Kibbeh nayeh with basil, mint and green chillies

Kibbeh nayeh with basil, mint and green chillies

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

Kibbeh nayeh is a kind of middle eastern steak tartare and is a great favourite on the mezze table. It uses the best-quality lamb, pounded or minced to a fine paste with onion, burgul and spices, and served with a drizzle of fruity olive oil, salad onions, fresh mint and plenty of Arabic flatbread.

The traditional spice for kibbeh nayeh is allspice — although in Aleppo they like a touch of chilli heat. This recipe is entirely my own creation, and we love the freshness that the herbs and green chilli add. You can prepare the mixture up to 2 hours ahead of time, keeping the meat separate from the other ingredients.


Quantity Ingredient
100g fine white burghul
90g white onion, roughly chopped
1 long green chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
1/3 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
300g lean lamb, roughly diced
3 ice cubes
extra-virgin olive oil, arabic flatbread, fresh onions and mint leaves, to serve


  1. Soak the burgul for 5 minutes in just enough cold water to cover it. Drain it well through a sieve, then tip it into a tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Tip into a mixing bowl.
  2. Put the onion, chilli and fresh herbs through a mincer — it will come through as a green slush. Add to the burgul. Stir in the salt, a few grinds of pepper and the chilli powder. Roughly chop the meat, then put it through a mincer twice.
  3. When you’re ready to eat, add the meat and ice cubes to the burgul mixture. Mix well with your hands. As the ice dissolves, it will bind everything together into a smooth, sticky paste. Tip onto a plate and spread into a smooth, shallow layer reaching right up to the rim. Use the back of a spoon or a knife to make dimples or lines in the surface to decorate, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil before serving. It is also delicious with yoghurt cheese, although most Lebanese would throw up their hands in horror at this unorthodox accompaniment.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again