Kubba Hamouth (Meat Dumpling Soup)
Kubba Hamouth, a favorite Assyrian soup, is a dish I grew up with. Mom cooked it at least a couple of times each month. The name “Kubba hamouth” means “dumplings in a sour soup.” Kubba come in various shapes, and sizes, and are prepared in many different ways. While this recipe used rice flour, there is another nearly identical soup that Assyrians cook called “kubba’t pirda.” That basically means “kubba made with bulgur” (instead of rice flour). The rest of the ingredients are identical.
Kubba’t Mosul originated in Mosul, Iraq. It is a plate-sized, meat-filled disc. It is normally boiled, then cut into wedges to serve. Besides having the traditional ground lamb, onion, and spices inside, raisins and pine nuts are sometimes added. I have fond memories of my mom’s best friend, Lucy, bringing us her delicious kubba. Although my mom was known for her amazing cooking skills, she didn’t know how to make kubba Mosul. I always looked forward to Lucy’s visits. Not just for the kubba, but to hear her and mom reminisce about the mischief they got in to as children in Iraq!
Kibbi is the national dish of Lebanon. Sometimes kibbi is served raw, which is known as “kibbi nayeh.” “Nayeh” means “raw”, not only in Lebanese, but also in Assyrian. I’ve never tried kibbi nayeh, because I’ve never been a fan of raw meat. Besides making the familiar football-shaped kibbi, Lebanese kibbi is also prepared in a pan. This type of kibbi is cooked in the oven, and cut into diamond-shaped servings.
And if that wasn’t enough variety for you, there is yet another kind called “Kubba Halab.” “Halab” is the Syrian name for “Allepo”, one of the governorates of Syria. This kubba is also football-shaped, but the shell is made with a mixture of rice and potatoes. This deep-fried kubba has a distinct yellow color, which is a result of the addition of turmeric. I love the crunchy shell, but because it’s deep-fried, I don’t make it too often.
Hopefully you are now familiar with the various types of kubba prepared in the Middle East. Now, let’s get back to the one we’re making today, kubba hamouth.