These Rice and Potato balls filled with mince meat are Iraqi Kubba or Kibbeh, will not only use your leftover rice and mince beautifully but is also a delicious snack for tea or Iftar in Ramadan. Step-by-step recipe and process pictures makes will make it super easy for you to try this Ramadan.
My grandparents lived in Iraq for 25 years. As a child, I have lot of memories of some Iraqi delicacies that were very popular in our house. Dolma, Kubbay, shorba adas, tashreeb, these are few names that were very common and were often made and devoured.
Out of all those dishes, Kubbay were my favorite but always known for their tricky process and frying. Something had to be done to improvise the process because I truly believe in fool proof recipes fit for even beginners and less daunting processes.
So here I bring you, Kubba recipe that you can make with no fear. Traditionally, my grand mother used to make it only with rice and they were supposed to be shaped while hot and fried super carefully so they don’t open. I have added a mashed potato and corn flour for that extra binding and they have turned out hassle free and perfect if I may say so myself.
They have typical egg shape, deep fried, I have not tried baking or air frying them yet. I will do and update here.
What does Kubba or Kibbeh mean?
The word Kibbeh is derived from Arabic word Kubba which means ball. It has different varieties in different countries for example in Lebanon and Syria, it is made with ground beef and bulgur.
Is Kibbeh a Syrian?
Kibbeh is said to have originated from Syria and national dish of Lebanon and Syria.
What is the traditional food in Iraq?
Iraqi Kubba or kibbeh is one of the traditional food of Iraq among many others but this variation of rice and potato balls filled with mince is known to Iraq only.
What country is Kibbeh from?
It is very popular in Middle Eastern countries and Turkey but originally from Syria.
Step-by-Step Process of making Kubba/ Kibbeh
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice or 3 cups cooked
- 1 medium potato, skinned, boiled, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons corn flour or corn starch
- 250 grams Cooked Mince*
- 1/4 cup add in mix - green onions, red onions, green corriander, green chillies, few mint leaves, chopped
- Oil for frying
- If you have uncooked rice, take a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, let it splutter, add your rice and enough water to cook along with salt. The rice should be cooked to soft consistency.
- If you have leftover or cooked rice, same process as above but you will add very little water so rice are refreshed, hydrated and becomes soft.
- Let rice cool enough to handle and add mashed potato, corn flour and salt. Mix really well.
- Add in you mix-ins to cooked mince, mix well.
- Next take a golf size ball of rice potato mixture, flatten it in the middle, place a teaspoon of mixture, close and bind tightly using your oiled hands. It will come together very nice and firm.
- Repeat for all the mixture and filling.
- Keep it in a tray or large plate, covered with a plastic wrap in refrigerator for upto two days or fry immediately.
- For frying, heat the oil in a pan and pour atleast and inch of oil. I used flat non stick frying pan but you can use a wok.
- When oil is very hot, place your kubba/kibbeh carefully and do not touch. Turn after 1 or 1.5 minute when they have browned on one side. If you touch them immediately, they might break.
- Fry the other side and drain on a paper towel.
* I make mince same as I do for samosas by boiling beef mince with spices and salt till dry and tender. You can check my Lasagna recipe for mince. For this I added, red chilli powder and flakes, cumin and corriander powder, garam masala, crushed corriander and cumin seeds, green chillies and turmeric.
You might also like my Mince Meat Lasagna Recipe on YouTube.
Other Middle Eastern dishes popular on my blog: