- 4 onions, diced
- 6-8 tablespoons of butter or oil (traditionally, ghee is used, but I don't want to clog too any arteries!)
- 2½ pounds of lamb (you can use a leg of lamb, shanks or cubes, cut into about 2-inch pieces. I prefer cubes -- less fat and more meat)
- 1½ pounds of tomatoes diced
- Salt to taste
- 4 dried lemons (get them from an Arabic store, they are called loomis) You'll need to soak these in hot water before use. First, pierce your loomis with a fork (once or twice is enough).
- Fill a small pot with water and add your loomis until water boils.
- Remove pot from heat and let stand for about 1/2 hour. Use the loomis and the water in your dish.
- 3-6 dried chili peppers (only if you like it spicy)
- 4 cinnamon sticks (It’s better to get the barks rather than the cinnamon sticks found in a typical grocery store. Arabic stores should sell the bark pieces.)
- 2-3 teaspoons of seven-spice powder (or you may use the more traditional baharat spice. You will find that in Arabic stores as well)
- 3-4 cups of rice (you can add more meat to this dish if you have larger gatherings with the four cups of rice)
- For the optional garnish
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1/2 cup of pine nuts
Butter or oil (this is all optional)
- Sauté the onions in oil (or butter) in a large pot (a very large pot, as it has to hold all of that rice, until the onions are golden brown.
- Add the lamb and cook until browned.
- Add the tomatoes and enough water to barely cover the lamb (too much water will make your rice soggy latter).
- Add all the other spice ingredients (including loomis water).
- Simmer this dish for about two hours over medium heat until the lamb is good and tender. (Remember, if you’re making this a chicken or fish dish, you'll need less water and less cooking time.)
- After the lamb is cooked and tender (to test: If lamb is on the bone it should easily fall off it, or the cubes easily cut with a spoon) add the rice and stir.
- Make sure you have enough water to cover the rice and cook over medium heat until the rice is done. (In order to prevent burning of the rice, you may use a sheet of tin foil under your pot on your burner. Make sure you stir! You don't want all your meat on the bottom.
- If you’re going to garnish, sauté the ingredients until lightly browned. After pouring your kibsah on a plate, sprinkle the top with nuts.
- * Basmati rice is the BEST rice to use. Do not use “sticky” rice. Basmati makes for a great light fluffy rice. Stay away from Uncle Ben’s or other American rice as well. Basmati rice can be found in Indian stores or Arabic stores, and even Sam’s Club carries good Basmati rice.
- The meal goes great with a salad and pita bread. You can try an Arabic salad (such as tabouleh) as a side.
- Also be careful not to add too much water to the rice; it’s easy to get the rice too soggy. So, less is better in this case. (You can always add more. Don't forget to cover rice and allow the steam to cook it as well.)
Comments: This is traditionally a lamb and rice dish, usually made in very large quantities and served on a single large platter. People sit on the floor and use their hands to eat.
So, you don’t want to sit on the floor? You may also sit at a table, serve on individual dishes, and provide your guests with forks! How you eat this meal won’t affect the taste one little bit! You can also make this a chicken dish or prepare as a fish dish (great with shrimp). For vegetarians: Well...er...you wouldn't survive in the Gulf, but you can try adapting this as a vegetarian dish.
This recipe calls for large portions! Here in the Gulf, we feed large families. As extended families tend to live together, this is a favorite recipe for a big family meals.
Submitted by: Nzingha
- 1 pound minced lamb
- 1 small onion (minced)
- 1-inch piece of ginger (grated fine)
- 1 teaspoon garum masala
- 4 cloves of garlic (grated fine)
- 2 chili peppers (grated fine)
- Salt (about a teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee.
- 2 onions (sliced fine)
- 2 cloves garlic...more if you like (grated)
- 1 teaspoon of dried ginger (grated)
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, or half a can of tinned tomatoes
- Chili powder (as much as you like, or paprika if you prefer mild -- wimp!)
- 1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro) seeds crushed
- 1/2 cup plain (unflavored) yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of garum masala.
- Mix all the meatball ingredients together and form into 1 inch balls and fry off in the butter until browned but not cooked through.
- In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook until colored, then put all the other ingredients in except the yogurt.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the meatballs and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add the yogurt and heat through.
- Serve with rice.
Submitted by: Nzingha