Kibbeh Labanieh (Meat Croquettes in Yoghurt) Recipe

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Kibbeh Labanieh (Meat Croquettes in Yoghurt)

Kibbeh Labanieh is like most other Kibbeh dishes, this is a recipe involving a delicate mixture of Habra (lean meat paste) and bulgur wheat. The Kibbeh torpedoes or balls are boiled in yoghurt. Boiled yoghurt is common in the Middle East, it is done to create Shakriyeh (Yogurt With Meat) and Sheikh al-Mahshi (Stuffed Zucchinis With Yogurt Sauce), and of course there is yoghurt soup.

The trick in these recipes is to simmer the yoghurt without letting it curdle. One egg and a tablespoon of starch per kilo yoghurt should normally prevent curdling. Most people use corn starch, but we find that arrowroot powder also works well, perhaps even better. The safest method is to add the egg(s) and the starch to the yoghurt before bringing it to a simmer. Mix it all very well using a (hand)blender and stir the mixture regularly while simmering. It is not (or should not!) be necessary to stir all the time. If curdling happens, you are either letting the mixture boil too vigorously or you will have to add more starch.

Good luck and enjoy; and we look forward to hearing your experiences and comments!

Prep time: 40 mins | Cook time: 50 mins | Total time: 1 hr 30 mins


500 g. Habra
300 g. bulgur wheat (finely ground)
1 large onion, grated
1/2 stick of butter, cut into tiny cubes
2 liters of goat or cow yogurt
1/4 cup rice
1 tsp of cornstarch
1 egg
dried mint, for garnish
1/2 tsp ground allspice
ice cold water, as necessary


1. Soak the bulgur wheat in water for 10-15 minutes (use enough water to cover the bulgur entirely by about 1/4 inch).

2. Mix habra, allspice and soaked bulgur together and set aside.

3. Cook the rice in 3/4 cup of water until mushy.

4. Blend the rice with some of the yogurt, the egg and the cornstarch. Mix this mixture with the rest of yogurt and place over low heat.

5. Stir occasionally and once it comes to a small simmer, add kibbeh balls and cook for another 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the kibbeh).

6. Garnish with dried mint.

Note: use the ice water to form the kibbeh balls. This will help make them smooth. For more specific step-by-step instructions read the blog post.

Serving size: 4-6

Source: Yooj Recipes

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