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Red Kubba


Authentic Iraqi dish: Sweet and Sour Beet Stew with Meatballs in Semolina Shell. My mother used to make it on Friday before Shabbat, all the kids and their friends would come to my house to eat it. They said, “We want the Red Kubba”.

  • ServingsServings



  • 1 Pound lean beef ground or chicken
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • handful of chopped parsley


  • 2 cups of semolina
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  • 1 smal onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans of beets or 6-8 fresh beets (roasted, peeled and sliced))
  • 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes or two tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Prepare the Meatballs with the shell

  1. Mix together all the meatball ingredients
  2. Put two cups of semolina in a mixing bowl
  3. Add a touch of salt pepper and turmeric
  4. Add water gradually until you make a smooth dough
  5. Fill a small dish to wet your palms
  6. Dip your hand in the water and cut the dough into small bowls a little smaller than a walnut
  7. Flatten each piece of the dough with your wet fingers
  8. Fill it with the meatball filling
  9. Close it tightly with the tip of your fingers and roll it tightly until it forms a ball
  10. Then Drop the ball (Kubba) into the boiling liquid
  11. Put it on simmer for 30-35 minutes

Or preparehe Meatballs without the Shell

  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients together
  2. Dip your hand into a plate with oil so the meat does not stick to your hand, and form the meat mix into one inch balls
    Tip: before you make all of them try one out and cook it in the toaster to make sure the meatball is suitable to your taste, if it is not feel free to add spices to adjust it to your taste.
  3. Place the meatballs on an oven tray covered in foil paper
  4. Bake it for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until lightly golden
    Tip: while cooking shake the tray with proper gloves to roll the balls
  5. Remove the meatballs from the oven and put it in the beet sauce and let it cook for 20 – 30 minutes on medium heat

Making the Sauce

  1. Sautee onion, garlic, celery, and oil for about 5-10 minutes
  2. Then add tomatoes and sauté for another 5-10 minutes
  3. Add about 2-3 cups of water, let it boil
  4. Add in the sliced beets, and let it boil

Vegetarian Option

1. Replace Meat filling with Brussels sprouts

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