Kubba Halab is delicious stuffed rice dumplings. They are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and filled with the most unique ground beef mixture. Let's discover and make this traditional recipe together!
I believe Kubba Halab originated in Iraq but is named Aleppo because merchants used to take Kubbat Halab with them while they traveled to Aleppo, Syria.
A Special Meal for a Special Day!
What is Kubba Halab?
"Kubba Halab" or "Kubba't Halab” means "Kubba from Halab" (Halab is the Arabic word for Aleppo, which is a city in Syria). It is a famous dish in Iraqi and Kurdish households. They are best served with red lentil soup on a rainy day. They are the best finger food and best served as a starter in big gatherings and parties.
Kubba is a type of dumplings made out of Bulgar, boiled potatoes, or rice. We will be using Basmati rice for this kubba because it is the most versatile and is almost available anywhere.
Kubba are hand-shaped into balls or shaped like eggs. Kubba Halab is usually deep-fried; however, if you're eating healthy, they can also be baked or air fried.
Qeema: The Ground Beef Mixture
Qeema is used in lots of different Kurdish and Iraqi household recipes for stuffing different variations of dishes. It is basically cooked ground beef mixed with finely chopped white onions and parsley. In some households, slivered almonds and raisins are also added to the ground beef mixture.
The Different Variations of Kubba:
I have Kubba Mosul recipe on my blog. They are flat round kubba stuffed with ground beef mixture and slivered almonds.
Have you seen the yellow kubba Halab? You can add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to rice before cooking, and it will give that beautiful yellow color.
Also, there is the famous Lebanese Kibbeh made of Bulgar wheat instead of rice.
Experience a Unique Traditional Food!
- Wet your hands often while your forming the dumplings. You will notice that working with the dough with wet hands it a lot easier and faster.
- Kubba Halab are very easy to store in the freezer and they are great for meal prepping. If you want to freeze the Kubba, place them in a single layer on a tray to freeze. Then, put them in freezer bags or zip-locks. Also, you can freeze fried Kubba. To serve the frozen fried Kubba, reheat them in the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer.
- I don’t recommend reheating frozen Kubba in the microwave because it will give the Kubba a soft texture instead of crunchy.
- You don't need to defrost Kubba Halab before you fry it in oil or air-fry it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Kubba or kibbeh is considered the national dish of Syria and especially Aleppo. But, it is is often credited to the Lebanese cuisine. Also, it is a popular dish also in other Middle Eastern countries, like, Palestine and Jordan. Some Kubba is named after the town in which it originated, leaving no room for argument as to who invented it. For example, "Kubba't Mosul" originated in Mosul, Iraq. "Kubba Halab," on the other hand, originated in Halab (Allepo), Syria.
We can't generalize and say all Arabic food is healthy. Lots of Middle Eastern dishes are healthy or generally has one of the healthiest cuisines. You can find lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and grains into almost every dish. Their dishes are rich in spices, seeds, and herbs. But, it also contains varied fatty ingredients among other generally unhealthy food items.
Kubba can be a healthier version if it is baked not fried. So, you can bake your Kubba in the oven or air-fry it.
- Jasmine Rice
- ground beef
- white onion
- Italian parsley or flat-leaf parsley
- black pepper (optional)
- slivered almonds and raisins (optional)
How to Make Kubba Halab:
Rinse jasmine rice very well to get rid of the starches.
Transfer rice into a pot. Now, add boiling water and salt on medium/high heat until all water is absorbed.
Let all the water absorb, and then turn the stove on low, cover the pot with the lid for another 20 minutes.
Once done, transfer the rice to a large tray and let it cool down.
Let the rice cool down; with your hand, knead the rice a little until you form a very soft dough, which is easy to work with and not too sticky. Dip your hands in water or oil to handle the dough. Watch the video at the bottom of the recipe card to learn how I handled and shaped the kubba.
How to Make the Stuffing for Kubba Halab:
Start by adding ground beef to a pan and cook it until brown (if you’re using lean ground beef, add about 1-2 tablespoons of oil).
Add finely chopped onions, finely chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper to the ground beef.
Stir the mixture until it is all combined and cooked.
Add slivered almonds and raisins now (optional step).
Things You Need Before Starting
- A large tray ready lined with parchment paper.
- A bowl of water (to wet your hands).
Let’s Stuff the Kubba Halab
Dip your hand in the water and take some dough. Then, make a ball about the size of a golf ball.
Make a hole in the middle of the ball with your index finger. Then, flatten out the sides by rotating the dough ball until the sides are thin.
Add about 2 tablespoons of stuffing and then close the ball. Dip your fingers in water to shape out the ball. (Watch the video to learn how to shape them exactly like Kubba Halab)
After you have shaped them, place them in a large tray that can fit in your freezer. Freeze them in the tray once hardened, transfer them to a zip-lock bag.
Dip them in egg wash and deep fry them on medium/high heat until golden and crispy.
Place fried the kubba on a paper towel; so it can absorb all the oil.
Enjoy them with lentil soup.
Other Similar Recipes that You Will Love:
- Fava bean Stew
- Easy Mediterranean lentil soup
- Kubba Mosul
- Bulgur pilaf with vermicelli and Chicken
- Potato Kubba
- Kurdish kubba Hamuth -Iraqi Kubba Soup
- Beef and Vegetable Casserole Recipe
- Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe
- Bulgur pilaf with vermicelli and Chicken
- The Best Eggplant Kabob
If you’ve tried this recipe or any other recipe on Sourandsweets,
don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below!
I would love to hear about your experience with my recipes. Share it with me on Instagram.
The Unique Stuffed Dumplings: kubba Halab
- 2 cups Jasmine rice
- 3 cups boiled water
- salt to taste
- 500 grams ground beef
- ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
- 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped Italian or flat-leaf parsley
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 egg for dipping before frying
- 1-2 cups oil for frying kubba
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds and raisns Optional
- Rinse jasmine rice very well to get rid of the starches.
- Transfer rice into a pot. Now, add boiling water and salt on medium/high heat until all water is absorbed.
- Let all the water absorb and then turn the stove on low, cover the pot with the lid for another 20 minutes.
- Once done, transfer rice to a large tray and let it cool down.
- Once the rice has cooled down, with your hand, knead the rice a little until a very soft dough is formed, a dough that is easy to work with and not too sticky. Dip your hands in water or oil to handle the dough. Watch the video at the bottom of the recipe card to learn how I handled and shaped the kubba.
Stuffing for Kubba Halab:
- Start by adding ground beef to a pan and cook it until brown (if you’re using lean ground beef add about 1-2 tablespoons of oil).
- Add finely chopped onions, finely chopped parsley, salt and black pepper to the ground beef.
- Mix until all combined and everything is cooked.
- Add slivered almonds and raisins now (optional step).
Let’s fill the Kubba:
- Dip your hand in water and take some dough. Make a ball about the size of a golf ball.
- Make a hole in the middle of the ball with your index finger. Flatten out the sides by rotating the dough ball until the sides are thin.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of stuffing and then close the ball. Dip your fingers in water to shape out the ball. (Watch the video to learn how to shape them exactly like Kubba Halab)
- After you are done shaping them, place them in a large tray that can fit in the freezer. Freeze them in the tray once hardened, transfer them to a ziplock bag.
- Dip them in egg wash and deep fry them on a medium/high heat until golden and crispy.
- Place them on a paper towel so all the oil can be absorbed.
- Enjoy them with lentil soup.