Year Course participant Dan Dobro on a recent cooking lesson.
In our Jewish Sociology class with Dr. Avi Rose, we learned about and then made kubeh.
Kubeh can be found in Iraqi, Kurdi, Syrian, and other Middle eastern kitchens. In simple terms, it’s meat stuffed inside dough and then cooked- kind of like a dumpling. Today with the help of Shuli, whose family came from Syria, and Yael, whose father is Indian by way of Iraq (also known as a Baghdadi Indian) we made our own kubeh.
First, we chopped up vegetables- Onions, celery, and beets. and used them to prepare a broth in which to cook the kubeh. Then came the wrapping. We made two kinds of kubeh today- Yael and Shuli both brought their own recipes. Yael’s kubeh called for a semolina based dough. To handle it, we lightly coated our hands in oil and then pancaked a small dough-ball into our palms. Then in the middle of that we plopped some of Yael’s pre-made meat mixture, which was raw chicken and a hint of mint. Then we carefully rolled up the meat into a ball and attempted to close it without it tearing or falling apart. Then we put them on a plate.
Shuli’s kubeh were a little more difficult. While we were rolling Yael’s, Shuli was cooking a pan of grilled beef and onions. Meanwhile, they both were setting the soup up to boil. Shuli’s dough had semolina too but also other grains- it was a bit harder to handle, we had to wet our hands with water. She taught us a special technique of rolling where instead of making a pancake out of the dough, you roll it around one finger and shape it like pottery. Then you just spoon a bit of dough into the bowl, and roll it closed. When the soup has been boiling for ten minutes, you add the kubeh and let it cook for about twenty more. Then you have fresh hot kubeh soup. It was delicious!