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.


Ablama (Stuffed Zucchini)

ablama 2

I’m back home in Lebanon and I plan to post more regularly! After a long vacation in Abu Dhabi with the family, I feel relaxed and ready to cook again 🙂 Today I made zucchini stuffed with meat; this dish is called Ablama, which means “ahead of time” though I don’t know why. Previously, I’ve made Ablama served with yogurt, you can find the recipe here, however this time I’ve cooked it in tomato sauce. Every time I make it, I’m reminded of my best friend M. About twenty years ago when M was newly wed, she invited me and my husband for lunch and prepared Ablama. She  is french educated and followed the instructions in a french cookbook. While we were eating, we noticed something different in the taste and when we asked her, she replied with her adorable french accent ” Oh! J’ai oublié  le 3ement”. Translated, it means “I forgot to do the third instruction” which consists of frying the zucchini. Now, every time I cook this meal, I remember M and the look on her face when she forgot to fry zucchini. Don’t forget to fry it when you try it yourself 🙂


  • 1 kilo of baby zucchini
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely shopped
  • 1 handful pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato pureé
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • frying oil


  • Wash the zucchini, cut the head and remove the inside with a corer; don’t throw them, you’ll use them to make omelette with them (stay tuned, it will be in the next post)


  • Heat the frying oil in a saucepan and fry the zucchini until slightly colored, then place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of oil and allow them to cool

ablama 1

  • In another saucepan, heat the canola oil, fry the pine seeds until golden color then put the onion and cook until the onion is colored, add the minced meat and let it cook. Season with one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Fill the zucchini with the meat, place in a pot, cover with about 3 cups of water and tomato paste; season with the remaining teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of spices
  • Let it boil, then reduce the fire and let it simmer for about 25 minutes
  • Serve it with cooked rice, and enjoy


Artichoke Gratin

Artichoke is the kind of vegetables that can be cooked in so many ways. It can be used in salads or in a stew, it can even made into a gratin with white sauce and cheese. Since I love cheese, I decided to cook the artichoke for the lunch today the gratin way 🙂


  • one frozen bag of hearts of artichoke, about 500 grams
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of pine seeds
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoon corn oil
  • cooking grated cheese, use the kind you like, I mix 1 cup of Emmental and one cup of Mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for the white sauce:

  • 50 grams butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg


  • In a large pot boil about 1.5 liters water, add one tablespoon salt, and the artichoke then boil for about 10 minutes
  • In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon corn oil, fry the onion until golden then add the pine seeds then the meat, cook until brown, season with  salt and some pepper to taste
  • Prepare the white sauce: melt the butter, add the flour, then gradually pour the milk whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, season with 1 teaspoon salt and nutmeg
  • Now you can assemble the dish:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • In a baking dish put one tablespoon oil, place the hearts of artichoke, fill each one with meat, when all they are all filled, cover with the white sauce, then sprinkle the cheese over, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top turns golden
  • Enjoy it with salad


Sheikh El Mehchi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Hi, I know I have not posted anything in a few days. But believe me, I have been cooking everyday. Now, the summer has started, and my children are coming to Lebanon to spend their vacations, so I am very busy with my children and my grandchildren. Also, I changed the theme of the blog, and I have been trying to choose pictures for the banner 🙂 It hasn’t been so easy.

About the recipe today, Sheikh El Mehchi, it is called so because the eggplants are stuffed without removing their tops, so it looks like the head of Sheikhs.


  • 1 kilo small eggplants
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt+ 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices+1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 red tomato sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups frying oil


  • Peel the eggplants without removing the heads
  • Heat the frying oil, fry the eggplants until brown color. Place on kitchen towel to remove the excess oil
  • Heat the canola oil and fry the chopped onions until transparent, add the pine seeds and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the meat and fry until well cooked. Season with salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Slice open the eggplant in the middle and place a generous tablespoon of the meat stuffing inside it, press it down gently with the back of spoon
  • Place the stuffed eggplants on a baking tray or dish, cover with the tomato slices
  • Dissolve the tomato paste with 2 cups of water, season with remaining salt and spices and pour over the eggplants
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes
  • Serve with cooked rice


Yogurt With Meat (Laban Immo)

The literal translation for the word “Laban Immo” is : the milk of his mother. This yogurt cooked in this meal is very silky and smooth almost like the texture of the milk 🙂 . It is cooked with meat, onions and garlic with dried mint to enhance the flavor of the meal.


