Fried Potato Kibbeh Balls
Almost every family has a treasured recipe, and best recipes are those that are passed down from one generation to another. Today, I am sharing with you a precious recipe passed down to me by my grandma - on my father’s side. I had lots of memories of it as a child. Fried Potato Kibbeh Balls! The outer shell is made with mashed potatoes and fine bulgur. The dough is stuffed with a filling of minced beef or lamb and walnuts, seasoned with sumac, allspice, cinnamon powder and chili flakes. I am pretty sure that you are all familiar with the meat kibbeh balls, but these are equally tasty (if not better). A good potato kibbeh should be crispy on the outside and moist inside. The recipe may sound time-consuming, but these kibbeh balls are definitely worth it. Making an oval shaped kibbeh may be challenging a bit, but may be mastered with a few tries. These kibbeh balls freeze perfectly and can go directly from freezer to fryer. The recipe makes about 30 pieces.
400g./14 oz. potatoes
2 1/2 cups fine bulgur
½ cup boiling water, to knead the bulgur
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
200g. /7 oz. minced beef or lamb
4 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
Salt to taste
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon sumac, optional
A dash of white pepper
A dash of cinnamon powder
¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
A dash of chili flakes, optional
Canola oil, for deep frying
- Mix the fine bulgur with boiling water.
- In the meantime, place the onion, black pepper, cinnamon powder, cumin powder and chili flakes in a food processor and blend. Add this mix to the soaked bulgur and set aside for 1 hour.
- Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and then reduce heat to low and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Peel the potatoes and mash using a ricer or a potato masher. Set aside.
- After 1 hour, knead the soaked bulgur while gradually adding ½ cup of cold water. Knead for about 15 minutes (the more you knead the better the result). The bulgur should be much softer at this point.
- Add the mashed potatoes and salt to the bulgur and knead well until the mixture is fully integrated.
Now prepare the stuffing:
- Place the ground meat in a skillet over medium heat. Add the canola oil and sauté the meat for 7-10 minutes.
- Add the onions and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Add the salt, sumac, white pepper, cinnamon powder and chili flakes. Mix well and add the roughly chopped walnuts. Set aside to cool down.
Putting it together:
- Once the filling has cooled down to room temperature, we can start working with potato kibbeh dough.
- Divide the kibbeh dough to small balls roughly the size of an egg.
- Using damp hands, create a hole in each ball with your index finger.
- Gradually flatten the dough and elongate the sides. Make sure you do not tear it.
- Place one teaspoon of the filling inside and seal it. Repeat as necessary.
- Freeze the potato kibbeh balls for at least 30 minutes before frying.
- Heat up the canola oil in a deep fryer to an adequate frying temperatue and fry every 4 together.
- Cook to crispy and brown (about 10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm.
Tips for successful potato kibbeh balls:
Soak bulgur in boiling water for crispy potato kibbeh balls
Knead the bulgur thoroughly with your hands and never use a food processor.
Mash the potatoes using a ricer or a potato masher, and never use a food processor.
Freeze the potato kibbeh balls for a minimum of 40 minutes before frying (to help the kibbeh balls firm up a bit).
Oil should be so hot when frying the balls.
Do not fry all the potato kibbeh at once, this will reduce the temperature of the oil. Fry every four pieces to avoid a mushy kibbeh.
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