There are many versions of this popular Syrian, Lebanese and Iraqi dish, but essentially kibbeh are made from minced meat (lamb, beef or veal) and burghul pounded or mixed together to form a thick paste. The paste is then treated in different ways: kibbeh naye is eaten raw, the paste is shaped into rolls or served on a dish to be scooped up with lettuce leaves; kibbeh bil sanieh is made by spreading a tray with a layer of minced meat sandwiched between two layers of kibbeh and baking it; stuffed kibbeh are long hollow tubes shaped around the finger, filled with minced meat and then fried. Kibbeh can also be made with a ground rice or potato base. Kibbeh can be eaten on their own, or they may be cooked in a yoghurt sauce, steamed or eaten like dumplings in soups. The ability to make good kibbeh is held in high esteem: women born with long fingers are considered blessed for they will be able to make long, slender kibbeh.
Also known as — kibbe, koubba