Kebbit El Arous – Bride’s kebbeh

“Kebbeh of the bride” beautifully presented at a wedding Henna party in Baalbeck

Kebbit El Arous” or Kebbeh of the bride is a traditional Lebanese cuisine mezze (appetizer), part of the special wedding rituals in the region of Baalbeck, northern Bekaa. This type of Kebbeh is served to guests attending the “Henna party” at the bride’s house one night before the wedding day.

Serving: 25

Preparation Time: 1 hour


1 kg of fine bulgur

2 kg of ground lean beef

2 tbsp. of table salt

1 tbsp. of Kebbeh spices (kammouneh spices)

1 tbsp. of cumin

1.5 of water

250 ml of extra virgin olive oil

1 kg of onions

2 tbsp. of paprika

2 tbsp. of dry basil

Preparation steps:

  1. Wash the fine bulgur thoroughly and then soak in a small amount of water (enough to make it wet) for 15 minutes
  2. Use a manual or electrical grinding machine to grind the onions. Or you can just grate them
  3. Mix the with salt, kebbeh spices, cumin, paprika and basil
  4. Add the ground lean beef to the mixture of onion and spices and use your hands to mix them very well for 5 minutes
  5. Add bulgur and mix again for another 5 minutes
  6. Add olive oil to the mixture and then make round balls equal to the size of a peach
  7. Reshape the balls into elongated pieces while inserting your fingers in the middle of the ball
  8. Serve with plenty of vegetables such as mint, cucumber, green sweet pepper, cabbage and tomatoes

Sfeeha or Lebanese meat pies

Enjoy the sfeeha with a dash of lemon juice
Enjoy the sfeeha with a dash of lemon juice

Sfeeha, a pastry filled with lamb meat, is typical to Heliopolis or Baalbeck the city of sun in the north of the Bekaa valley. One cannot visit the mighty Roman temples of Baalbeck without tasting its savory sfeeha served with a refreshing ayran drink.

Total servings: 35 pies

Caloric content: 110 calories / pie



3 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp of instant yeast

1 tbsp. of sugar

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of warm water

Olive oil to stretch the dough

 Filling meat mixture

500 g of lamb meat, grounded

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. of butter

3 tbsp. of tahini (secret ingredient)

3 tbsp. of labneh

⅓ cup of pine nut seeds, roasted (optional)

2 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses

½ tsp of allspice (7 spices)

Pinch of sumac

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tbsp. of shatta or spicy red pepper paste

3 gloves of garlic, mashed

Preparation steps:


  1. In a small bowl, mix the instant yeast with the sugar and a bit of warm water. Leave to rest while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and water. Knead well and olive oil enough to make the dough stretch well. Be careful not to add too much oil.
  3. Add the yeast to the dough and knead again. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and leave the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough doubles its size.

Meat mixture

In a separate bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, mix well and put in the refrigerator until the dough is ready.

Pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha (Picture from Wandering Spice)
Pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha (Picture from Wandering Spice)

Making the sfeeha

  1. On a dusted surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 0.5 cm while making sure all air pockets are removed
  2. With a cup or cookie cutter, cut circles in the dough
  3. On each circle of dough, put 2 tsp of the prepared filling then pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha
  4. While making the sfeeha, heat the oven to about 180 Celsius degrees
  5. Place the sfeeha on a greased oven pan and bake for 10 mns until the meat is cooked

Serve the warm sfeeha with a cup of laban (yogurt) or a glass of ayran (diluted and salty yogurt).