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Bites Fil Beit Ramadan: Kobeba - Daily News Egypt

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Bites Fil Beit Ramadan: Kobeba

Ramadan offers a whole new challenge to cooking Egyptian food. The breaking of the fast, Iftar, is the main menu of the day and consists of an array of dishes. Traditionally the meal starts with juice, to prepare the stomach for the feast that is to come, and a savoury soup. Appetisers are up next, followed by a main course and a sweet dessert completes the meal. Iftars are meant to be shared and inviting your close friends and family for a home-cooked dinner-cum-breakfast can be daunting. But not to worry; during the month we will be giving you suggestions for full menus with a complete recipe for one of the dishes. Happy Ramadan!


  • Juice: Apricot juice
  • Soup: Yellow lentils with tomatoes
  • Appetiser: Kobebah
  • Main Course: Duck with orange juice
  •                             Rice with dried fruits
  • Dessert : Crème caramel



  • 1 kg minced meat or fresh beef – lah-ma ma-froo-ma or lah-ma
  • 3 onion, medium size, 1 finely chopped – ba-sal
  • 6 tbsp ghee, clarified butter – sam-na
  • 1/2 cup water, ice cold – ma-ya
  • 2 tsp allspice – fil-fil a-fran-gi
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts [optional] – snow-bar
  • salt and pepper – malh and fil-fil
  • 1/2 kg bulgur – bor-ghol
  • ½ cup corn oil – zeit dor-a


Preparing kobebah

  • Wash the bulgur well and drain. Put in a bowl and leave in water for 10 minutes. Drain through a fine sieve. Spread the bulgur on a flat dish and leave until dry.
  • In a food processor, process ½ kg of the minced beef or fresh meat and bulgur on high speed until completely mixed. Remove and put in a large bowl.
  • Put 2 onions into food processor and process until the onions have become a thick liquid. Add the liquid onions to the meat/bulgur mixture.
  • Add 1 tsp allspice, salt and pepper to the mixture and return to the food processor. Add 2-3 tbsp water and process on high speed until completely mixed. Return to bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparing minced meat

  • In a medium pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee over medium heat. Stir in finely chopped onion and fry until yellow. Add remaining meat and stir well for 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tsp allspice. Reduce heat, cover pan and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. If the meat becomes too dry, add 3-4 tbsp water.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes. [optional: add the pine nuts and mix well].

Cooking kobebah

  • Use ice water to wet hand. Take a small quantity of kobebah and shape it into an oval ball. Use finger to make a small hole in the centre, fill it with the minced meat and close carefully.
  • Repeat until all the kobebah is formed, place in bowl and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Heat the corn oil in medium pan on medium heat and fry the kobebah until golden.

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