Kibbeh (Arabic: كبة), also kubba and other spellings, is a Levantine dish made of bulgur, minced onions, and finely ground lean beef, lamb, goat, or camel meat with Middle Eastern spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice).
Kibbeh is a popular dish in Middle Eastern cuisine. Mainly, it is found in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt (kobeiba), Iraq, as well as Armenia (kuefteh), Iran, Israel, Cyprus (koupes) and in Turkey it is called bulgur köftesi.
It is also found throughout Latin American countries that received substantial numbers of Levantine immigrants during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[failed verification] In the region, the dish is particularly popular in the Caribbean coastline of Colombia, the Yucatan peninsula, Venezuela, and in Brazil.
The word is derived from the Classical Arabic kubbah (kibbeh in North Levantine Arabic), which means "ball". Various transliterations of the name are used in different countries: in English, kibbe and kibbeh.
In Levantine cuisine, a variety of dishes made with bulghur (cracked wheat) and minced lamb are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab) is famous for having more than 17 different types. These include kibbeh prepared with sumac (kibbe sumāqiyye), yogurt (kibbe labaniyye), quince (kibbe safarjaliyye), lemon juice (kibbe ḥāmḍa), pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the "disk" kibbeh (kibbe arāṣ), the "plate" kibbeh (kibbe biṣfīḥa or kibbe bṣēniyye) and the raw kibbeh (kibbeh nayyeh).
Kibbeh nayyeh is a raw dish made from a mixture of bulghur, very finely minced lamb or beef similar to steak tartare, and Middle Eastern spices, served on a platter, frequently as part of a meze in Lebanon and Syria, garnished with mint leaves and olive oil, and served with green onions or scallions, green hot peppers, and pita/pocket bread or markouk bread.
Kubba halab is an Iraqi version of kibbeh created with a rice crust and named after the largest city in Syria, Aleppo. Kubba Mosul, also Iraqi, is flat and round like a disc. Kubbat Shorba is an Iraqi-Kurdish version prepared as a stew, commonly made with tomato sauce and spices. It is often served with arak and various salads. The Iraqi versions are part of the same versions eaten in Iran.
A Syrian soup known as kubbi kishk consists of kubbi "torpedoes" or "footballs" in a yogurt (kishk) and butter broth with stewed cabbage leaves. Another soup, known as kibbeh hamda, consists of a chicken stock with vegetables (usually leeks, celery, turnips and courgettes), lemon juice and garlic, with small kibbeh made with ground rice as dumplings.[page needed] In the Syrian Jewish diaspora this is popular both at Pesach and as the pre-fast meal on the day before Yom Kippur.[better source needed]
On Colombia's Caribbean coast, the most local variations of the dish use ground beef instead of lamb, but the original recipe, or one with mixture of beef and lamb, can be found served by the large Middle Eastern population of the zone. The dish has acquired almost vernacular presence and is frequently served in social occasions at both Arab and non-Arab households. When served as an adopted local dish, it is offered often as a starter along with other regional delicacies, including empanadas, tequeños and carimañolas.
Brazilian quibe/kibe, stuffed with requeijão, a sauce resembling ricotta and cream cheese of Portuguese origin. Most Brazilian kibbeh uses only ground beef, and not other types of meat. Other variations include tahini, carne de soja (texturized soy protein), seitan (Japanese wheat gluten-based meat substitute) or tofu (soybean curd) as stuffing.
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