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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Kebbeh Nayah – Lebanon’s famous delicacy for Ramadhan

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Afshan Jabeen is an influencer based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. For Ramadhan, Afshan has prepared Kebbeh Nayah, one of Lebanon’s most famous delicacies and is a quintessential festive food of the Arabic region.


Kebbeh Nayah is freshly-butchered meat that is traditionally prepared and consists of minced raw lamb mixed with fine bulgur and spices.


It is made of finely ground raw meat mixed with bulgur, onions, mint, and spices, then drizzled with olive oil.


During the old days, the Lebanese and Syrians used to kill animals on Sundays and on feast days. Raw meat was eaten immediately. Lebanese traditionally relied on that freshness to help guarantee the meat’s safety.


Kebbeh Nayah stands for ‘raw kibbe’, kibbeh being the patties made from ground meat, bulgur (cracked wheat) and spices. It is a rustic, authentic Lebanese dish of raw minced lamb. The secret to this much-loved Lebanese dish is using only the freshest meat that is finely minced on the day, and it should be eaten the day it is made.


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There are two main ways to grind meat for Kebbeh Nayah. The first method used is from the olden days beating the meat using a pestle and mortar. The other method is to use a good food processor or meat grinder.


Afshan was recently selected for the Panasonic Influencer Affiliate Programme (‘PIAP’) 2022 from Oman by Panasonic. She does restaurant reviews, food photography and shares new recipes on social media platforms. Her social media handles on Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube and Facebook are @afshaan_foodblog.


Ingredients


500 gms lean leg of goat /lamb/veal


1 cup fine bulgur


1 Onion


2 red chilies fresh


15 leaves fresh mint


10 leaves fresh basil


1/2 teaspoon 7 spices (Lebanese spice blend)


1/2 teaspoon Cayenne/black pepper


1 teaspoon salt


1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Method:


Wash and soak bulgur for 10 minutes


Mince the meat finely in a processor


Finely chop the onion, herbs and all spices to the processor give it a blitz.


Add bulgur and onion herb paste to the minced meat and mix with wet hands for 5 min.


Form a large patty with all the meat and flatten it by giving it the shape of the serving dish about 3 inches (7 cm) thick.


Using a knife or fingers, make decorative patterns on the top of the meat.


Drizzle the olive oil over the entire surface of the meat.


Garnish with slices of hot pepper, turnip, chives, pine nuts and a few mint leaves.


Serve immediately with pita bread.


Kebbeh Nayah Tips


Serve immediately with pita bread. Make sure you keep the fresh meat cold until you are ready to prepare it, and come serving time, you want it to be almost at room temperature.


Using a good food processor takes out most of the work or getting it done by butcher you trust to give you the highest quality meat is and also getting it done with sterilised blades is just as important.


You can make pretty indents to hold the oil or score knife patterns as you wish, and use a bit of water to smooth it down if it gets sticky.


How to serve Kebbeh Nayah


Use the very best extra virgin olive oil and fresh bread to accompany. It is also customary to serve fresh herbs, radishes, cucumber and raw or spring


Is it safe to eat raw meat?


Ultimately this depends on the quality of the meat and try to get it as fresh as possible from the butcher the same day.


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