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Kibbeh Nayyeh

Erez Komarovsky

Lesson time 22 min

Travel to a small Arab village and learn about the secrets of this Lebanese delicacy. Kibbeh Nayyeh, considered the tartare of Lebanon, is prepared with a special blend of spices and bulgur wheat for an insane aroma and one of a kind Middle Eastern flavor.

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What we call now Israeli cuisine, is mixing cultures together. And also understanding that we live in the Middle East, that we have this climate, and we have to get connected to it. We have to get connected to the heritage that was here in Israel, and to study from it. This is another step in the evolution of Israeli cuisine. (upbeat instrumental music continues) [Erez] Traditionally, you do kibbeh nayyeh with hunting meat. Second best is to have goat. It smells like heaven. Hello! Hi. Hi How are you? I’m fine brother. Very good. Good to see you. It’s the first time I meet your father. Wow. My grandfather, and father, and the son. It’s my honor. Yeah, wow, three generations we have here. I am proud of them. I am 93. I am still working. 93 years old? It’s amazing. So you’re going to work till 93 years old also. (Thomas laughs softly) This is a very good arrack. Arrack is an anise drink. It’s clear and when you add water it becomes like milk. Cheers. (glasses clink) [Thomas] Cheers Cheers, to good meat. (glasses clink) Thank you. So, I came to buy some goat meat and we’re going to do kibbeh nayyeh with Iad. What’s the best part for the kibbeh nayyeh? The shank. The legs? The legs, yeah. Okay, so give it to me. He asked for two kilos. It’s very common to eat goat in Arab villages in Israel. Unfortunately, we Jews don’t eat it. I don’t know why. Because it’s a leaner meat and a healthier one. (upbeat instrumental music continues) You have to look at him, the way he cleans the meat. Thomas does it well because he taught him. It’s delicious. -Very No fat? No fat. Traditionally you do kibbeh nayyeh with hunting meat. The best is having a wild deer without any fat. Second best is to have goat. Look at how lean this meat is. It’s a very young one. [Kamal] Yeah. (paper rustling) This one’s more mature. (upbeat instrumental) (upbeat instrumental) Who is the best person that does kibbeh nayyeh in Gush Halav? Gush Halav. My wife. (Kamal laughing) Every family has its own tradition. Okay, Thank you so much. Thank you. Erez. (upbeat instrumental music continues) (soothing instrumental music begins) Shalom. Shalom Erez. (door slams) It’s good to see you. Thank you for having me at your home. My pleasure. -Thank you, thank you! Hello! – Hi! Shalom Erez? Hi. Iad, Ilush. What do you have there? -I brought you goat. I am dying to know how to do kibbeh nayyeh. Kibbeh nayyeh? And I know that you have the best kibbeh nayyeh– in the village. Very well. The person who will make kibbeh nayyeh with you today is the kibbeh nayyeh master of the village. Mrs. Shafia. Shafia? My sister in-law. Wow. Let me tell you the first rule of kibbeh nayyeh: kibbeh nayyeh is usually made by a woman, not a man. And if there’s more than one woman, then the oldest woman gets the honor of making the kibbeh nayyeh. And so today, Shafia will make us kibbeh nayyeh, and we will all eat kibbeh nayyeh! Excellent! With pleasure. Wow, wow. So you’re going to teach me today? (soothing instrumental music continues) Here we have the hot side-dish made of butter and onions. [Erez] Okay. The meat here is hand-chopped. Yes. Very fine. We combine the meat with the onions. (metal scraping) [Erez] So, she’s cooking the meat apart from the onion in order to control it completely. So, she’s doing something like a confit of the onion. There was a lot of fat. (metal clanking) It’s olive oil? [Shafia] Yeah. [Erez] Now she adds the Baharat. The baharat is a spice blend– (soothing instrumental music) Now, I’m going to add some salt. [Erez] And you’re using Himalayan salt, I see. [Shafia] Yeah. Why, because it’s tastier? Tastier and healthier. [Erez] Okay. (soothing instrumental music) (glass jar clanking) You didn’t use a lot of baharat. We will add some later if we want. Here I have the baharat for the kibbeh. I add this too. Really? I see you also have cumin. Yes, for the kibbeh we also use cumin. And clove? And clove. And what else? And flowers Oh really, flowers (rose-buds)? Of course. Interesting. You use two different spice mixes. Yes. (glass jar clanking) (soothing instrumental music) The name of the cooked meat is Chosi. And together it’s amazing, you know. The cooked meat with the raw meat together in the same dish. (soothing instrumental music) (spoon clanking) (metal lid clatters) And now she’s going to cook it slowly. (soothing instrumental music) Here we have the basil. Basil? You use basil? Yes. We have onion, we have mint and we have… Marjoram. (plate clanking) We grind all of this. (bright instrumental music) (blender whirs) (bright instrumental music) (blender continues whirring) (bright instrumental music) (blender whirs faster) (bright instrumental music continues) [Erez] She grinds it very finely. (spoon clanking) All the herbs together with the– It needs to be finer. with the onions. (bright instrumental music) (blender whirs) (bright instrumental music) (gentle instrumental music) We have the bulgur here. Here we have almost two kilos. – Two kilos? Two kilos of bulgur. Here we have almost two kilos. – Two kilos? Two kilos of bulgur. For each kilo, we need a bit more than one kilo of meat. About one and a half kilos. -For each kilo of bulgur, one kilo of meat? Yes. But first of all, we use lemon zest. [Erez] Okay. We add it to the meat to neutralise any unpleasant taste in the goat meat. (bright instrumental music) [Erez] It’s interesting, I didn’t