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Kibbeh, a form of the Arabic word kubbah or "ball," is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Made out of lamb or beef, these football-shaped croquettes are a flavorful blend of fragrant herbs and spices, filling meat, and hearty bulgur wheat. Delicious as an appetizer or side dish, the hearty zeppelins are wonderful when served with hummus, khyar bi laban (a yogurt-cucumber salad), pita bread, and labneh (strained yogurt).

There are many recipes for kibbeh, as many countries have a local version, but two main types exist: cooked or raw. Kibbeh nabilseeyah is the fried version, like ours, in which balls of raw meat are stuffed with cooked meat and then deep-fried. Kibbeh nayyeh, the raw version, is served with bread and other accompaniments like lemons and chopped onions. Other methods bake the whole preparation—similarly to a flat meatloaf—boil it in broth, skewer it, and grill it in patties or elongated sausage-like shapes.

Kibbeh is considered to be a national dish of Lebanon and Syria,[8] and is popular in Palestine, Jordan, and Cyprus. Versions are found in Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf, Armenia, and Turkey.

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