Margarita's International Recipes


Kubba't Hallab

Stuffed Rice Croquettes

Kubba't Hallab

This recipe can be made vegan

As I was looking for recipes for Iraqi style kibbeh, I came across this variant which has a rice shell, rather than one made from bulgur. The recipe comes from the mother of food blogger, who explains how few Iraqis make them because of the technique required to make them well. I should have heeded that warning. The instructions seemed relatively easy, but they didn't work out for me. The first batch, pictured, looked good enough - but the later ones disintegrated and I had to toss them. The one that worked still didn't have the right ratio of crust to filling, and it was too plain. I think my daughter tasted one, and she was done.

That said, I did have fun making them, and I liked that I could totally veganize this recipe by using vegan crumbles instead of ground meat. The rice paste the shell was made of was a completely new thing to me, and I always like discovering new things - even if I fail with them.


Kubba't Hallab


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for sauteing and dee frying
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef, lamb or vegan crumbles
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg white or 2 Tbsp aquafaba


Cook the rice

Soak rice in cold water for an hour, then strain and rinse with cold water.

Transfer rice to a bowl and cover with 3/4" of water. Add salt to taste. Place on the stove over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully push the back of a wooden spoon onto the rice, all the way down, to create 5 holes through which the remaining water can steam. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes until the rice is very soft. Turn off heat and let cool, covered.

Prepare the filling

Heat oil on a frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the ground meat and salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add the parsley. Cool until the meat is cooked through and all the juices are absorbed, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the kubba

Pour water into a large bowl that you can use to dip your hands in as needed.

Transfer rice to another large bowl. Add the egg or aquafaba to the rice. Using your hands, knead the two together until you get a pretty smooth paste. Dip your hands in water if needed to work the rice.

Dip your hands in water and then grab a handful of rice and shape into a ball. Using a finger, make a large well in the middle. Fill this well 2/3 of the way with ground meat and close with the remaining rice. Shape the kubba into an egg shape.

Deep fry the kubbat, a few at the time, until golden. Drain on a rack.

Adapted from Bill Aya's mom's recipe at Add a little lemon

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