Kibbe Arnabiyye

kibbe arnabye 1 Kibbe Arnabiyye is the Queen of kibbe recipes. Its been kept in our family for generations and is considered very special because it can only be made in the winter when all the citrus ingredients are ripe, especially the Seville orange also known as bitter orange or Abou Sfeir in Arabic. Also, this dish is usually made for just for VIPs or loved ones. My mother used to make it in huge quantities and would send a big plate for each of her 9 sisters and brothers and had enough still to feed her 6 children and husband. This delicious recipe is very dear to me, and I am so proud to share it with you today. I do hope you try it and if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Since the procedure to prepare it is long, I prepared the kibbe balls and onions one day ahead. The day after I started cooking the dish itself. I also use the peel of the Seville orange to make jam, so don’t throw them away when preparing this dish and I will soon post the recipe. Ingredients: for the kibbe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup fine brown bulgur
  • 300 grams  beef meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices


  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur and grated onion, add the salt and spices
  • Place in a food processor a little at a time until all the quantity is used
  • Your kibbe is ready place it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing

Ingredients for the Kibbe stuffing:

  • 300 grams minced meat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the stuffing)
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation of the stuffing:

  • In a saucepan heat the oil, fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 10 minutes, then add the pine seeds, season with salt, spices and the molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until the pine seeds turn golden

Stuffing the kibbe: Your going to need an additional ingredient, a tablespoon of corn flour

  • Dissolve the corn flour in a cup of cold water
  • Make a medium sized ball from the kibbe dough with you wet hand (dip it in water and cornflour), and using your index make a hole in the ball of kibbe, and with the other hand (wet also) turn it around your index until it thins out and the hole becomes wider
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing inside and close it, turning the ball in your hand to form a nice shape
  • Your kibbe is now ready to be used in the Arnabiyye

Ingredients for the Arnabiyye:

  • 1/2 kilo kibbe balls
  • 1 kilo tahini
  • 1 kilo oranges
  • 1/2 kilo mandarin
  • 1/2 kilo Seville orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 kilo onions cut into wings
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts


  • Fry the kibbe balls half way, for a few minutes only, then place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil and keep aside
  • Fry or roast the pine nuts and also leave aside
  • In a medium pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until slightly golden then cover with 3 cups of water and boil it for half an hour until they soften; puree them keeping the water with them
  • Extract the juice of all 3 citrus fruits and keep in a pitcher

kibbe arnabye

  • In a large pot, place the tahini, the juice and the pureed onion and mix well
  • Place the pot on a medium fire and stir constantly until it starts boiling and forms bubble on the top; when you can see the oil of the tahini coming on the surface you know the sauce is done
  • Add salt, cinnamon and the pomegranate molasses and adjust the seasoning up to your taste
  • Place the kibbe balls and boil on a very low heat for about 10 minutes
  • Pour into deep plates and decorate with pine nuts. Enjoy it warm or cold. You could have it with cooked rice if you’d like.


Buche de Noel (Christmas Yule Log)

buche de noel

I’ve been making this wonderful dessert for my family for at least the last 25 years. I have tried to find replacement recipes, but for my family nothing but this time- honored traditional cake will satisfy them. It’s a delicious dessert and you’re going to keep wanting more.

To start off, I would recommend making first one of each vanilla and chocolate sponge cakes. If you’re going to be feeding a larger crowd you can add as many logs as you like and just build it up.

I can’t tell you how many I make each year because each of my two married daughters ask for one for their homes for Christmas, in addition to the one I usually prepare for our Christmas eve dinner.

For a special treat get the kids involved in the decorating process and they probably won’t be able to resist having some of that delicious butter cream all on its own.

Merry Christmas!


  • 1 1/4 cup flour (for the chocolate  sponge cake substitute 1/4 cup flour for cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Whisk eggs until pale yellow in colour, add sugar then water and vanilla
  • Add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder if used, whisking slowly
  • Line the tray (18 by 12 inch) with aluminum foil, pour the batter into the tray
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until springy to the touch
  • Prepare a tea towel sprinkling it lightly with icing sugar through a sifter
  • Turn the cake onto the tea towel then slowly peel off the aluminum foil
  • Roll the cake with the tea towel from the larger side and leave it to cool

buche de noel 1

buche de noel 2

buche de noel 3

In the meantime prepare the buttercream:

  • Mix 3/4 cups butter with 1 cup icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. For chocolate buttercream add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • When the cake is cooled, unroll it and spread the cream inside it, roll it again and cream the top as desired

Because we are a large family and most people will have several pieces of the Buche, I usually make about 5 yule logs and build them up as shown in the pics. Some of the logs will be chocolate sponge with vanilla buttercream filling, and others will be vanilla sponge with chocolate buttercream filling. Slice smaller pieces at a diagonal and add them to the sides of the larger logs to look like smaller branches. Drag the back of fork over the cream topping to create a rough surface. Decorate as you wish.


Cucumber Pickles

This is the right time to make pickles since in summer we find vegetables at very low prices. In Lebanon we like to have pickles with nearly everything, we consume a lot of them.

The method I use to make pickles is inherited from my grandfather who used to own a shop in the old souks of Beirut, which is now the modern Downtown. In his shop he had all kinds of olives, the best extra virgin olive oil, cheeses and pickles. He made sure to teach his daughters a lot of tricks, for instance, he used to measure the quantity of salt in water to soak the olives with an egg: if the egg floats, it means then the quantity of salt is good enough.

Pickles generally take around two or three days to be ready, and this is how my grandfather taught me how to make them:


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of red vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • chili pepper, garlic (or you can use whatever for flavor)


  • Boil water with vinegar, salt and sugar
  • Place the cucumbers in tightly sealed jars, and cover them with the boiled water, add the garlic, chili pepper (or whatever you like)
  • When the water becomes warm, close the jars very tightly.
  • Wait for two days before eating, and enjoy!
Day 1:
I used double the stated ingredients, it was enough for about 700 grams of cucumber and I had some extra that I used for another jar, where I mixed cucumbers with carrots.
Day 2 – ready to be eaten