  • 1 kilo yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 300 grams lamb chunks (you can use beef also if you prefer), 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 400 grams baby onions, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil + extra teaspoon to fry the garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon to add to garlic
  • handful of pine seeds


  • In a pot fry the onions until brown, then remove and put aside
  • In the same oil fry the lamb until brown then cover with about 4 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon salt and the spices and let it cook until tender(you can use pressure cooker it will take 20 minutes to be cooked). Drain the meat from water, and keep one cup of the lamb stock
  • In another pot, place the yogurt
  • Mix the corn flour with one cup of the cold meat stock then add it to the yogurt, put the pot on fire and let it boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens
  • Add the cooked meat and the fried onions
  • In a small saucepan heat the remaining oil and fry the pine seeds, then put aside
  • In the same oil fry the crushed garlic mixed with one teaspoon salt and dried mint, then add it to the yogurt pot
  • Put in a serving plate, garnish the top with fried pine seeds
  • Enjoy eating with plain boiled rice


Rice and Chicken (Lebanese Way)

Arabs love this dish! If you have an Arab friend, make this dish when you invite them over; it will guarantee to make them smile 🙂 Every Arab country has their own variation of it and is generally cooked during special occasions. The combination of the rice cooked with chicken stock and the fried nuts spread on the top of the plate gives it a special flavor and texture in your mouth. Some people like it covered in gravy but personally, I like it with yogurt. Try it both ways, tell me which way you prefer 🙂

Ingredients: for boiling the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kilo)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • few bay leaves
  • 1/2teaspoon whole cardamon
For cooking the rice:
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

For the decoration:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of each: halved almonds, pine seeds, pistachios, cashew
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon


  • Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with about 2 liters of water, place on fire and let it boil.
  • Skim the white foam. Then put the salt, cinnamon stick, clove, cardamon and seven spices and let it boil until tender (in pressure cooker it will take 15 minutes)
  • When boiled, drain the chicken from water (but keep the stock) and tear the chicken meat from the bones and keep aside
  • In another pot, heat the oil and fry the minced meat until brown, season with salt and seven spices
  • Add the rice and cover with 4 cups of chicken stock, cover the pot and let it simmer on a low fire until the rice is cooked
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and fry the nuts until nice golden, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning then place on a kitchen towel
  • To serve place the rice in a large plate, put the chicken pieces on the top, sprinkle with cinnamon then cover with the fried nuts
  • Enjoy eating with a side salad (and yogurt or gravy, whatever you prefer)


Meghli (Flavored Rice pudding)

Meghli is a kind of sweet traditionally prepared to celebrate a new born baby in the family. The word “Meghli” means boiled, probably named such because it is boiled for a very long time. It is said to be very good for the baby and mother especially during breast feeding as it supposedly promotes breast milk production. In some villages, they make it on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It has a refreshing taste of cinnamon and with coconut added on top, is a perfect treat to cool you off in the summer heat.


  • 1 cup of rice powder
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground caraway
  • 2 cups sugar
  • for decoration: almond, pistachios, whole nut, shredded coconut, pine seeds and raisins


  • In a pot, mix the rice powder with cinnamon, caraway then the water. Mix and keep stirring until it boils
  • When it starts boiling, add the sugar and continue stirring until the mixture thickens
  • Pour in small individual bowls and allow to cool
  • Cover each bowl with cling film and place in the fridge
  • When serving, decorate each bowl with shredded coconut, bleached and halved almonds, whole nuts, pistachios, pine seeds and raisins (according to your preference; my son likes it with just some shredded coconut)


Stuffed Intestines (Fwaregh)

This is one of the most exquisite traditional Lebanese Meals. In the old days people would use every piece of the sheep – waste not, want not. After making sure they used all the meat for cooking in many different ways, they used the wool, the head, the bones, etc… and even the intestines. They found a way to stuff it and cook it in a DELICIOUS recipe. When my mother used to make it, every body knew that she was making Fwaregh for lunch, because while cooking, this meal has a very special and nice aroma.

