I felt like I hit the jackpot when this recipe worked out. It was a complete gamble to toss out the main ingredient in kibbeh and expect success, but it paid off! Kibbeh is a VERY traditional Syrian dish (other regions in the Middle East also have their versions) and there are too many variations to list. Typically the main ingredients in kibbeh are MEAT, bulgur and onion. These 3 ingredients are minced together with simple seasonings using a meat grinder to achieve a smooth dough. This outer dough is formed into a football shape, stuffed with cooked ground beef, onions and nuts then fried. If you haven't had authentic kibbeh I urge you to do so, its delicious! Personally I rarely make this version of kibbeh because its ridiculously time consuming, requires special equipment, makes a huge mess, shaping is difficult, and it must be deep fried. All of these are huge no-no's for me....so I've simplified the process and begun making kibbeh kabobs (also known as kibbeh al-siekh), essentially the outer shell of the kibbeh without the filling and frying process. From that recipe this new vegan kibbeh has emerged.
-1 cup red lentils
-3/4 cup fine bulgur (#1)
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup onion (1/2 of a large onion)
-2 tablespoons red pepper paste
-1 1/2 teaspoons all spice
-2 teaspoons ground coriander
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon salt (to start, adding 1/2 teaspoon more if needed...which I usually do)
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
optional: vegetable oil for baking
-Fill a medium sized pot with water. Rinse the lentils in a strainer and place in pot of water. Bring to a boil on high heat, watching to make sure the foam of your lentils doesn't boil over in the pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain the extra liquid in a strainer.
-While the lentils are cooking place the bulgur with 1 cup water in a medium sized bowl and let soak.
-In a food processor, process the onion until it is finely minced. Add the drained cooked lentils, the soaked bulgur, red pepper paste, all spice, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and process using the pulse setting until everything is blended together. Taste the mixture and adjust salt if needed.
-Place the food processor bowl in the fridge to firm the mixture up. This will help you shape them into patties, but if you are short on time it is not critical.
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I really recommend this so the patties don't stick) or foil and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Lightly wet your hands to form the patties. This will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands as you work. Take 2 tablespoons of kibbeh mixture and shape into round patties, about 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches wide. Repeat the process until mix is finished. Place kibbeh patties on baking sheet and OPTIONALLY brush each side with vegetable oil (I usually skip this but it does make the kibbeh a little more crispy.
-Bake on the middle rack of pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through until crisped to your liking.**Alternatively you can cook these on a stove top in a skillet with some oil.
-Serve with desired dipping sauce and sliced veggies.
I'd love to connect with you! Stay updated on the latest posts through Facebook or follow savvy_chef on Instagram. Tag #savvychef with your re-creations!