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KBEHBAT, KUTLEH | Minced Meat Filled Wheat-Balls Cooked in Broth


 

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an ancient Chaldean {Syriac} recipe,

the cuisine of the Assyrian people

 

The outer shell is prepared with durum wheat groats, coarse semolina and spices kneaded with water to form a pliable dough.

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The filling consists of a mixture of minced beef, onion, parsley and spices.  I usually divide it into 40 pieces and roll into balls before forming the kutleh – this saves time and prevents bits of parsley from hanging on onto the shell.

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Once shell dough is ready it is likewise divided into 4o pieces.  Working with 1 piece at a time, form a ball and make an indentation on one side using your index finger.   Keep gently rolling around to enlarge the indentation, widening and thinning the walls more towards the open end.  Place filling inside, flatten slightly, and slowly pinch ends together to seal.

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Once formed, place on a sheet pan, sealed side down and press down to slightly flatten bottom.

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Repeat, making sure you cover with plastic wrap to prevent excessive drying.

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Kutleh, or Kbehbat are not fried, rather braised in broth.

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Serve warm with plenty of salad and Italian Giardiniera (hot pickled vegetables in oil).

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KBEHBAT, KUTLEH | MINCED MEAT FILLED WHEAT-BALLS COOKED IN BROTH

print this recipe

 

shell dough:
1 3/4 cups fine brown bulgur (մանր ձաւար)
1 cup less 2 tablespoons warm water, plus more as needed
1 1/3 cups coarse semolina or cream of wheat (սիմիտ, բոկեղ, جريش)
2 tablespoons wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon red Aleppo pepper (կարմիր փոշի պղպեղ)
1/4 teaspoon allspice (անուշ պահար)

filling:
1 lb minced beef, preferably not less than 15% fat
1 large onion, minced
2 cups flat-leaf Italian parsley, chiffonade (մանրուած ազատքեղ)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (սեւ փոշի պղպեղ)
1/2 teaspoon red Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon flour, optional, if you want filling to clump together

salted and oiled water, for cooking
cold water, for cooking

Prepare outer shell dough. Mix bulgur and water; set aside for 15 minutes. Slightly squeeze out excess water; if any.

Combine bulgur, semolina, flour, salt and spices in a bowl. Knead mixture gently as you add water until a soft, pliable, sticky but not wet dough-like consistency is achieved. Cover with a damp towel and rest for an hour.

Meanwhile prepare filling. Mix ingredients until thoroughly combined. Divide into 40 pieces and roll into balls.

To assemble, have ready a bowl of iced water; to wet hands as and if needed. Divide shell dough into 40 pieces and roll into balls. Working with one ball at a time, make an indentation on one side using your index finger. Keep gently rolling around to enlarge the indentation, widening and thinning the walls more towards the open end. Keep in mind that it will expand when it cooks. Place filling inside, flatten slightly, and slowly pinch ends together to seal. Place on a sheet pan, sealed side down, and prss down to slightly flatten bottom. Repeat.  Keep everything covered with a plastic wrap to prevent excess drying as you work.

To cook Kbehbat, or kutleh, bring a pot of salted and oiled water to a boil – you will need to braise them in liquid in several batches. At this point you can season your broth with additional spices if you like.

Drop pieces one at a time into gently boiling water, reduce heat to low and cook for 8-to-20 minutes until soft but not disintegrated; they will float to the top once almost done. Add a cup of cold water to pot, give it a few swirls then remove kbehbat pieces onto a platter using a slotted spoon – do not omit adding cold water at the end, this keeps dumplings moise; the shock stops broth from oozing out of the shell.  Bring pot back to a boil, lower the heat and repeat with remaining pieces. Serve hot.

Makes 40.

 

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One Response to KBEHBAT, KUTLEH | Minced Meat Filled Wheat-Balls Cooked in Broth

  1. By claudia, May 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    This is the kbebat recipe

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