How to Make Kubbah, a Traditional Kurdish Dish

A few weeks ago, some of the guys in the house decided some culinary experimentation was necessary and set off to make kubbah, a traditional Kurdish dish. Well, it’s a bit of a misnomer to call kubbah, or kibbeh, a Kurdish dish, because it’s a popular dish in Levantine cuisine. They’re like American football-shaped deep fried croquettes filled with minced onion and ground meat (beef or lamb usually). Sometimes kubbah is shaped into balls or patties, and used in soups or broths. But I’ve only had the deep fried torpedo shaped ones, and mostly with soy protein instead of meat. Though not particularly interesting in terms of culinary adventuring, kubbah is quite good.

I can’t actually share a recipe for kubbah, as there doesn’t seem to be one. Seems pretty simple to make though: make the filling, make the dough (either with rice or bulgur, usually bulgur I think), put filling into dough, make torpedo shapes, deep fry, and eat. Add salt and spices to your taste.

Okay so this may be the worst recipe ever, but it really is all about eye-balling it and getting a sense for whether the dough is too sticky, not kneaded enough, whether it’ll hold.. you know. It is quite a process to make kubbah, so maybe it’s best to find someone who knows and is willing to make them for you. That’s why we have restaurants.

A photo guide of how to make kubbah:

First, make the filling. In this case, fake meat (soy protein), onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

After boiling rice and adding yellow curry powder (which incidentally smells pretty strong but tastes like nothing – essentially food coloring), try and mash it up into dough by using a bowl. Actually, do not follow this step. It didn’t work.

Realize you don’t really know what to do, and welcome the timely intervention of our surrogate mother and dear friend, who takes charge of the cooking.

Knead the rice mixture with some flour to make dough. Have water at hand to make sure it doesn’t get too sticky.

Need to make a phone call but you’re elbow deep in kubbah dough? Not to worry, that’s why you have help.

Goof around a little.

And maybe some more. Be absolutely no help at all.

Back to business. Her hands move so quickly they’re blurry. Pound that dough.

Shape the dough into nice little pockets. Smile for the camera.

Put filling into dough, create torpedo/American football shaped dumplings kubbah.

Deep fry the little things.

And eat. Until you can’t eat anymore.

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