The trick to smooth, nicely shaped kibbeh is in getting the consistency right. This starts with the mince – it has to be finely ground enough so the fat can blend well with the meat, but it still needs some texture. Asking your butcher is always the best bet. Chill the food processor bowl for 20-30 minutes beforehand to help keep the meat chilled while you blend and shape it.
Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the burghul.
- 75 gm fine-grain burghul, soaked in cold water in the fridge overnight, drained
- 500 gm very finely minced lamb (see note)
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp paprika
- Large pinch of ground cloves
- Large pinch of ground cinnamon
- Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- Mint leaves and thinly sliced red onion, to serve
- Sumac, to serve
- Lemon wedges and Greek-style yoghurt (optional), to serve
- 1Add burghul, lamb mince, garlic and spices to a chilled food processor, season to taste, and pulse to combine well. With slightly wet hands, shape lamb mixture into golf ball-sized balls, then, with a slapping motion, slap the mixture between each hand to shape it into ovals and add elasticity to the meat. Place on a tray and refrigerate until required, repeating with remaining balls.
- 2Heat 0.5cm oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry kibbeh in two batches, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (7-8 minutes; be careful, hot fat may spit). Keep warm.
- 3Toss pine nuts, mint leaves and red onion together, top with sumac and serve with kibbeh, lemon wedges and yoghurt.
Ask your butcher to do this for you, or you can chop lamb mince to a fine texture yourself.
Drink suggestion: Refreshing mint tea. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.