Kibbeh in yogurt sauce served on a dark plate.
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Kibbeh in yogurt sauce

Kibbeh is one of the absolute classics in the cuisine of the Levant. In Lebanon in particular, kibbeh is even considered one of the national dishes. No wonder that there are so many variants of this specialty. One of the best known and most popular is the croquette version, which can also be prepared vegetable. And from these croquettes there is a really delicious home cooking recipe: Kibbeh in yogurt sauce.

Hearty home cooking from the Levant

Kibbeh in yogurt sauce is an absolutely delicious comfort food that I have loved since childhood. It is hearty, warming, yet wonderfully fresh and fruity.

The fresh acidity of the yogurt sauce with dried mint keeps the dish really deliciously light in taste. Personally, I also love the strong garlic note in it. And the best thing is: The creamy sauce is versatile! You can also cook delicious dumplings in it.

But back to kibbeh in yogurt sauce! Kibbeh croquettes are filled with juicy fried minced meat, roasted pine nuts and fried onions. The outer dough of the croquettes is a mixture of fine meat and bulgur. Detailed instructions on how to prepare these incredibly delicious croquettes can be found in the recipe card below, of course.

The croquettes are often served deep fried as a snack with a mezze. For this dish, however, you don't have to deep-fry the kibbeh croquettes. The filled delicacies cook gently in the creamy and quickly made yogurt sauce.

Since childhood, I have a little ritual of enjoying kibbeh in yogurt sauce: I cut the croquettes lying in the sauce in half, so that the filling is visible. It always steams so nicely then. Then I take some sauce with a spoon and let it run over the filling before finally enjoying the first bite. Delicious!

By the way, the dish is called Kibbeh Labanieh in Arabic. If you want to do without meat, you can also prepare the croquettes from potatoes, for example, and then cook them in the yogurt sauce with mint.

Kibbeh in yogurt sauce, by the way, can be prepared super a day in advance. My mother usually prepares the croquettes in the evening and then puts them in the fridge for the next day. At lunchtime, she then quickly stirs the creamy sauce and then simply adds the Kibbeh croquettes to the yogurt sauce to cook.

If you are now in the mood for more home cooking from the Levant, then I can definitely recommend the following recipes:

Now I wish you first of all a lot of fun cooking and of course a good appetite!


Recipe for kibbeh in yogurt sauce

Kibbeh in yogurt sauce served on a dark plate.
Print recipe Save recipe
Preparation time 30 minutes
Preparation time 35 minutes
Servings 10 Piece
Calories 121
Author Rafik Halabi

Cooking utensils

Ingredients

Kibbeh dough

  • 150 g lean beef
  • 90 g fine bulgur
  • 75 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 7 g Basil
  • Salt, pepper

Kibbeh filling

  • 100 g Ground beef
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 30 g Pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Salt, pepper

Yoghurt sauce

  • 300 g Yogurt (3.5% natural)
  • 200 ml Water
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Salt, pepper

Preparation

Kibbeh dough

  • Finely grind the meat in a blender. The meat should become a fine paste.
  • Add the basil and finely incorporate into the meat mixture with a blender.
  • Soak bulgur with warm water for about 5 minutes and then mix with the spices.
  • Add meat paste to bulgur and knead with hands to form a dough.

Kibbeh filling

  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and fry the onion in it for about 3 minutes until translucent.
  • Add minced meat and increase the heat slightly. Fry minced meat until crumbly, add pine nuts/walnut and season with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Shape kibbeh

  • To shape the kibbeh croquettes, fill a small bowl with cold water. Keep moistening your hands with the water while shaping.
  • Form about 35 g of the dough into a ball in your hand and flatten it as much as possible in the palm of your hand. The thinner the dough, the juicier the croquettes will be afterwards. 
  • In the middle of the dough put about 2 teaspoons of filling and close the dough around the filling. To do this, first roughly close and then close any cracks. To do this, moisten fingers with a little water and rub the surface. The surface of the dough will become smoother and more pliable for molding. 
  • You now have a closed kibbeh croquette. Next, shape this croquette so that the ball gets two tips. To do this, moisten your hands with water again and again.
  • Repeat this until no dough or filling is left. 

Yoghurt sauce

  • Stir the starch together with the cold water.
  • In a large saucepan, stir together the yoghurt and starch water with a whisk and heat, stirring, until it is just before boiling.
  • Quickly turn the heat back up to medium and keep stirring.
  • Now carefully add the kibbeh one by one and continue stirring gently.
  • Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon and leave the sauce to bubble over a medium heat for 5 minutes - stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Crush the garlic clove and add it to the sauce.
  • Sprinkle the dried mint into the sauce and continue stirring.
  • After about 20 - 25 minutes, the kibbeh are done.

Notes

Recipe contains affiliate links.

Nutritional values

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

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