog-that was sweet and if we try that one ,will sure remember ya...:-))))

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I bet these are totally delicious! I loved hearing the history behind them and seeing how you made them.

sabah said...

That looks great, thanks for the post and for the steps.

Mom said...

I have to try out this recipe! sounds great and interesting usage of semolina flour with the Bulgar!

Angie's Recipes said...

A very different and special meat ball treat.

touria said...

ya salam sounds so delicious, I hope I can do it seems so dificult for me as a moroccan
her is my webpage for walima challenge:,cuisine-tunisienne,663153.html


Alepine said...

I have just learnt many things ! Thank you for this post

Anonymous said...

Hi Arlette,

Are you an Assyrian? Because not many outside our community know about these dumplings. Where my family is from Midyat in Turkey we call these koutleh. They are separate from kibbeh,which indeed is also an Assyrian dish, but much more known. And loved your post about the Tlohe(lentilsoup) and Ballogh.We eat that so much.Thank you for posting these recipes and keep up the good work!

tasteofbeirut said...

I read your post and wish I knew about this prior to posting on the Kurdish kibbeh, sorry Assyrian kibbeh. Will link to this recipe as well, thanks Arlette~