Shane makes a traditional kibbeh, using techniques and shortcuts learned from his travels. This version requires the use of a mincer but in a pinch you could buy minced lamb instead. 






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (10 votes)


  • olive oil, to deep-fry
  • Greek-style yoghurt, to serve

Kibbeh shell

  • 300 g fine burghul (see note)
  • 675 ml hot water
  • 2 tsp sabaht baharat (Lebanese seven spice) (see note)
  • 360 g lamb leg, all sinew removed, cut into small pieces
  • salt and black pepper

Kishk farce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 silverbeet leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas, smashed
  • 1 tbsp sabaht baharat (Lebanese seven spice) (see note)
  • 280 g oxheart tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • 3 tsp dried mint
  • 50 g kishk powder (see note)
  • 30 g labna 
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 30 minutes

To make the kibbeh shell, soak the burghul in the hot water until soft. Drain in a colander to remove any excess water.

In a bowl, combine the burghul, sabaht baharat and lamb and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine, then pass the mixture through the finest disk of a mincer. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until the mixture starts to form a ball and comes together. Cover and refrigerate until required.

To make the kishk farce, place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes or until aromatic. Add the onion and sliverbeet stems and cook, without colouring, for 2–3 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the chickpeas, silverbeet leaves, sabaht baharat and a pinch of salt and cook until wilted. Add the tomato and dried mint and cook gently for 1 minute just to soften. Remove from the heat, add the kishk powder and labna and mix to combine. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.

To assemble the kibbeh, roll an egg-size amount of the kibbeh shell mixture into a ball. Poke a hole in the ball and using your thumb, work the hole open to make it big enough to fit the filling. Stuff with 1 tbsp kishk farce. Pinch the top to seal the ball. Repeat with the remaining shell and filling mixtures. Place the kibbeh in the fridge for 30 minutes to set and firm up.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan to 180°C. Add the kibbeh and fry, in batches, for 4–5 minutes or until dark golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with yoghurt to the side.


• Burghul, also referred to as bulgur wheat, is available as a fine and coarse grind and can be found in some supermarkets and Middle Eastern grocers.

• Sabaht baharat is a Lebanese spice blend, often referred to as seven spice or simply baharat, and is available from Middle Eastern delicatessens and quality spice merchants.

• Kishk is a powder made from fermented burghul, yoghurt and milk and is available from specialty Middle Eastern grocers.