One of my favorite dishes is Kibbeh bil Sinyeh, especially the one made at Nur’s house. Last year I finally worked up the courage to make it, and it turned out delicious. The only thing is it takes a long time to make. Luckily, I found an alternative and easier recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook Jerusalem. It is an open kibbeh with a tahini paste on top. It’s delicious and very easy to make. I’ve made it several times, and it has become my go to when I’m entertaining, especially when Noor is coming over! It’s great served with a fresh salad like Fattoush or Tabbouleh.
Here I’ve served it on the Palm Plate, and Fattoush salad is served in the generous-sized Palm Bowl.
Plates and bowls are made in collaboration with Indus People.
125g fine bulgur wheat
90ml olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green chili, finely chopped
350g minced lamb or beef (I used beef)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
60g pine nuts
3 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbs self rising flour, plus a little extra if needed
50g light tahini paste
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven 200 degrees Celsius. Line a 20cm loose bottomed or a springform cake tin with parchment paper.
Place bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with 200ml of water. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
While the bulgur is soaking, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the garlic, onion, and chili on a medium-high heat until they are completely soft. Remove everything from the pan, return it to high heat and add the meat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until brown.
Return the onion mixture to the pan and add the spices, chopped coriander, ½ a teaspoon of salt, a generous grind of black pepper and most of the pine nuts and parsley, leaving some aside. Cook for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Check the bulgur to see if all the water has been absorbed. Strain to remove any remaining liquid. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of black pepper, and use your hand to work into a pliable mixture that just holds together; add a little bit more flour if the mixture is sticky. Punch firmly into the base of the tin. Make sure it’s leveled. Spread the meat mixture evenly on the top and press it down a little. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the meat is quite a dark brown and very hot.
While waiting for your kibbeh pie to bake, whisk the tahini paste with the lemon juice and 50ml of water, and a pinch of salt. Make sure that you whisk a thick yet pourable sauce. If it is too thick make sure to add a little more water.
Remove the pie from the oven, spread the tahini sauce evenly on top, sprinkle with the reserved pine nuts and chopped parsley, and return to the oven immediately. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes until the tahini is just set and has taken on a little bit of color, and the pine nuts are golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool down until warm or at room temperature. Before serving, sprinkle the top with the sumac and a drizzle of olive oil. Carefully remove the sides of the tin and cut the kibbeh into slices. Lift them gently so they don’t’ break. Make sure you are careful because my pieces definitely broke!
Serve with your favorite salad such as Fattoush or tabbouleh.
Recipe adjusted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi