Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts

Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

These untraditional kibbeh are filled with gooey molten cheese. They are a little fiddly to make, but with a bit of practice you can achieve a passable, if not exceptional, result.

Kibbeh shell


Quantity Ingredient
200g fine white burghul
600g lamb, minced twice
1 onion, puréed in a food processor
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toum, to serve

Yoghurt whipped with tahini

Quantity Ingredient
150g natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons tahini, well stirred
1 garlic clove, crushed with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Quantity Ingredient
150g mozzarella
80g pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
150ml vegetable oil


  1. Put the burgul into a small bowl and pour on just enough cold water to cover it. Leave for 5 minutes, then tip into a sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can using your hands.
  2. Put the lamb into a mixing bowl with the onion, burgul, spices and salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything to a soft, smooth paste. You may need to add a little cold water to help bind everything together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, which makes the paste easier to work with.
  3. To make the yoghurt whipped with tahini, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  4. While the lamb mixture is chilling in the fridge, prepare the filling. First, grate the mozzarella. Fry the pine nuts in the olive oil until they are golden brown, then drain them on paper towel. Add the onion to the oil in the frying pan and sauté gently for a few minutes until softened. Tip the onion into a bowl and stir in the cheese, pine nuts, allspice, parsley and salt and pepper.
  5. Take a small lump of the lamb paste in the palm of your left hand and roll it to a smooth ball. Using the forefinger of your right hand (reverse hands if you’re left-handed), make an indentation in the lump and start to shape it into a hollow shell. Try to make it as thin and even as you can. Fill the shell with about a teaspoon of the stuffing, wet the edges of the opening with cold water, and pinch it closed. You are aiming for a small torpedo-shaped dumpling, with slightly tapered ends. Leave the stuffed kibbeh on a tray, covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
  6. Bake them in a 190°C oven for about 20 minutes (the more virtuous option) or deep-fry or shallow-fry them in medium–hot oil, turning to ensure a deep golden brown colour all over. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.
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