Especially in western culture, intestines were and sometimes are still used for the making of sausages. But one thing that is not as commonly known is the stuffing of intestines to be consumed as a whole dish rather than just a meaty package.
What is Kibe Mumbar?
Kibe mumbar are stuffed intestines and edible linings from the stomachs of lambs. Fillings include but are not limited to lamb meat, rice, onions and pepper paste.
The nomadic people of Asia, namely the Turks, used to have one thing in their possession that meant their whole world: their cattle. It was only natural to use every bit of the animal that they had available so the making of, for example, tripe soup, called İşkembe, was inevitable. (1) Every region has their own take on that and so is the stuffing of the intestines. While the tripe soup became quite popular and spread far and wide, (2) the stuffed intestine that is Kibe Mumbar stayed more in the southeastern regions of Turkey.
But let’s take a step back from recent times and take a look how far back we can trace this dish. Similarly, to the “Kaburga Dolması”, the stuffed ribs, the Hittites in the 1600s BC had a similar dish. Of course, as it is not a detailed recipe, one can only guess how close it is to the contemporary versions but many dishes have survived centuries remaining mostly the same with the stuffed intestines being one of them. (3) The food names remained mostly the same as time passed as well, noted down in the Turkic dictionary, “Diwan Lughat al-Turk” (1072-74). (3) Another mention, though without the “kibe” part was by Evliya Çelebi’s Travelogue “Seyahatname”, around the 1670s.
Each region and province has their own take on the Mumbar dolması, especially the southern province of Adana, which is even quite famous for it. Yet the Kibe Mumbar is more home to the Diyarbakır region, a contested view if you ask anyone in neighboring Mardin, for example.
One thing this dish has going for it is the availability. Again, compared to the Kaburga Dolması this one is much cheaper and is considered, to some at least, a lower-class dish, considering that the cleaning of the tripe and the intestines is quite dirty work in and of itself. (4)
But as much as it is “lower class”, the dish has a special place on the tables at feasts such as the Islamic Sacrifice Feast or the Feast after the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Tradition had it that this dish, among others, would be consumed in the morning of said holidays but in the last few decades people prefer to change this traditional morning dish to be consumed at lunch or even dinner. A fact that many elderly mourn over – another tradition lost to the times. (4)
Kibe Mumbar is only one way this dish is known, one other version would be “Kibe Bumbar”, stemming from the Persion word for “large intestine”. That word itself comes from the word “bun” or “mu” (بون), meaning excrement. The kibe part refers to the tripe. As for the “dolması” part that is sometimes added but mostly omitted, is the Turkish word for “to fill”.
Kibe Mumbar: Stuffed intestines - it tastes better than it sounds
- 5 large lamb intestines
- 2 lamb tripes
- 1 kg chopped lamb
- 3 onions
- 450 gr rice
- 1 tbsp pepper paste
- 1 tbsp clarified butter
- ½ tsp citric acid
- salt,black pepper, dried mint
- clean needle and thread
- Before anything can be done, the intestines and tripe need to be cleaned. Any excess fat needs to be removed and the pieces need to be turned inside out. This needs to be done under running water and rubbed with bigger pieces of salt (Kosher salt).
- Turn them back and let them rest in water with citric acid. The tripe should be cleaned in the same manner.
- While these are waiting in the water the filling will be prepared by chopping the onions and mixing it together with the rest of the ingredients listed above.
- Remove the intestines and fill the stuffing carefully, leaving room for the rice to expand later on.
- Shut the intestines with some string and feel free to move around the filling if it wasn’t evenly distributed.
- The tripe is cut into 10x10cm pieces and sewn together to form a pocket.
- Fill them with the stuffing and sew them shut.
- Prepare a pot with some boiling water and cook the stuffed tripe for 10 minutes before adding the intestines and simmer until they are cooked through.
- Once done serve hot.
Bibliography(1) Furkan Demirgül, Çadırdan Saraya Türk Mutfağı in “Uluslararası Türk Dünyası Turizm Araştırmaları Dergisi Cilt:3 No:1”, 2018 (2) Clifford A. Wright, “The Best Soups in the World”, 2010 (3) Mustafa Aksoy, Gülistan Sezgi, Gastronomy Tourism and Southeastern Anatolia Region Gastronomic Elements in “Journal of Tourism and Gastronomy Studies”, 2015 (4) Nazife Gürhan, A sociological overview of Mardin from the perspective of food in “The Journal of International Social Research - Volume: 10 Issue: 54”, 2017