Lamb Meatball and Carrot Stew

Published September 29, 2018

Sitto’s Lamb Meatball and Carrot Stew, which she called Kibbe Jazarriya in Arabic, is another one of her scrumptious versions of Kibbe! The basic Syrian Kibbe is probably the most often prepared meat mixture in all of the Middle East. If you talk to anyone familiar with the foods of the Levant, then you’ve surely heard of Kibbe. Kibbe’s many versions are that old in this region. I think that those long-ago cooks knew this ground lamb and bulgar wheat mixture was a hearty and frugal way to feed a family. And along the way, those Syrian cooks passed their secrets down through the generations, adding this spice or that herb, while putting their regional signature on it.

Sitto’s Aleppo version was simmered in a meaty lamb broth, aromatic with Datah, a Syrian Spice blend, mint, tamarind and carrots. Her Kibbe meatballs would be a mixture of ground lamb, bulgar wheat and grated onion. She’d add her lamb meatballs to the broth for a half hour or so. I remember that she’d have that pot simmering on the stove and the aromas would draw us all into her kitchen! I especially loved the way the broth and her Syrian Spice Blend added just the right flavor to the simmering meatballs and carrots. As with so many of her one-pot meals, she served it over Syrian rice, making it a wonderfully delicious and memorable meal!

Find the recipes for these ingredients in Sitto’s Kitchen II cookbook. The Basics chapter contains the Tamarind Syrup recipe, so integral to Aleppo cooking. The recipe for Kibbe Jazarriya, Lamb Meatball and Carrot Stew is on page 93. You’ll also find the recipes for her Datah, Syrian Spice Blend, on page 62, bringing this Aleppo meal all together for you and your family!