A Low-Fat Recipe of 10 gr fat per portion only
Also known as Kibbeh Bil-Laban, our Stuffed Kibbeh in Yogurt Sauce is a regular of our family menus, specially in winter. We have for it the same love we give to our warming and stomach-soothing dishes of yogurt sauce: the Kafta Dumplings of Shish Barak, the Koussa Bil-Laban (Stuffed Zucchini in Yogurt Sauce) and so on.
The Laban, or yogurt, was named as such by the Phoenicians in reference to our white winter mountains. The name is derived from Lebanon, a name bestowed on our country also by our Phoenician forefathers, and it means The Heart of God (Leb-A-Non) in the Phoenician language.
You might have probably seen or eaten our stuffed Kibbeh balls. There is always a small plate of these Kibbeh at the Mezza. They are also being sold nowadays in small plastic boxes at Lebanese supermarkets. We eat them with Tabbouleh, or dipped them in Labneh.
There is also another way to consume them that is more fulfilling: Cooked in Yogurt Sauce. We call this dish Kibbeh Bil-Laban or Kibbeh Labnieh, and I am very happy to be sharing the recipe with you today…. because it is one of my favorite Lebanese dishes, and so it is for my children.
The Kibbeh Balls are made from lean ground beef and fine Burghul wheat, seasoned deliciously with Cumin, Cinnamon, Dry Basil, Dry Mint, Marjoram, and Salt and Pepper. The balls are formed by hand and with damp fingers to thin the meat dough as we cave them.
The stuffing is a cooked mixture of onions, ground beef, and pine kernels, which we season with Ground Cinnamon, Salt and Pepper. We bake the Stuffed Kibbeh instead of frying them, then drop them gently in the Yogurt Sauce.
The Kibbeh Labnieh is often cooked without the rice, and then consumed hot over the Lebanese Vermicelli Rice. I am sure you will love it… if you haven’t tasted it yet.
To Your Good Health, Enjoy!
Kibbeh in Hot Yoghurt: Kibbeh Labnieh
For the Kibbeh Dough (Group 1)
- 200 gr Ground Beef, fatless pounded
- 1 cup Fine Burghul wheat soaked for 30 min, and sieved
- 1 Onion (small) peeled
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mint
- 1/4 tsp Dry Basil
- 1/4 tsp Marjoram
For the Stuffing (Group 2)
- 150 gr Ground Beef
- 1 dash Salt
- 1 dash Ground Cinnamon
- 1 dash Pepper
- 1 Onion (small) chopped thinly
- 2 tbsps Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Pine Kernels raw
For the Labnieh Yoghurt Sauce (Group 3)
- 1 Kg Plain Yogurt
- 1/2 cup Short Rice soaked for 30 min, and sieved
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Tahini paste
- 5 cloves Garlic pounded into a creamy texture
- 1 tsp Dry Mint
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- Food Processor
- Non-Stick Baking Tray lightly oiled
Step 1: The Stuffing (Group 2)
In a preheated pan, over medium heat, sautee the ground beef with 1 dash of salt and 1 dash of cinnamon. Keep mixing until the meet darkens. Set aside.
In a larger frying pan, warm the 2 tbsps of oil, add the chopped onions and cook over medium heat, mixing regularly until translucent. Stir in the cooked ground beef, and the pine kernels, and cook the stuffing for 8 minutes. Set aside.
Step 2: The Kibbeh Dough (Group 1)
In the food processor, mix very well the onion with the fatless Beef meat until you get a smooth dough.
Pres the Burghul wheat into your palms to remove any excess of water, and add gradually into the running food processor. Mix well into a homogeneous dough. You may add water if and when needed.
Remove the dough from the food processor, and divide them into equal 25 balls.
Step 3: Making the Stuffed Kibbeh
Preheat your oven at 250 Celsius.
Place at your working counter a bowl of cold water, the stuffing mixture, and the baking tray.
We are going to hollow the balls as follows:
With a ball in your palm, dip your fingers of your other hand in cold water, and press deep into the center of the ball, and start rolling the ball in your palm as your finger flattens the meat from inside on all sides. The aim is to get a very thin meat "walls" and a ball that is more oval.
Fill the inside with the meat stuffing of Step 1, and close the openings with dampened fingers. Set on a baking tray, and repeat the process for the remaining 24 balls.
Bake the Kibbeh for 20 minutes, (you may start with the yogurt sauce now while waiting).
After the 20 minutes, turn the kibbeh balls upside down and bake for 5 more minutes or until they turn golden. Remove and set aside.
Preparing the Yogurt Sauce (Group 3)
Pour the 1 cup of water and the rice into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, lower the heat, and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the Yogurt into a large casserole. On the side, mix well the cornstarch with a little cold water, and stir it in the Yogurt. Mix in all the remaining ingredients of Group 3, then the Rice and Water. Mx very well.
Turn on the heat to medium under the casserole, and stir continuously until boiling point. Gently drop in the Kibbeh Balls. Stir for five minutes, and turn off the heat.
Serve Hot and enjoy it!