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The Hirshon Jewish Kurdish Kubbeh in Chicken Soup - קובה חאמו

The Hirshon Jewish Kurdish Kubbeh in Chicken Soup – קובה חאמו

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • For the shell:
  • 190g fine cracked wheat, not bulgur, uncooked
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 165g semolina
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ***
  • For the meat filling:
  • 1 1/2 pounds fatty stewing lamb, such as chuck, shank or neck
  • 1 3/4 ounces (50g) lamb tail fat – if unavailable, use regular lamb fat
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. celery leaves, minced
  • ***
  • For the soup:
  • 2 cups chickpeas, uncooked
  • 4 green onions
  • 4 tbsp. chopped celery leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (white beet leaves)
  • 10 1/2 cups (2.5L) chicken stock
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 turnips, chopped into large pieces
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Hirshon Iraqi Baharat spice mix, made from:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (it’s not traditional, but I like smoked Spanish paprika – use regular paprika to go old-school)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons crumbled dried rose petals, optional but strongly recommended


  1. The shell: Soak cracked wheat in water for 30 minutes, or until it has absorbed the water and has expanded. It shouldn’t be soupy. Add the semolina and ½ teaspoon salt and knead until the dough is soft and elastic like playdough. Add more water if necessary to create pliable dough. If the dough is too wet, let stand for 30 minutes or add small amounts of semolina. Remember that different batches of semolina and cracked wheat absorb water differently.
  2. Meat filling: Fry the chunks of meat in lamb fat using a cast iron skillet until the meat is browned on all sides, adding a few drops of water to the pan if the bottom begins to burn. Cover the meat with water and let the water boil down completely and until the meat loses about half of its volume (this is an improvised khelia). Set aside to cool.
  3. Fry the onion in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil or lamb fat until dark brown, add to meat. Add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the chopped celery leaves. Cool completely.
  4. Soup:
  5. First, soak the chickpeas in a pot of water overnight. For the soup, drain the chickpeas. Return them to the pot, cover with water reaching almost twice as high along the sides of the pot and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, until tender – drain liquid and discard, reserve chickpeas.
  6. In the blender add the green onions, celery leaves, garlic and about ½ of the chard leaves. Add a little water and blend until all the vegetables are pulverized. Roughly chop the remaining chard. Boil the chicken stock. Add the vegetables and chopped Swiss chard (and whatever didn’t fit into the blender) and cook for about five minutes. Add the pulverized vegetables, the chickpeas, the turmeric and the Iraqi baharat to the stock and cook for another 10 minutes. Add lemon juice. It should be sour.
  7. Kubbeh: Take a piece of dough the size of a walnut, shape the dough into a ball, and with your thumb make a hole for the stuffing. The sides of the shell should be thin, about 2mm (about as thick as a U.S. nickel), as the dough will expand in the soup. A bowl of water is useful to dip your hands in to keep the dough from sticking.
  8. Stuff the shell with the cooled meat filling. For every piece of dough, try stuffing with about the same volume of meat. Flatten the stuffed kubbeh into discs. Place them on a lightly oiled surface such as a baking pan. Only when the soup is boiling add the kubbeh.
  9. With a long wooden spoon stir the soup gently to make sure the kubbeh have not stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the kubbeh begin to float. Remember the kubbeh will disintegrate if cooked too long.
  10. Uncooked stuffed kubbeh can be frozen. To freeze put a tray of kubbeh in the freezer until frozen to the touch. Take them out and put them in a freezer bag.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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