know that. And I’m doing kibbeh nayyeh all the time– [Shafia] Yeah. But I’m doing it completely different. I’m not using (indistinct) I’m using roasted pistachios, instead. Okay. Interesting. But this I never did. (bright instrumental music) Wow, a lot. (bright instrumental music) So, we added lemon zest and now we’ll add lemon juice. How much? About two (lemons). Mix it well. Really? I didn’t know you use lemon in it. You keep surprising me. Lemon adds a lot. True. Now I need my spices, the salt… I have sweet paprika, this is for the color. Yes [Erez] Yeah. I use this to get a nice red color. [Erez] Beautiful. Wow. Here we have the kibbeh baharat. As we said, kibbeh baharat is… [Erez] It’s baharat made out of cumin and the other spices? -You use a lot, eh? Yes. The kibbeh is made of meat and baharat. [Erez] Wow (cheerful instrumental music) Salt. (cheerful instrumental music) (cheerful instrumental music) Here we have cardamom. (cheerful instrumental music) Cumin. Tons of spices, it’s amazing. (cheerful instrumental music) Cinnamon. (cheerful instrumental music) Actually, she’s doing now the baharat again from individual spices. (cheerful instrumental music) Here we have nutmeg. (cheerful instrumental music) (grater scraping) (grater clanking) [Erez] Wow. (cheerful instrumental music) Here we have the grounded pepper. What is this? This is sweet. What do you mean by ground pepper? These are dried peppers. We put them in water and then we grind it. Oh, right. [Erez] Dried pepper that you soak in water and– This is sweet. Do you like spicy? Yes. Okay. Okay. This has no spices. Right. Only pepper. (rhythmic instrumental music) And this is spicy Oh, now the hot peppers, also grinded. Your hands will have color all over them now. I like colorful hands. People will think I got henna done. It’s good. (bouncy instrumental music) The kibbeh is good when it’s spicy. I agree, I agree. (bouncy instrumental music) [Erez] Look at the way she does it. Wow. She rubs it in, in order to blend it completely. (bouncy instrumental music) Basil, cumin and marjoram and– [Shafia] Yeah. And mint leaf with onion. (dishes clatter) No salt? (bouncy instrumental music) Afterwards, we take what’s left and season it with salt and olive oil and we eat it with the kibbeh. Ah… (bouncy instrumental music) Now I need cold water. (soothing instrumental music) (dishes clatter) And this is the secret not to put too much water. (soothing instrumental music) Right? Can you help me add a bit of water? Of course (soothing instrumental music) (water trickling) (soothing instrumental music) (water trickling) (soothing instrumental music ) These peppers are incredible. Now we add the meat. Okay. You want this meat? (cutting plastic bag) You want the goat? [Shafia] Okay. Just to add it? Now, I’m going to add some salt. So much fun. The smell is insane. Right? It’s because of the spices. Wow, wow It smells like heaven. Also the dry peppers, that she marinated and grounded, a big amount and the lemon rind, it all blends together. Do you like it? Wow. This is how you do it? Yes, like this. Back in the day, when they finished making the kibbeh, they would do this. They say ‘to the Asura.’ ‘Asfura.’ Like this, with the fingers. They say ‘to the Asura.’ ‘Asfura.’ Like this, with the fingers. And then they let you taste it… Like this? (raw) …and ask: ‘Taste it for me. Are the salt and spices okay?’ Oh really?  That’s the tradition: to ask. It’s okay? It’s okay? Yes. It’s excellent, amazing. [Erez] Asfura. [Shafia] Asura. [Erez] Asura. [Shafia] Asura. [Erez] Asura. Like this. You put the hot meat on top and eat them together. Got it. Wow, it’s perfect. She does two different shapes. One asura and one is a round one. I personally prefer the– [Shafia] Asura. [Erez] The asura, because it looks more human in a way, you know what I mean? They called it “Asura” because it took them a long time to make it so when they finished, their fingers… Ah! They do this with, (Shafia laughs softly) you know, its like the energy there. We forgot something… the oil for the side-dish [Erez] This is the oil. The fat from cooking the meat, that we’re going to eat it with. This gives it a shine. (upbeat instrumental music continues) (spoon clanking) (bowl clanking) Here I have pine nuts and roasted almonds. [Erez] And now she’s adding salt to the mint and basil, marjoram mixture and a little black pepper, (jar clanks) and olive oil. [Shafia] Olive oil. [Erez] And we’re going to eat it together. (glass bottle clanks) Looks gorgeous. And our food is ready, enjoy! Thank you. Thank you. (bright instrumental music) (plates clanking) Okay, wow. (Iad laughs softly) (plate clanks) Wow. (bowl clanks) How do you eat this with lettuce? Yes. …and put meat in it. Lemon. Lemon? You put this on top. (spoon clanks) (soothing instrumental music) It’s the first time… Yes? …that I’m eating it this way. Perfect. Perfect. Thank you very much. You are well fed. I eat the best food there is. (dishes clattering) Shafia, thank you very much. Bless you. [Erez] Cheers! – Cheers! L’chaim, L’chaim! Kibbeh and arrack is the bride and the groom. L’chaim! May we all be well. Keep enjoying life! Cheers! With God’s help. (glasses clanking) (glasses clanking) And may we always have good food. (soothing instrumental music)

About the Instructor

Renowned chef, baker, and cookbook author celebrated as the “Godfather” of modern Israeli cuisine, Erez Komarovsky takes viewers on a journey to discover the roots of his Middle Eastern cuisine. Starting from the bustling markets of Tel Aviv, Israel to his blissful home in the North Galilee, Erez teaches viewers how to bake his “flowering” Challah and Pita breads, plus his signature dishes including Lamb Kebabs, Hummus Mezze with Falafel, Harissa Chicken, Fish Crudo and more.