Categories: Main Dishes

Antonio Tahhan and his recipe for Kbeibat, Middle Eastern dumplings

My first encounter with Antonio (Tony) Tahhan, the Syrian-American food writer, researcher, and storyteller, spans over a decade when I wrote this piece about him in 2011.


Recently, Christine Datian, who writes for The Armenian Mirror-Spectator’s recipe column, picked up with Tony where I left off so many years before. Besides writing about what he’s been up to – and what he will be doing in the future, Christine includes (one of) Tony’s favorite recipes: Kbeibat, Middle Eastern dumplings.

I’m thrilled to learn of Tony’s achievements and successes, and thank Christine for bringing this to light!

For more on Tony, click here to read Christine’s story from The Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

And now for Tony’s recipe for Kbeibat, Middle Eastern Dumplings …

Print

Kbeibat, Middle Eastern Dumplings

Course Main Course

Ingredients

Outer Shell Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat #1 grind – fine
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour
  • Water, for dough

Meat Filling Ingredients

  • 1 LB. ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

Preparation of Outer Shell:

  • Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse and strain bulgur using cold water. Place rinsed bulgur in a mixing bowl and soak bulgur in cold water to cover the surface by a finger or two, no more. Let bulgur sit for at least 15-20 minutes.

While the bulgur is soaking, prepare the filling:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the grated onion, parsley, allspice, and salt with the ground beef until well-incorporated.
    NOTE: Check the raw meat for seasoning by cooking a tiny piece in a skillet.

Continue the outer shell preparation:

  • Mix bulgur, semolina, and a little salt (1/2 teaspoon kosher salt) to form the dough. Knead until it comes together. If wet, add alittle more semolina. If dry, add more water. Cover dough until ready to use.

Assembling the Kbeibat:

  • Fill a bowl with ice water to keep your hands wet while shaping the dumplings.
    NOTE: It’s easier to work with and shape the dumplings when your hands are wet. It will help keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.
  • Roll a 1-inch-wide ball of dough between your hands. Open a hole using your pointer in one hand, while rotating and holding the shape of the ball with your other hand. Once the hole is wide and the dough casing is thin, stuff it with a spoonful of meat mixture and seal by pressing the edge of the hole together. Alternatively, you can follow the easier disk method outlined in the diagram on the blog post. http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2010/04/27/middle-eastern-dumplings/

Cooking the Kbeibat:

  • Arrange the dumplings on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper (or lightly coated with oil) to prevent them from sticking.
  • Bring a medium sized pot of water to a simmer and season with salt (as you would when you’re making pasta).
  • Simmer the dumplings for 6-8 minutes in batches. Yields about 36 dumplings.
Print

Kbeibat

A Middle Eastern Dumpling
Servings 36 dumplings

Ingredients

Outer Shell Ingredients:

  • 1 cup #1 (fine) bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour
  • Water, for dough

Meat Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

Preparation of Outer Shell:

  • Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse and strain bulgur using cold water. Place rinsed bulgur in a mixing bowl and soak bulgur in cold water to cover the surface by a finger or two, no more. Let bulgur sit for at least 15-20 minutes.

While the bulgur is soaking, prepare the filling:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the grated onion, parsley, allspice, and salt with the ground beef until well-incorporated.
    NOTE: Check the raw meat for seasoning by cooking a tiny piece in a skillet.

Continue the outer shell preparation:

  • Mix bulgur, semolina, and a little salt (1/2 teaspoon kosher salt) to form the dough. Knead until it comes together. If wet, add a little more semolina. If dry, add more water. Cover dough until ready to use.

Assembling the Kbeibat:

  • Fill a bowl with ice water to keep your hands wet while shaping the dumplings.
    NOTE: It’s easier to work with and shape the dumplings when your hands are wet. It will help keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.
  • Roll a 1-inch-wide ball of dough between your hands. Open a hole using your pointer in one hand, while rotating and holding the shape of the ball with your other hand. Once the hole is wide and the dough casing is thin, stuff it with a spoonful of meat mixture and seal by pressing the edge of the hole together. Alternatively, you can follow the easier disk method outlined in the diagram on the blog post. http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2010/04/27/middle-eastern-dumplings/

Cooking the Kbeibat:

  • Arrange the dumplings on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper (or lightly coated with oil) to prevent them from sticking. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a simmer and season with salt (as you would when you’re making pasta). Cooking in batches, simmer the dumplings for 6-8 minutes.


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