My Mom’s Moghrabieh

Since I have posted an info page about Moghrabieh, I noticed that it arose a lot of interest. And since then I have been meaning to post a recipe, but you know my story with taking recipes from my mom.  And I wanted her recipe in particular, because Moghrabieh comes out perfect with her.

I listed the spices she uses but it is also possible to use the Moghrabieh spices mix you can find in any supermarket in Lebanon. I don’t know if it is possible to find that internationally but I always find it better to have your own mix, since that way you can adjust it to your taste.

Moghrabieh is delicious IMHO, easy to make and it gives off the impression of being grand. Lebanese usually serve it when they have guests or for big occasions. It is quite simple to make and the sauce tends to be absorbed by the little pearls which makes it even better the next day.  The bigger the Moghrabieh balls become the more engorged with flavor they tend to be. Try it and you will know what I mean.


Serves: 6 – 8 people


  • 1 kg (2, 2 lb) dried Moghrabieh
  • 1 ½ cups dry chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 medium onions  or 10 baby onions
  • 600 g (1,3 lb) lean meat cut in 1 cm (0,5 in) squares
  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 – 3 allspice
  • 1 – 2  bay leaves
  • 2  – 3 cloves
  • 1 – 2 pinch dried cilantro
  • 1 – 2 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 – 2 pinch white pepper
  • 1 – 2 pinch pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1.  Cook the Moghrabieh in boiling salted water.  When cooked, keep it in the water for about  half an hour so it gains volume. Rinse after removing from the water.
  2. Boil the chickpeas till half cooked.
  3. Sauté the chopped or julienned onions in the oil till translucent.  If using baby onions do not chop them and sauté them whole.  Add the meat.
  4. Add the spices and the salt. When the meat is browned add the chickpeas and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the 10 cups of water and boil till all is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Add the drained Moghrabieh to the rest of the ingredients. Boil for about 10 minutes.

Recipe’s Notes:

If you want to steam the Moghrabieh, you can do it in a metal steamer with one Tbsp of butter on top of the mixture in step 5. The rest of the steps remain the same.

If you buy previously steamed Moghrabieh, step one becomes unnecessary. Instead you have to sauté it in a bit of butter before adding to the rest of the ingredients in step 6.

The meat in the Moghrabieh can be replaced with Chicken breasts cut into squares. It can even be made with both, the steps remain the same.


3 responses to “My Mom’s Moghrabieh

  1. I was surprised not to see any caraway in your mom’s recipe; it looks absolutely delicious and I will try it soon, her version that is!


    • It is delicious, I might sound stereotypical by saying it is the best I ever had, but it really is. She just knows her way with things. All I know is great to eat, caraway or not 😀


  2. Moghrabieh is such a deliciously and aromatically spiced dish that it has become one of my favorites so far in my personal Lebanese cuisine bucket! I truly enjoyed it when in Lebanon and hopefully I can recreate the moment in my own kitchen. Thanks for sharing one of my favorites Viviane!