Kibbeh are a popular Middle Eastern snack, made with soaked bulghur grain, lamb mince and, of course, a healthy dose of spices. Perfect with a pinch of salt to serve.
- 300 g dry fine bulgur
- 500 g lean lamb mince
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp baharat spice mix
- 2 tsp salt
- oil, for deep–frying
- drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
- 350 g lamb mince
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 golden French shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 30 g pine nuts, toasted
- ½ bunch parsley, washed, picked and chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 40 minutes
- Rinse the bulgur under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak the bulgur in cold water for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the filling, place a frying pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and when the oil is very hot, add the lamb mince and cumin seeds and using a whisk, break up the meat to separate any clumps. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until the lamb is golden and crisp. Remove from the heat, then stir in the pine nuts and parsley. Season generously with salt and set aside to cool.
- Drain the bulgur and place in a clean tea towel, then squeeze out the excess moisture. Place in a bowl, add the lamb mince, onion, pepper, baharat and salt and knead the mixture until a dough-like texture starts to form.
- To stuff the kibbeh, you need to have damp hands. Place a bowl of iced water and a tray lined with baking paper next to you. Dampen your hands with some water, take a handful of the kibbeh dough (about 2 tablespoons or so) and form it into an oval-shape in the palm of one hand. Use your finger to make a well in the middle of the oval and gradually hollow it out to make a larger well or hole for the filling. Using a teaspoon for filling, add about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Seal the dough on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into an oval (football-type shape). Place the stuffed kibbeh on the lined baking tray and repeat with the remaining kibbeh and filling, using damp hands every time.
- Heat the oil for deep -frying pan in a saucepan to 160°C–170°C. Cooking in batches, deep-fry the kibbeh for about 5 minutes or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with salt and serve.
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