The main work consists of cleaning the intestines. It has to be washed in running water several times. The extra fat stocking on the sides shall be removed, keeping the small parts because it helps keep it moist while cooking. After washing (from inside and outside) it should be rubbed with salt and water, then soak in water and white vinegar for an hour (1 cup of vinegar for 4 cups of water). Now it is ready for stuffing and cooking.

Ingredients: (for two whole intestines):

  • 300 grams of minced meat, beef or lamb (I used beef)
  • 2 cups of small grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cup of soaked chick peas ( or 1 cup of pine seeds, as you desire)
  • 1 medium onion, choppped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat for few minutes ( until it changes color only)
  • Wash the rice, mix it with meat, chopped onion, chick peas then add the salt and spices
  • Hold the intestine from the smaller end, then start stuffing, pushing it into the opening of the intestines with your thumb. This way, when you finish stuffing the intestine will be inside out
  • When all the quantity is finished, place them in a large bowl and wash them again, now they are ready to be cooked
  • Place the stuffed intestines in a large pot, cover with a lot of water and boil on a high fire. Remove the white foam formed on the top, add 1 peeled onion, cinnamon stick,salt, 3 bay leaves and cook on a very reduced flame for about 45 minutes, until the intestines are tender
  • Serve it with crushed 2 cloves of garlic mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 2 lemons and few drops of extra virgin olive oil, or with red vinegar.


Freekeh With Chicken And Meat

Freekeh is green wheat, roasted, smoked and dried. It is a very nutritious grain which contains a large amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. The use of this green wheat goes for back more than 2000 years ago. It can be used as a side dish like rice or couscous, and can even be mixed with some vegetables in a salad. The recipe I will be showing you uses the green wheat as a main dish. The recipe is from the south of Lebanon, and I learned it from my mother in law. The south of Lebanon is well known for the plantation of the wheat like the Bekaa area in the East of Lebanon. This grain can be found in Gourmet shops or in big supermarkets in foreign countries.


  • 1 chicken
  • 200 grams beef cubes
  • 3 cups freekeh washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil + another tablespoon of corn oil
  • handful of pine seeds, handful of almonds


  • Fry the beef cubes with oil until brown then cover with water and cook until tender
  • In another pot, boil the chicken then remove the skin and bones and keep the water to cook the freekeh with
  • Heat the oil in a third pot, add the freekeh, season with salt, cinnamon, sweet pepper and cover with 6 cups of chicken stock
  • Cover the pot and let it cook on a very low flame. When the water evaporates, if the freekeh is not tender then add more chicken stock and let it continue to cook
  • Add the meat to the pot and mix it with the freekeh
  • Roast the almonds and pine seeds
  • Serve by placing the freekeh with pieces of the boiled chicken and garnish with the pine seeds and almonds over
  • Decorate with few leaves of parsley (optional) and enjoy your meal with yogurt or a salad


Baked Mashed Potatoes With Meat

This is a very smooth dish, easy to digest and generally liked by all. Boiled potatoes, mashed  and baked in the oven with cooked minced meat. We enjoy it best when eating with a good salad.


  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • about 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  • Boil the potatoes until tender, peel and mash, if the potato is dry you may add a little of water while mashing it, season with 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion for two minutes then add the pine seeds (if used) until it turns golden and finally add the meat and fry it until brown, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, seven spices and the molasses (this is a key ingredient for the flavor)
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Butter a tray, place half of the mashed potatoes in the tray, with a wet hand flatten the surface of potatoes
  • Place the cooked meat, then cover it with the remaining mashed potatoes with wet hand
  • Brush the soft remaining butter on the top of potatoes then sprinkle the bread crumbs
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until it turns golden color

As for salad, today I mixed chopped cabbage with sliced cucumber and tomatoes. For the dressing I crushed two cloves of garlic with salt, mixed with one lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil… DELICIOUS..