#eattheworldchallenge ~ Iraqi Rice & Potato Balls (Kubbat timman, Arancini)

Check out all the wonderful Iraqi dishes by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

I love this group so much - I get the chance to explore another culture briefly through their recipes, and share a taste of something new with my family. This recipe was a little labor and time intensive, but it was unique and special for sure. The flavor of the meat mixture is absolutely wonderful - full of rich spices - and the texture of the potato / rice dough is really fascinating to me! It puffs up a little when fried and offers a unique pillowy case for the filling. The original recipe (linked below) suggests serving these alongside a salad, with a yogurt based dipping sauce, hot sauce or even ketchup! They are a little greasy, so you won't want to eat more than a couple at a time - they make wonderful unique finger food and are a great little appetizer to share.

Come see all the amazing Iraqi dishes we're sharing with you today!

Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Hadgi Badah (Iraqi Cardamom Cookies)
The Schizo Chef: Iraqi Parda Pulao
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: T’Bit (Iraqi Slow Cooked Chicken & Brown Rice)
Sneha’s Recipe: Potato Kubbi/Potato Chap
Pandemonium Noshery: Iraqi Lamb Stew
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Tepsi Baytinijan
Making Miracles: Iraqi Rice and Potato Balls
Dinner By Dennis: Pomegranate Soup

Iraqi Rice and Potato Balls from Gimme Delicious

2 medium potatoes
3 cups water
2 cups cooked Basmati or jasmine rice
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups of frying (vegetable) oil

Meat Filling
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
3 tsp minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Set the 3 cups of water to boil, peel the potatoes and dice them into fourths. When the water boils, add the potatoes and boil for about 12 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the meat filling by cooking the ground beef with the diced onion in a large non-stick skillet, add in all remaining meat filling seasonings: minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Remove from heat once cooked through and onions are tender and allow mixture to cool.
  3. When meat mixture is cool, combine the cooled potatoes with the 2 cups of cooked basmati rice, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a food processor. Blend on pulse, low, or high as needed until mixture comes together JUST into a ball - do NOT over blend or it will become a paste.
  4. You can keep the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to shape the balls. Shape all of the balls before you move on to frying.
  5. To shape the balls, have your potato / rice mixture, meat filling, and a bowl of chilled water ready along with a baking sheet or large plate to place prepped potato balls onto.
  6. Take a small handful of the potato mixture and roll briefly into a football shape. Use your finger to press and indent all the way down inside, creating a hollow shape. Fill the hollowed out space with meat mixture and then carefully press the top in over the filling and smooth. Continue until all potato balls are prepped. Be sure to wet your hands between the balls if you're having issues with sticking (just a little bit of water should help).
  7. When the potato balls are prepped, heat about 2 cups of oil (should have at least 1-inch of oil in the bottom of the pan) to medium / medium-high heat (you do not want it to be smoking, turn down heat and wait if it starts to smoke). Be sure to have a splatter shield ready.
  8. Place about 5-6 potato balls in the hot oil at a time (depending on pan size, do not crowd the pan). Fry for about 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and then gently flip. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to allow excess grease to be absorbed.
  9. Serve warm!


  1. These rice & potato balls are prefect as snack or appetizer.

  2. I would make mini versions of this and it makes a great party food! I am sure it would be a hit!


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