Savory Kebbat Mosul: Mosul Meatballs


Kebbat Mosul, or Mosul Meatballs, are a delightful Iraqi dish originating from the city of Mosul. These meatballs are distinct due to their unique preparation method, featuring a bulgur wheat and meat shell encasing a spiced meat filling. The result is a flavorful and hearty dish that's perfect for family meals or special occasions. Indulge in the rich culinary traditions of Iraq with this exquisite recipe.

Savory Kebbat Mosul: Mosul Meatballs

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 1 hour
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 2 meatballs (approximately 200 grams)

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 400 kcal
  • Protein: 22 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 600 mg


For the Shell:

  • Fine bulgur wheat: 250 grams (1 1/4 cups)
  • Ground beef or lamb: 250 grams (1/2 pound)
  • Onion: 1 small, grated
  • Salt: 5 grams (1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper: 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Allspice: 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon)

For the Filling:

  • Ground beef or lamb: 300 grams (10.5 ounces)
  • Onion: 1 large, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Parsley: 30 grams (1/4 cup), chopped
  • Pine nuts: 50 grams (1/4 cup), toasted
  • Salt: 5 grams (1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper: 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cumin: 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Paprika: 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil: 30 ml (2 tablespoons)

For Cooking:

  • Vegetable oil: 500 ml (2 cups) for frying

Method of Preparation

  1. Soak the bulgur wheat in warm water for about 30 minutes until it softens. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the softened bulgur, ground meat, grated onion, salt, black pepper, and allspice. Mix thoroughly until you get a smooth, cohesive mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until soft and golden.
  4. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Stir in the parsley, toasted pine nuts, salt, black pepper, cumin, and paprika. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Take a small handful of the shell mixture and flatten it into a disc in your palm. Place a spoonful of the filling in the center.
  6. Gently fold the edges over the filling and shape it into an oval or round ball, ensuring the filling is completely enclosed. Repeat with the remaining mixture and filling.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan or pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the meatballs in batches.
  8. Fry until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  9. Arrange the Kebbat Mosul on a serving platter. Garnish with extra chopped parsley and lemon wedges if desired.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Ensure the bulgur is well-drained to avoid a soggy shell mixture.
  • Keep the filling moist but not too wet to ensure it stays intact during frying.
  • Fry the meatballs in batches to maintain the oil temperature and ensure even cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I bake Kebbat Mosul instead of frying? 

  • Yes, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Can I freeze Kebbat Mosul? 
  • Yes, you can freeze the uncooked meatballs. Arrange them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Fry or bake from frozen, adding extra time as needed.
What can I serve with Kebbat Mosul? 
  • Serve with a fresh salad, yogurt dip, or a side of rice for a complete meal.

Savor the flavors of Iraq with every bite of Kebbat Mosul. These meatballs are not just a dish but a culinary journey, bringing the warmth and richness of Middle Eastern cuisine to your table. Perfect for sharing with loved ones, Kebbat Mosul will undoubtedly become a beloved favorite in your home.