Iraqi Kubbay

Pronounced /kub: bae/

If I had to keep one food memory alive from my childhood, it would have to be this! My mum always tells us stories about how they used to have kubbay parties where they would make these by the dozens in her own childhood.

Everytime I went to a middle Eastern restaurant in London (oh those were the days!), I’d see Kibbeh on the menu and thought it would be what I thought it would be. But unfortunately, kinbeh (the Lebanese version) and kubbay (the Iraqi version) are very different. My naani was Iraqi so here’s a generations old recipe for you guys!


200g minced meat

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp chilli

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic paste

1 large tbsp sultanas

1 tsp garam masala spice blend

1 tsp ground pepper

Handful coriander

Handful green chillies, chopped

300g cooked rice

1 egg


1. Prepare the rice making sure the rice is as sticky as you can make it by overcooking it a little.

2. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the meat. Add some oil to a heated pan and add the mince meat until slightly cooked.

3. Add the onions, salt, garlic paste, chilli and mix well.

4. Add the sultanas, garam masala and ground pepper. Mix well then mix the green chillies and coriander. Mix well and set aside.

5. Your rice should be ready by now, once prepared drain the water (TOP TIP – keep the water and use it as a hair mask!!!) And cool the rice. Once cool, add 1 beaten egg.

6. Wet your hand a little before you do this – take some sticky rice and flatten it into your hand. Add some minced meat to the centre and close it up creating an oval shape. Make sure there are no gaps otherwise the kubbay will split.

7. Once ready, fry the kubbay on high heat.

8. Serve with a mint sauce for best results and enjoy!!!!

I hope you love this dish as much as I do!


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