Kebbeh Arnabieh


Kebbe Arnabieh is one of Beirut’s renowned recipes, usually prepared in winter, during the Bousfeir season. Nonetheless, this recipe contains a “cocktail” of citrus juices enriching its taste. It consists of hollow kebbe balls boiled in a tahini sauce, and can be served with rice on the side.

Total Servings: 4


500g Tahini

3 cups of orange juice

1 cup of afandeh juice (mandarin)

1 cup of Bousfeir juice (Seville orange)

1 cup of lemon juice

2 cups of water

2 medium onions chopped in julienne

1 cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight

2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil to fry the onions

Salt and white pepper to taste

Hollow Kebbeh balls (frozen or freshly prepared)

Preparation Steps:

  1. Boil the chickpeas for 30 mns, drain and put aside
  2. In a large pan, stir fry the onions with vegetable oil
  3. Once the onions turn gold, add the chickpeas
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the tahini with the citrus juices until the texture become homogenous
  5. Add the tahini mixture to the onions and chickpeas to cook on medium fire, and stirring with a wooden spoon until the oil breaks at the surface
  6. Once the mixture starts to boil, add the kebbeh to cook for 10 mns (15 mns if the kebbeh is frozen)
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Serve hot with rice pilaf on the side


Eat Local

Bitter orange or bousfeir

Arabic sweets drizzled with syrup and mazaher
Arabic sweets drizzled with syrup and mazaher

[quote]I know spring is here when I open the windows of my room in the morning, and smell the fragrance of Bousfeir blossoms emanating from our garden.[/quote]

Bousfeir is the Lebanese name for the Seville orange, also known as bitter orange and bigarade orange grown all over the Mediterranean, and commonly used in the cuisine of this region in a variety of recipes. The most common recipe to the Mediterranean countries producing bitter orange is jam and marmalade; even though the preparation method differs from one place to another, no pectin is added since the fruit is richer in pectin than sweet orange.

Rice pudding or roz bi haleeb flavored with mazaher
Rice pudding or roz bi haleeb flavored with mazaher

Bitter orange has a special place in the heart of the Lebanese gastronomy; the southern coastal cities are renowned for their large citrus and bousfeir orchards, and the city of Maghdoushe is famous for the production of orange blossom water or Mazaher, which has become a tradition among its families. Mazaher is used to prepare syrup (Qater) that drizzles Arabic and Lebanese sweets such as nammoura, knefe, and baklawa etc. Mazaher also flavors many types of desserts like roz bi haleeb (rice pudding), maamoul, and layali lebnan. It constitutes the basis of “white coffee” or ahwe bayda, a soothing caffeine-free drink, consumed after meals as a digestive. A syrupy preserve is also prepared by simmering the juice of bitter orange in sugar, and boiling over medium fire. Bousfeir syrup is used to prepare refreshing summer cocktails and tahini sauce.